Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
South Sound Technology Conference
May 28, 2003
Thank you, Congressman Smith.
It’s a pleasure to be here.
This conference is a great opportunity to celebrate the many ways in which the Innovation Economy is advancing in Tacoma, Pierce County, and the entire South Sound.
And this is also a great opportunity to talk about the challenges ahead.
We all share one common goal—we want to harness technology and innovation to build a vibrant future for this region and our entire state.
Building such a future begins with leadership.
The South Sound is blessed with highly effective leaders, including the two outstanding representatives in Congress who are here today—Norm Dicks and Adam Smith.
I commend you both for your strong leadership and hard work—and for making this conference a reality.
Building a vibrant future also requires a strong community effort.
Congratulations to the South Sound community for working so effectively together.
Government, business, and education have come together here with incredible success.
The new Technology Institute at the University of Washington-Tacoma is a perfect example.
The Institute was envisioned as a public-private partnership.
And that partnership is going strong.
Five million dollars has already been invested by non-state sources.
Washington taxpayers have invested considerably more dollars in the Institute.
The Institute is a specific solution to a specific problem, the statewide shortage of well-educated high-tech professionals.
The dividend on our state’s investment is already being paid in the form of graduates who are contributing to the high-tech economy.
As the Institute graduates even more students, as the economy rebounds, and as the careers of graduates develop, this dividend will be compounded many times over.
We’ve seen this same strong community effort in other endeavors too.
This community created the Museum of Glass, the Washington State History Museum, University of Washington Tacoma campus, the new federal courthouse and the entire redevelopment of the Thea Foss Waterway.
Projects like these have anchored an urban renaissance in Tacoma.
We’re all proud of that renaissance.
And we’re seeing that here, too, the dividend will be compounded.
This urban renaissance is attracting creative and talented people who will further expand exciting new technology-based businesses.
Building a vibrant future also requires the most advanced telecommunications.
So many businesses today compete globally and to be competitive globally, companies must be able to connect instantly with their customers, suppliers, and partners around the world.
And here again the South Sound has led the way.
The creation of the Click! Network has given Tacoma an international reputation as America’s Number One Wired City.
Today’s conference promises an exploration of the next wave of innovation in communications.
You’ll be focusing on how the latest advances in software, wireless infrastructure, and computing will further transform the economy and our lives.
And I have no doubt that Tacoma and the South Sound will continue to be at the forefront of these exciting developments.
I wish you the best for a simulating and productive conference.