New conference addresses technology skills gap, draws big names to Utah

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Salt Lake City, Utah- (ABC4 Utah) – The high tech industry is booming in Utah. So much so, that companies struggle to find the talent they need.

The first ever Pluralsight Live conference is bringing some the biggest names in high tech to Salt Lake City.

Pluralsight CEO Arron Skonnard says it’s about gathering some of the leading tech companies from around the world to discuss how they can work together to close the technology skills gap.

“The technology skills gap is one of the biggest issues the world faces right now. We have, you know, companies all over the world, big tech companies who have jobs, but they don’t have the people with the skills,” said Skonnard.

That’s where reaching out to the workforce of the future comes in. Former Secretary of Education and current Pluralsight board member Arne Duncan says there are children across the country who could develop those skills, if given the chance.

“There are so many talented kids, whether it’s in rural communities, or inner-city communities, native American reservations who aren’t getting the kind of support, and opportunities and guidance that they need,” said Duncan.

Duncan says it will take industry and government partnerships to close the opportunity gap, and open up a whole new world.

“To make a good living, and support your family. A huge, huge opportunity here,” said Duncan.

That opportunity doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.

“We see Utah as one of the best environments in the country, if not the world for building a high growth, fast paced tech company. As a demonstration of that, Pluralsight recently announced our commitment to expand our team and our headquarters here, within the state, with over 2400 jobs that we are committing to over the next ten years,” said Skonnard.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama participated in a moderated conversation at the conference, but that portion was closed off to the media.

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Glen Mills

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For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 News at 5 and 6, Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...