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Minister heads to U.S. to promote, grow B.C.’s tech sector

March 9, 2023 at 9:03 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

To help B.C.’s technology and innovation sector attract world-class talent and to ensure B.C. continues to be a global innovation powerhouse, Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation, will lead a five-day trade mission to the United States.

“We know B.C. tech companies are looking for skilled talent,” said Bailey. “That’s why I’m taking our StrongerBC Economic Plan on the road to show the world B.C.’s competitive advantage as a diversified economy where innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship can flourish.”

Starting Friday, March 10, 2023, Bailey’s trade mission will travel to Austin, Texas, and San Francisco, Calif. In Austin, Bailey will lead a delegation at South by Southwest, one of the world’s largest technology and innovation conferences, celebrating the convergence of tech, film, music, education and culture.

“As a province, we’re embracing innovation and frontier technology like we never have before, showing that we can be bold and proud to share our stories,” said Dan Burgar, co-founder and CEO, Frontier Collective. “Now it’s time that we embrace our regional and economic strengths like we never have before. We’re absolutely thrilled to have Minister Bailey join us as we put Vancouver and B.C. on the global stage and continue to push economic development, investment and attraction to our province.”

Along with Ken Sim, mayor of Vancouver, and Gerri Sinclair, B.C.’s innovation commissioner, Bailey will participate in South by Southwest’s Vancouver Activation Day and deliver remarks at Canada House to showcase B.C. as a destination for investment and an attractive market for tech talent.

“Vancouver is emerging as a global hub for technology, innovation and creativity,” said Ken Sim, mayor of Vancouver. “We’re excited to be showcasing the opportunities that our city and province have to offer the world.”

The U.S. trade mission will include meetings with leading private enterprises, venture capital firms and government officials, as well as organizations of technology professionals, including the Digital Moose Lounge, a community of Canadians in the Bay Area.

Bailey will also participate at the World Agri-Tech Innovation Summit in San Francisco to showcase B.C.’s advances in agricultural technology, including a B.C. Centre for Agritech Innovation that is helping to improve food security, while creating hundreds of good-paying jobs. Other trade mission highlights include meetings with the Canadian Texas Chamber of Commerce, the Silicon Valley Bank and the Canadian Consul Generals of Dallas and San Francisco.

Technology is one of B.C.’s fastest-growing sectors, with more than 11,000 companies employing more than 131,000 people. In 2020-21, Vancouver led North America for tech job growth.

The most-recent Labour Market Outlook forecasts as many as one million job openings in B.C. in the next decade, with slightly more than 11% of those jobs in science and tech.

As part of the StrongerBC Economic Plan and to further support businesses to access talented employees, the Province is going to continue to expand investments to support access to post-secondary education, skills training and career resources through the Future Ready action plan.  

Future Ready is making education and training more accessible, affordable and relevant to help businesses grow and prepare British Columbians for the jobs of tomorrow.

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