PRINCE GEORGE –Technology Skills Appreciation Week, March 21-25, recognizes the importance of technology skills and the contribution of employers and workers who use technology every day.

To commemorate the week, Prince George MLAs Shirley Bond and Mike Morris visited Angler’s Atlas to learn about their innovative approach, their challenges as a technology startup company and the successes they have achieved to date.

Established by Sean Simmons in 1999, Angler’s Atlas, owned by Prince George-based Goldstream Publishing Inc., provides detailed maps depth charts and GPS data to members. Angler’s Atlas also works with a number of partners, including tackle shops and fishing resorts. Members contribute their pictures comments and map markers.

“It was great to be able to meet with Sean, (production co-ordinator) Kathy Buhler and their team to better understand the vision they have for their company,” said Bond. “It was also exciting to learn that the majority of the staff are UNBC graduates, a fantastic example of why our northern university is so important to creating strong local companies.”

“Technology plays a critical role in how we do business in this day and age,” said Morris. “Here in Prince George, our technology organizations provide great contributions to other sectors of our local economy, including tourism and natural resource development.”

“Our firm builds technology platforms that cater to the fishing and hunting communities. The Angler’s Atlas is our primary business and it focuses on the sportfishing market,” Angler’s Atlas president Sean Simmons said. “We have developed an online platform that provides detailed maps and information for over a quarter million lakes and rivers across North America. Our firm has developed a geospatial technology over the past decade that allows us to manage large geospatial databases, ensuring every piece of data about fishing is connected to location.”

Technology Skills Appreciation Week supports the #BCTECH Strategy and B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint.

In January, the B.C. government released the full #BCTECH Strategy which further supports the growth of B.C.’s vibrant technology sector. The multi-year strategy focuses access to capital for promising companies, talent development and market access. The multi-year strategy provides a $100-million BC Tech Fund to give entrepreneurs and tech startups in B.C. the opportunity to access the capital they need to grow. It aligns training with the sector’s needs so employers across B.C. have the talent they need. It provides ideas to make it easier for businesses to find the information and services they need to get their goods and services to new markets.

The technology sector directly employs more than 86,000 people. Wages for those jobs are 60 per cent higher than B.C.’s industrial average. B.C.’s technology sector is growing faster than the overall economy. In 2013, it grew at a rate of 4.7 per cent, a higher rate than the 3.2 per cent growth observed in B.C.’s economy. In 2013, the technology sector added $13.9 billion to B.C.’s GDP. B.C.’s 9,000 technology companies combined generated $23.3 billion in revenue in 2013. New technology companies are emerging at increasing rates throughout the province. In 2013, there was an addition of more than 700 new technology companies in B.C., an increase of 8 per cent over the prior year.

Learn More about the #BCTECH Strategy: www.bctechstrategy.ca  and BC Innovation Council: www.bcic.ca.

For more information about B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, visit https://www.workbc.ca/Training-Education/B-C-s-Skills-for-Jobs-Blueprint/Learn-about-Blueprint.aspx.