February 22, 2007
Business and city leaders gathered at the Omni hotel today to discuss a major aspect in the future of Charlottesville.
Harvey Ring traveled all the way from Texas to give insight on how his city has flourished because of technology.
“It (Austin) has very significant technology base. Probably about ten-percent of the population but maybe about 30 percent of the economic activity is due to technology,” said Harvey Ring
He spoke about what Austin has learned in developing its technology base and about what Charlottesville can do to build its own.
“We are hoping that we will gather more interest in developing a cooperation by the strategy of having small tech companies help balance the tourism and retirement that's already strong in our local economy,” said Gary Henry, VPTC Chairman.
VPTC chairman Gary Henry also broke what he called very exciting news.
Henry said, “The city of Charlottesville has been generous enough to partner with us to help market the city of Charlottesville as a destination for technology companies.”
“This is an area of the economy that's relatively low impact and high production and that's the kind of commercial activity we like to see,” said Dave Norris, Charlottesville city councilor.
The city government hopes conversations like these will help build this vital sector of the economy.
“The city council is very interested in seeing us build a robust tech sector in our local economy. Its an engine for job creation, for business development, it's a way to help not only attract high quality workers and employees, but perhaps more importantly how do we keep employees here,” said Norris.
Ring also said that bringing more technology to the area would help develop a more diverse population and help change the culture in town.
He says a mix of cultures is always a good thing to have.