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A Letter From the KC Tech Council CEO

New Ryan in a Circle

The KC Tech Council serves as the regional advocate for Kansas City’s tech industry and producing KC Tech Specs, now in its third year, is one of the many ways we support this mission. Most businesses are driven by data and this report is designed to present information in a consumable, unbiased format. We also want you, the reader, to know where the data is coming from and how we’re interpreting the results.

Years ago, I read Malcolm Gladwell’s bestselling book, “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference.” He defines a tipping point as "the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point". I’ve enjoyed every one of his books, but I think about this one more than the others. Because when I ponder solutions to big problems, I think about the tipping point.

The biggest problem facing KC’s tech industry is the lack of a skilled workforce. We share this problem with the entire country. The number of open jobs continues to increase, and demand is outpacing supply by significant amounts. There has to be a tipping point, and for us, it starts with how we’re supporting computer science education in our schools.

According to code.org, in the 40+ states that have made computer science count as a high school graduation credit, participation in CS courses increased. Diversity increased. The likelihood of students pursuing computer science after high school also increased. It’s a small change, but it’s making a difference for students in these states. The KC Tech Council, along with your support, played a crucial role in making this change in Missouri.

Today, our sights are focused on aiding Kansas, which is one of the last remaining states to make computer science count. Change, especially with concerning education, doesn’t come easy. State lawmakers and leaders need our support, and I hope you’ll join our advocacy efforts for this critical issue. Access to quality computer science education has been the tipping point for so many other states, and our kids deserve those same opportunities.

In closing, I want to thank our partners who helped make this report a reality. Specifically, VMLY&R for lending us incredible talent, and RSM for providing financial and creative support to v3.

 

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RYAN WEBER

CEO, KC TECH COUNCIL

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