I spoke last month with a reporter writing about the health and direction of the Sacramento region tech industry. There’s doom and gloom in much of the news, but all the software companies I work with are positioning for growth. Where is the disconnect happening?
I may have a skewed sample. Clients I work with are working their tails off to attract the best clients with the least amount of effort and expense. And that’s the sort of company that calls in a Sacramento marketing consultant.
Other positives: at least three of our South Placer area tech clients are hiring not firing. Several will roll out additional products and services in summer and fall ‘08.
Every time there’s negative buzz about the economy, Sacramento technology firms choose a path with respect to lead generation — actively or by default. Cut back? Accelerate? Wait and see?
It seems to me that the most successful players are not reactionary — they find ways to get closer to and more trusted by their clients and target audiences, proverbial rain or shine.
Zooming out to look at our whole region, the SARTA Technology Index rose by 2.79 percent to a new high over the second quarter of 2007. In fact, it slightly outperformed major public indices. (Credit: http://www.sarta.org/go/sarta/tech-index/)
That said, the Sac Region is in a poor competitive position world wide. Job creation follows engineering and math. US engineering graduates 122,000, Asian Countries 636,000 and 370,000 in European countries.
Why is that? Education is really the engine for our region’s growth. And Sacramento is in the lowest 25% of high school science and math proficiency in a state that is almost last at 49th.
70% of all jobs offered in the region do not require a college degree. So some think there is NO true job creation happening here, and that it’s a country-wide problem that’s built over 30 years. Still, the Sac Region is almost last in USA. (Credit: Above stats assembled by Warren Smith of Warren Smith Group.)
Looking at those sorts of numbers, in ‘04 I joined in the activities of AeA, a national technology trade association addressing, among other issues, science and technology education.
Then a year or so ago I joined up with Michele Wong to work on establishing a landmark science center in downtown Sacramento called Powerhouse Science Center. It will be visible from I-5 when passing downtown, and should open by 2011. I’ll post a link in coming months.
The Powerhouse effort is the beginning of a new way to celebrate the breakthroughs coming out of our region in green energy/technology, food science, biotech, and other areas.
We are engaging the corporate community and large employers as partners in the solution. We want success to mean better test scores, job growth, more local tech and science innovation and — best of all — a lifelong love of science and technology among Sacramento region kids and young adults.