Tech support earns local legislator honor
A local legislator is being honored as a “technology champion” at the 2012 Governor's Celebration of Innovation Awards Nov. 8 in Phoenix.
The Arizona Technology Council and the Arizona Commerce Authority will fete Sen. Don Shooter (R-Yuma) as one of Arizona's Tech Ten Legislators for his role in supporting technology in Arizona. The awards will be handed out at the governor's gala with the theme “100 Years of Innovation: 1912-2012.”
ATC, a trade association that works to advance technology in Arizona, noted Shooter has supported legislation relating to the refundable research and development tax credit.
“Shooter stormed onto the legislative scene in 2010 as an unknown from Yuma. Two years later we recognize his contributions to Arizona Technology Council members for his work as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee,” explained the ATC in a press release.
“You have to be someone special to advance to one of the most important legislative posts in less than two years. Shooter was a standard bearer for our legislation to expand the refundable research and development tax credit.”
Shooter noted the reason he supports tech-friendly legislation. “We need to attract the technology industry over from California and bring in some super high-paying jobs and all the peripheral support jobs. Anything I can do to encourage more jobs.”
Shooter is currently working on two tech-related projects for Yuma. He is working with local school officials to bring fiber-optic internet to schools in Yuma.
“This will connect them to all research institutes in the world, not just the U.S. This means a math student in Yuma can be tutored by a graduate student at MIT in real time. Kids can sit in front of the screen, much like a video conference, but with no lag,” Shooter said.
“We can bring the knowledge of all the universities in the world to Yuma,” he added.
The second project involves establishing high school trade and technology school in Yuma.
“Not everyone will go to university. This is a way for us to give them a trade and a way to earn a living,” he said, adding that Yuma County is the only one in Arizona without a trade school.
This fits in with the goal of Arizona Commerce Authority, the state's economic development agency, according to president and CEO Sandra Watson.
“Arizona's progressive leadership and pro-business policies are aimed at attracting the world's most innovative minds and advancing the most cutting-edge companies,” Watson said.
“We applaud those who continue to lead the charge in accelerating Arizona's business technologies and ensuring our state's global competitiveness.”
Steven G. Zylstra, president and CEO of the ATC, said Shooter and the other honorees “have all been vigorous advocates for effective policies that support research and development, create jobs, drive Arizona's economy and educate our technology workforce.”
Mara Knaub can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (928) 539-6856. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSMaraKnaub or on Twitter at @YSMaraKnaub.