"The premise is what we've experienced here (in
Gianforte said Monday he plans to work the next 20 years or so on developing more high-tech manufacturing and technology businesses here, which he believes can raise the wages of Montanans.
Tech-related businesses rely on a well-trained, educated workforce, which demands higher pay, and that higher pay can filter down through the economy to create more jobs in other sectors, like construction, he said.
Gianforte, who co-founded
He's a keynote speaker Saturday at the state
The Gianfortes have been frequent contributors to Republican candidates and have funded a scholarship program for
His economic plan for high-tech industry includes:
--Expanding and promoting more computer science and programming instruction in
He helped launch CodeMontana last year, an online interactive program that exposes high schoolers to computer programming, and has funded a summer program at
CodeMontana already has more than 1,000 students from 140 Montana towns participating, and
--Organizing the supporting industry. Gianforte is helping form the
One task of the alliance will be determining just how many high-tech-related jobs exist in the state, he said, what they pay, and what they need to succeed.
"I plan on working on this in the next 15 or 20 years, so we need a baseline to know if we're actually moving the needle," he said.
Gianforte said high-tech businesses can include software firms and manufacturing that uses technology.
--Mentoring high-tech entrepreneurs. Gianforte directs the Bozeman Technology Incubator, said he has conducted 135 advising sessions for people wanting to develop tech firms, and encourages other developers to act as mentors.
He said Monday one of the biggest impediments to starting a successful high-tech business in
"When we first moved to
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