IT Leaders Head to Capitol Hill to Discuss Tech Policy

LPI’s president and CEO Jim Lacey recently traveled to Washington D.C. to participate in this year’s CompTIA Colloquium, an event for IT training and certification leaders. The packed agenda featured sessions on emerging trends in both the certification space, as well as those addressing broader industry topics like infographic communication and the growing field of big data. The afternoon panel devoted to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education provided a lively discussion about strategies that will encourage domestic students to pursue careers in these areas. The last topic discussed was an analysis of the positive and negative impacts of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). The agenda concluded with a TechVoice Awards Reception event, in which select members of Congress were awarded for their efforts in policies that are favorable to the Information Technology Industry.

               
Arkansas Senator, Mark Pryor         FCC Commissioner, Jessica Rosenworcel    Nebraska Representative, Lee Terry

Following the CompTIA Colloquium, attendees participated in the TechVoice DC Fly-In. This was an opportunity for technology professionals to meet with congressional representatives to advocate for tech-friendly public policies. The event kicked off with the Capitol Hill Speaker Series at the Cannon House office building. Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor, a supporter of  IT certification, provided details on his work creating frameworks around these initiatives. Next, the group heard from FCC Commissioner, Jessica Rosenworcel, as she shared her goals to increase broadband access and bandwidth to schools, providing students with enhanced access to internet learning resources. The morning session concluded with Nebraskan Representative Lee Terry, a strong supporter of the IT community. In addition to his support of STEM initiatives, Representative Terry is passionate about data security. In addition, he is a strong advocate for strengthening data protection and enhancing consumer notification policy.

  
Outside Senator Boxer's office.                   Mr. Lacey (middle) with other constituents in Senator Feinstein's office.

After the group session, Mr. Lacey met with California congressional representatives and senatorial staff for Senators Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein, to discuss the impact Linux and Open Source technology has on the workforce of the future. During their conversations they discussed the explosive growth of innovative companies using Linux and Open Source in California and one of the key challenges facing the U.S. IT community today, that many of those earning degrees in the IT and software fields are from other countries. After graduation, many of them are unable to secure visas to stay in the U.S., and our local IT community suffers as a result of this issue. It was encouraging to hear that our congressional representatives are working hard to remedy this situation by actively seeking input from the industry when formulating solutions. At LPI we are grateful for the opportunity to take part in such a meaningful  event and to represent some of the issues regarding the Linux and Open Source community on Capitol Hill.