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Technology Forum Address Rural Iowa Issues

September 07, 2019 11:54 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- J.D. Scholten held a rural technology forum with Silicon Valley Representative Ro Khanna, Saturday in Mason City.

“The idea that a farmer is just on his tractor is so outdated. Farmers actually are the most sophisticated about technology,” Khanna said.

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“In this district, we need that 60, 70, 80,000 dollar jobs. Those are the jobs that are going to be game-changers and technology is at the forefront of a lot of those jobs,” said Scholten.

Plans were discussed for expanding broadband access, bridging the rural-urban divide and rural revitalization in Iowa through the creation of good, high-paying technology jobs and hubs.

“We discussed what are we going to do to make sure people stay here. J.D. mentioned that one of unfortunately Iowa’s biggest exports has been their children. Kids shouldn’t have to leave to get good opportunities. We need to bring those job opportunities here,” said Khanna.

“Iowa State graduated in 2017, 1400 students that could go into technology, a year later, 2018, only 258 were still working in Iowa, which is 18%. So as much as we export in corn, soybeans, hogs, wind energy, we export our children and we need to have a better return in investment,” Scholten said.

Scholten also mentioned that on occasion Iowa State University has a difficult time recruiting athletes because of the controversy surround Congressman Steve King. He also says that the economic board struggles to bring in jobs to the fourth district because of the conduct of King.

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Brett Bachtle

Copyright 2019 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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