CompTIA at the Conventions

CompTIA partnered with nearly a dozen other technology organizations in hosting Innovation Nation events at the RNC Convention in Cleveland and the DNC Convention in Philadelphia. Innovation Nation brought public policy into focus at signature events, engaging congressional leaders, campaign officials, and industry leaders in conversations to explore how an innovation agenda might take shape in the next Congress under their party’s president.

In May to kick off the 2016 Innovation Nation events the group of associations drafted a letter to the two main party candidates outlining the top policy priority issues in 2016 and encouraging their support. The full body of the letter can be read here.

RNC Convention in Cleveland
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) opened up the Innovation Nation event at RNC Convention sharing ongoing efforts in the U.S. House of Representatives to improve Cybersecurity and workforce development. Following Rep. McHenry a panel of industry experts including: Samsung’s Kevin Gilroy, EA’s Craig Hagen, Google’s Milo Medlin and AT&T’s Bob Quinn shared their thoughts on the most important policy priorities for the next President to address. A common theme from the group was the need for a more robust IT workforce and an emphasis on STEM education and training. The panel also expressed strong support for updating the immigration laws in particular the H1B visa program for high-skilled workers. The panel strongly agreed that IoT is quickly changing the way companies do business and will continue to see quick growth in this space in the near future.

CompTIA President and CEO was on hand in Cleveland to introduce Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine at a reception where donations from the tech associations and sponsors of Innovation Nation was made to the After School All-Stars and the Commit Foundation. After-School All-Stars (ASAS) provides comprehensive after-school programs that keep children safe and help them succeed in school and life.  The Commit Foundation assists veterans in making the transition to civilian life and a good career path.

DNC Convention in Philadelphia
To kick off the program at the DNC convention in Philadelphia Sarah Solow, domestic policy advisor to the Clinton campaign, spoke to the group sharing Clinton’s plan to help close the growing IT skills gap. She specifically highlighted Secretary Clinton’s push to promote computer science education.

Following Solow, Secretary Penny Pritzker, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, spoke to the group about innovation and the U.S. entrepreneurial system. She also discussed the importance of broadband access to growing business in America.  Following Secretary Pritzker, a panel consisting of Amazon’s Jay Carney, Revolution LLC’s Ronald Klain, Phone2Action’s Ximena Hartsock, and Samsung’s Kevin Gilroy shared their take on what should make up the top tech priorities for the next administration. Immigration reform and computer science education were two very important points for the future of innovation in America.

CompTIA Executive Vice President Elizabeth Hyman presented a donation to the Commit Foundation which, as noted above, aims to create opportunity for men and women separating from the uniformed services and entering the professional civilian world.

CompTIA will continue to engage with the presidential campaigns throughout the 2016 election process to encourage conversation that will promote the IT industry.