Interview with Becky Edwards: Tech Space, Entrepreneurship and Education
March 21, 2022
We had the opportunity to speak with Becky Edwards, US Senate candidate for the state of Utah. We discussed certain topics regarding the tech space, education, training, and growing opportunities for underrepresented communities.
Becky Edwards: Thanks again for the opportunity to be together, and I do consider, V School friends and as people that I really want to be in a position to help and support the good things happening here and your students and everything else. So my name's Becky Edwards. I served in the Utah house for 10 years as a legislator from Davis county. But right now, most importantly, I'm running for the US Senate seat here in Utah. I'm running because I feel like we need to have a voice that reflects the future of Utah.
We need to have a voice that works in a productive, proactive, and inclusive way to really represent the principles that I think have made the state great, and what we need more of going forward, which is supporting the good things that are happening in communities around Tech, around entrepreneurship specific to this conversation.
V School: Becky, the last two events that we previously have done, we have a partnership and worked really close with, Women Tech Council, and Tech Moms, and She-Tech, and we had two events back to back and you were there, in support, speaking to these future students, to females, to women in the workplace. Is amazing to see a representative Utah share the same love and passions that we do at V school, help people get into education, get into tech and to be, a driver within the state of Utah, thank you for being there.
Becky Edwards: She-tech event was pretty remarkable. It was, I think over 2000 high school students from across the state, I had a chance to sit at a table and, kind of mentor a group that represented five different counties and, you know, large schools, small schools from some, from remote and rural parts of the state. And this was a huge deal for them to feel the solidarity of like, "Hey, I'm not alone. I care. I'm good at this kind of stuff. I'm kind of good at coding. I like this. I want to get involved. What does my future look like?" And just minds blown with opportunities. That was an amazing thing.
And then at the Tech Moms to see women coming to tech and having some pretty short term training and education that just is, was like a massive pivot for them, for their families. And really honestly, for generations, so across the spectrum,
I think there are opportunities to be developed there, with veterans, of course we have hill air force base here, but we have, opportunity to really provide some chances for people to take the skills that they had in, in the military and add like a tech overlay to that. And with those two things combined: unstoppable.
V School: Someone just asked in the chat, what would day one look like and what would day one hundred look like if you were our Senator?
Becky Edwards: I want to start right in on and have conversations around some of what I call family economic prosperity. These are things that matter to families and parents and, a lot of women, what are barriers that they're facing? How can we remove those? How can we help support their journey?, to be what we already know is happening as a women's role, being economic drivers here in, in the country, and certainly here in Utah, and to provide opportunities for them to join, what is our fastest growing sector in something that has wages and opportunities for growth and that's within technology.
V School: How could companies like ours, How could vocational schools like ours, or how could education as a whole, partner with the government to help more people?
Becky Edwards: We do need a champion in, in both on the state level, but also on the federal level, someone who's understands the importance of, education, our economy, technology, entrepreneurship, startups, all of this, we need to have someone who's deeply engaged in these.
What, what I think part of our challenge here in Utah has been is that, that our applied technology colleges have been kind of separate from our other institutions of higher education, I think we've had this idea in, in Utah that "maybe technology is just something you kind of learn along the way, right? And you couldn't possibly learn to be a plumber along the way, right?" That's something you'd actually need to go to school for.
You need to have those skills and those training, but apprenticeships, mentoring, every bit as important. You do need someone who understands, how to build relationships, how to tell the story. So telling those stories, building relationships, and then getting down to the hard work of, championing and making sure that you have an advocate, it makes a huge difference. And I want to be in that position. So I can do that because I, I think it's, it's not happening now. And it's also never been more important.
Becky Edwards: About veterans, how can we partner around this group? How can we partner around diversity, a diverse population here and make sure that the opportunities to rethink what, what higher education looks like?, How can we that and make sure that we're intentionally inclusive for all these groups who really bring incredible life experiences, incredible skillsets to the table. It's so needed in, in tech, in general, but specifically, here in Utah, I think having someone who really works in that space well is really important.
Visit Becky Edwards' website to learn more about her background, her campaign, and how you can get involved. https://beckyforutah.com/
Local to Salt Lake City?
Join us Friday, March 25th For Funders & Founders w/ Becky & The State of Tech @ Blue Gene's
Come meet Candidate for US Senate, Becky Edwards.
Hear her vision for Tech, Education, and Startups within our great state of Utah.
Hosted by V School & Friends Location: Blue Gene's 239 S 500, SLC UT (21 and over)
5pm - Drinks and Mingle
6pm - Meet Becky