Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Institute of Technology Launch, University of Washington, Tacoma
October 24, 2001

Thank you, Vicky (Carwein), for that gracious introduction.

It’s great to be at the University of Washington’s Tacoma branch to celebrate with you today the launch of the Institute of Technology at the University of Washington, Tacoma.

I am truly amazed at how far we’ve come in so short a period of time. It was just 13 months ago that I proposed that the institute be created! It was the only new higher education initiative approved by the Legislature last spring. Yet, you’re already up and running.

This initiative promises to be an outstanding resource for the South Sound region and the state of Washington.

By working together with the region's community and technical colleges and school districts, it will greatly expand the base of tech-savvy employees. And it will create new opportunities for women, minorities and people who before could only have dreamed of better job opportunities.

We could not possibly have launched this initiative without the broadest support.

The combination of regional leadership, hard work and cooperation across political and geographic boundaries that you in Tacoma have displayed from the outset is a tremendous credit to the South Sound region.

You have demonstrated exceptional vision and perseverance in making the Institute of Technology a reality.

The Institute of Technology is only one of several key steps the South Sound is taking to create a vibrant tech-based future. You are providing the bandwidth that technology-based and technology-dependent companies demand through the Click! and I-Net networks and the build-out of fiber-optic telecommunications.

You are creating human networks that facilitate access to information, specialized skills and business support: the Tacoma Technology Consortium, the Tacoma Network, the South King County Technology Alliance, and the South Sound and Olympic chapters of WSA, to name only a few.

These efforts are a model for what we need to do throughout the state.

Earlier this summer, I launched our state’s Strategy for the Innovation Economy to make sure that Washington becomes the state that technology-driven, fast-growing, high-paying businesses call home – the state where innovation is a way of life and technology is the tool that powers our prosperity. Because it is imperative that we create a workforce for the 21st century -- so that Washington’s companies readily find the skilled workers they seek and our citizens acquire the skills they need to find satisfying, well-paid jobs. And that includes more top-flight bachelor’s and master’s graduates in information technology.

In the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, this need is now more important than ever.

The September 11th events have cooled the economy nationally and here in Washington. But America will grow stronger.

We are focused on a better, stronger America, and investing in education and innovation remain the key to our future.

We need to use this period as an opportunity to position Washington to compete effectively both now and when the economy recovers -- precisely through such efforts as the Institute of Technology.

So once again congratulations, and thanks for your commitment, leadership and persistent efforts to turn our dreams into reality.

The people of Tacoma, the South Sound region and all of Washington will be better off as a result.
Related Links:
- Institute of Technology, University of Washington, Tacoma
- Washington State Legislature
- Technology Alliance
- Washington's Strategy for the Innovation Economy
- Tacoma Network

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