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Businesses Ask Governor To Prioritize Technology, I-69

Bloomington business owners are urging Governor Mike Pence to complete Interstate 69 and put more resourcing to the defense and technology industries. That was a key message during a roundtable discussion held Thursday.

Pence met with business leaders to gauge what his administration can do to encourage economic growth in the region. He says the economy is one of his top priorities as governor.

“All of our focus since I was sworn into office is to marshal the resources of our state to develop the kind of budget, and develop the kind of policies to seize the moment to get our economy going again,” he says.

Pence has been traveling the state, presenting his plan to boost the Hoosier economy to representatives of Indiana companies of all sizes.

Ari Vidali is the Founder and CEO of ENVISAGE Technologies Corporation. He says Pence left out one important thing on his much touted ‘road map’ to economic success.

“Noticeable absent was the IT sector, which is where a lot of innovation will come from, and a lot of the jobs of the future, the high paying jobs of the future, will be in technology.” Vidali says.

Many of the company representatives who were at the meeting say information technology is a driving force in their business plans, and retaining talent has been a major source of frustration in recent years. To remedy that disconnect, Pence says he wants to bolster the state’s image to encourage young, highly educated workers to stay in Indiana after college.

Businesses that sit along the slated route for I-69 also asked the governor to do what he could to complete the interstate as soon as possible.

Aaricka Washington contributed to this report.

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