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Charlotte Talks: Growing Charlotte's Tech Sector And Tech Talent Pipeline

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Flickr/Stephen Chin
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Monday, February 5, 2018

After losing our Amazon bid because we don’t have enough tech workers, what our city is doing to strengthen our tech workforce.

When Amazon announced its shortlist for their second North American headquarters and Charlotte wasn't on it, it caused some major soul searching. The primary factor Amazon cited in their decision was a lack of available tech talent in the city.

Long known as a banking town, Charlotte's tech sector has started taking off in recent years, and considered to be one of the fastest growing tech hubs in the country – especially when it comes to financial technology, or 'Fintech.'

But compared to other markets, we're lagging behind when it comes to a strong tech workforce. One of the factors is a lack of research institutions in the area to help develop that talent. But there are organizations – including Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and UNC Charlotte – working to fill that talent gap.

With Amazon in our rearview mirror, we look at efforts to grow Charlotte's tech sector and talent pipeline to make the city more competitive and attractive to other companies.

Guests

Mark Vitner – Senior economist, Wells Fargo

Fatma Mili – Dean and Professor, College of Computing and Informatics, UNC Charlotte

Susan Gann-Carroll – Director, Career & Technical Education, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Dan Roselli – Co-founder of Packard Place, an entrepreneur hub in Charlotte. Co-Founder and Managing Director of Queen City Fintech, an accelerator program for fintech upstarts

Highlights from today's show:

Fata Mili on Charlotte's research university:

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Dan Roselli on how Tech Talent impacts economic mobility: 

economic_mobility.mp3

Mark Vitner on UNC Charlotte and Chapel Hill's relationship:

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Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.