Blog // Connect Nevada

The Summit Series #3: Wired For Success - Nevada In Action

By Jeremy Thacker

The Summit Series - #3: Lynn O'Mara on Opportunity Knocking

Opportunity is knocking hard and fast according to Nevada Health Information Technology Coordinator Lynn O’Mara.

In this third installment of our 6-week blog series, Wired For Success: Nevada In Action, O’Mara’s presentation at the state’s history-making broadband summit made it clear that it’s never been a better time to be a “Geek.”

“We’re going to need somewhere in the neighborhood of about five-thousand folks – five-thousand professionals by about 2016. That also includes an estimate of what we’re going to need for all the new broadband capability that’s going in and even some other supporting services that involve IT. Right now, we think maybe we have a third of that. A third! And that’s estimating on the high side. It might be closer to a quarter. We need jobs. We need to support our current businesses and help make sure that they can stay viable and even grow, if that’s what they’d like to do. And we also need to have a good environment in order to attract new businesses that would be formed. The problem is, we need to rapidly grow our workforce, but we don’t have the curriculum and the trained staff, the trained faculty, to do that. There will be opportunities for small business in Nevada then to develop kind of like, you know, when you have to call your plumber to fix you leaky pipes, well if you’ve got a problem with either your health record system or your health information exchange capability, you’re going to want to call somebody to help. You’re not going to have to employ them full-time, all the time, but you are going to need them. So, we kind of need the Geek Squad. You know, I’ve been saying that to groups and they’re like, oh yeah! You want to just be able to pick up the phone and go, look, I’ve got a problem. I need some help. Could you come out and see what’s going on? Or gee, I’ve got to get an upgrade in and I want to shop around to see if I buy the software, maybe you can do it less expensively than my vendor can.”

Health is just one of Nevada’s industry sectors needing more and more broadband access, adoption, and use. Check out Nevada’s Business Technology Assessment to compare how different sectors of industry in the state are currently using high-speed Internet.

Make sure to check back with connectnv.org to stay up to date on this blog series, and follow Connect Nevada on Facebook and Twitter to get all the latest news on our efforts!

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