Revelstoke wants to grow tech sector to diversify economy, jobs

'We want to nurture and grow the local tech sector for a more diverse economy. This has always been the purpose of the tech strategy.'

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Revelstoke’s tech community is alive and thriving according to tech strategy coordinator Karolyn Kempton.

Kempton was at a city council meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 22 to present findings of a tech survey that was completed over the spring.

“We want to nurture and grow the local tech sector for a more diverse economy. This has always been the purpose of the tech strategy,” said Kempton, who noted one of the goals is to increase the number of long term jobs available in the community of Revelstoke.

Kempton said when the tech strategy was developed seven goals were identified:

– Promote fibre to attract new companies

– Support existing companies

– Build and promote a tech friendly community

– Foster youth opportunities

– Target specific tech opportunities for the city

– Identify and reduce barriers

– Increase the number of tech opportunities for the city

“The crucial first step has been to figure out who’s here and what resources we already have,” said Kempton.

The Revelstoke tech survey included approximately 110 tech workers. Of the tech workers included 35% are self employed, 25% are remote workers, and there are an estimated 33 tech companies in town. More than 50% of the tech companies in Revelstoke fall under the technology software and services category.

Kemp said it is also interesting to note that Revelstoke has people living in the community who work for large companies.

“Some of them are working for giant companies and they’re here because the want to be here,” she said.

Kempton said next steps will include working on promoting the tech sector in the community. This will include having speakers come in to talk about managing remote teams, youth mentorship pairings, and the creation of an innovation centre – a project that is being led by Community Futures. There is also a Maker Space weekend being hosted by Mountain CoLab & Startup Revelstoke this weekend.

A full copy of Kempton’s presentation to council can be found here.

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