Legacy Thinking Holding Us Back

By Brent Grening, CEO

New technologies and digital automation require vast amounts of data. Employers of all types are facing this reality as the true impacts come to light. Experts predict that nearly 50 percent of today’s jobs will be automated within 10 years – a staggering thought.

Two aspects are concerning. First, there’s job displacement: How will impacted workers transition to new jobs, where will those jobs be located, and in what industries? Secondly, do we have the infrastructure needed to attract and grow replacement employers and jobs for the next economy?

The speed of technological innovation is outpacing our community’s ability to build broadband infrastructure. The port’s response has been to raise awareness with our legislators in Olympia and Washington DC so we can secure the capital necessary to fund a solution.

We’ve been arguing that we can’t build a 21st century economy on old infrastructure. The stakes are high: Other states and countries are far ahead of us, offering bandwidth, transmission speeds, and connection costs we can’t match.

Our competitors are prepared to attract the innovators, entrepreneurs and talent to build the new economy. This means they will produce the products, services, and businesses that will drive the 21st century. And if we don’t act, we’ll be relegated to being mere consumers.

To compete in the new economy, we must prepare. We can’t let legacy thinking hinder our efforts to build the modern infrastructure necessary to thrive and succeed. Our innovators, entrepreneurs and talent must be able to connect so we’re positioned to compete with anyone, anywhere.

Fast, efficient, reliable connectivity – both digital and also physical, i.e. our transportation system – are key. As your community port our number one job is to get infrastructure right. And that’s what we’re working on.