Fostering innovation has been the secret to our country’s economic success for centuries. It’s in our DNA. America’s determination and entrepreneurial spirit has created the most vibrant technology sector in the world, raising our economy, positively impacting nearly every industry and creating the next generation of high wage jobs.
As Super Tuesday approaches, all the presidential candidates should be embracing and touting policies that will spur the next wave of great American innovation. Our country’s continued success depends on such leadership to make sure the tech sector can develop, manufacture and trade in the global marketplace.
The tech industry is creating jobs in nearly every state across the country resulting in a highly trained and skilled workforce. According to CompTIA’s 20th annual state of U.S. tech employment report, known as Cyberstates, more than 12 million jobs exist across the tech industry and tech occupations, with nearly 2 million of those jobs added over the past decade. In a recent CompTIA survey, businesses responded that they are generally excited and eager for the opportunities associated with new technologies and believe tech is headed in the right direction.
But the American workforce is eager to know how today’s candidates will ensure we stay on the right trajectory. Fifty-seven percent of those surveyed by CompTIA report not seeing or hearing anything related to technology policy discussed in the context of the 2020 presidential election. At the same time, 40 percent believe technology policy should carry more weight in election policy discussions.
Americans want to know how each candidate plans to prepare workers for the increased role technology plays across industries. They want to hear how candidates plan to shrink the skills gap. They want to hear about their plans for automation and artificial intelligence, such as investing in technical education programs, training and apprenticeships. They want to learn their positions on data privacy, cybersecurity and trade, issues of vital importance to their personal lives, our economy and leadership on the global stage.
Having the right policies in place to support our country’s growing tech job marketplace is essential to our economic future. Policies such as supporting a single national privacy law that will protect consumers’ personal information while continuing to promote innovation are critical. Negotiating important trade agreements that will protect against anti-innovation policies from foreign governments, remove harmful tariffs and address longstanding IP infringement policies targeting American innovation are likewise essential for U.S. leadership. Deploying 5G networks and expanding wireless broadband access, especially in rural communities, opens the door to life-saving technology that demands absolute reliability such as healthcare and vehicle safety systems, and will expand job opportunities and social interaction. These policies ensure tech is working to unlock more possibilities for all Americans.
Candidates for president often highlight what divides us. But on these topics, there is so much that unites us. Technology is helping to solve some of our country’s biggest challenges and improving our lives while keeping us connected, safe, informed. Now, more than ever, candidates should speak to these essential points – that our country must prioritize investment to support a future-ready workforce and promote our country’s ability to compete globally. Simply put, embracing smart tech policy on the campaign trail is a winning message.
This post first appeared on Medium.