Tech Tours tapping into Vancouvers hidden tech workforce

first_imgIt might have looked a little like speed-dating.Stationed in Vancouver bars and offices Tuesday evening, people traded quick handshakes, introductions or business cards. Mark Tishenko, president of local cybersecurity firm Edge Networks, held down a table at Main Event Sports Grill. Barely above the volume of sports on TV, he said he was “getting to meet a lot of great people.”“It seems like a lot of them are technology focused, which is great,” he said.The night was Vancouver’s debut tech tour, a meet-and-greet for tech companies and prospective employees. Sponsored by the Technology Association of Oregon, it’s a popular annual event for companies on the south side of the Columbia River. But on Tuesday it was Vancouver’s turn to showcase 19 local companies scattered across the downtown area and talk with a combined 100 registrants, per local organizers.As software development, advanced manufacturing and other high-tech industries take on greater prevalence, many believe Clark County is already positioned for the future. But even with a wealth of talented programmers and advanced manufacturers, many feel the community has been too loose-knit. So, Tuesday seemed to be a matchmaking for the two sides of the Vancouver tech scene – workers and companies.“I’ve always felt that there’s got to be a bunch of people in tech here,” said Cary Fender, a Vancouver resident who works from home for a Chicago-based maker of payroll software. “I mean, how many people go over the (Interstate 5) Bridge every day?”New initiativesExecutives such as Eric Preisz of Graham Software Development and Dave Barcos of The Bridge Incubator hope to lead the effort to keep more technology workers in Clark County. They helped orchestrate the event alongside WorkSource Southwest Washington.last_img read more

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