Bob Visits DC to Talk IT Priorities #CompTIAFlyIn

February 11th, 2017

Bob here. It’s fun to talk about the big businesses like Ford, Walmart and the like in terms of jobs and impact on the IT industry and the economy. But it’s the smaller businesses (like mine, and probably yours) that generate the most growth and the most jobs. We employ more than half of the country’s private sector workforce.

It’s a lot tougher to talk about that in meaningful terms. Issues that impact one employer of 5,000 are easier to grasp (and market) that issues that impact 500 employers of 20 people each (even though the impact is double).

We’re happy to be part of the economy. We employ IT professionals, Sales and Marketing, general office skills. We also try to help folks generate their skills through our long-standing practice of hiring interns for their first IT job.

For the second year in a row, I’m going to join forces with fellow IT colleagues to advocates in Washington, D.C., on February 14-15, to speak with Members of Congress about issues that are critical to the future of my business (and possibly yours) and the overall tech industry.

And by “tech industry,” I don’t mean issues that matter only to geeks like me. Although truth be told my brain has been morphing more and more into business owner with a geek streak<g>. But most companies today are thriving through the careful and deliberate useful implementation of technologies in delivering their goods and services.

The annual “Fly-In” is organized by CompTIA to advocate on behalf of the tech community. CompTIA, the Computing Technology Industry Association, represents technology companies of all sizes and is committed to expanding market opportunities and driving competitiveness of the U.S. technology industry around the world.

Innovation and workforce development are key forces behind a strong 21st century economy, and our leaders should prioritize issues that affect growing companies like Simplex-IT.

While in Washington I’ll be visiting the offices of several of the offices of Congressional Leaders from Ohio to advocate on tax reform, workforce development, cybersecurity, broadband communications and digital privacy—all are central to our industry. These legislative issues are key ingredients for helping firms like mine (and again, yours) to become more competitive.

Last year the topic was the difference between how government agencies acquire data stored on premise versus cloud. Although an interesting issue, it seemed to me that CompTIA tried to find a topic that had the least amount of partisanship associated with it (not sure if you knew, but last year was an election year<g>). This year the focus seems more on IT workforce, including IT skill development (and probably immigration as well). Topics that should be a bit more contentious, but that’s because they’re more important.

One good thing about the political cycle last year was that there was finally open discussion about the role that automation played (and still does) in the job market, with the poster child being manufacturing. American companies are eliminating as many jobs through automation as other factors. A recent (2013) Department of Labor report estimated that as many as 80% of jobs paying less than $40/hr (that’s $80,000 per year) can be automated. For a detailed report on the topic, click here. And paying between $40-80/hr? The percentage was still a respectable 20%. And both percentages have probable increased since 2013.

So I’ll be heading out to DC. Hopefully it’ll be useful. I’ll let you know how it goes!