50-city Tech Jobs Tour stops in Louisville

The 50-city Tech Jobs Tour swung through Louisville Wednesday during a 48-hour blitz that focused on Appalachia. The event, which is promotes diversity and inclusion in hiring, took place at the Copper & Kings Distillery in Butchertown.

Headlined by President Obama’s Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith and journalist and co-founder of Recode, Kara Swisher, the event included speeches, speed mentoring and a job fair that focused on attracting diversity.

While Smith laid down a slew of facts about how diversity in tech jobs allows companies to create better, more inclusive products and experiences, Swisher came hard with her “grumpy lady of tech” persona (that’s her Twitter bio, by the way).

Smith highlighted companies that advanced women and people of color to the company’s benefit. She shared stories, too, of young people — not yet out of high school or younger — who are already creating innovative products. Smith encouraged companies to employ data scientists the way they employ lawyers and copywriters.

Swisher shared revealing anecdotes about Silicon Valley superstars. She said that Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, is “very nice” and that serial entrepreneur Elon Musk is “weird.”

Artificial intelligence eventually will replace millions and millions of jobs, she said. “Do not let your kid be a radiologist,” Swisher said. “There will be no radiologists.” She urged parents to encourage their children to seek careers where creativity is a factor, something that cannot (yet) be replaced by AI.

Smith and Swisher’s keynotes were followed by a panel of local entrepreneurs from tech companies, each giving a one-minute speech about how they were willing to help potential job-seekers. (Video below)

The job fair featured eight local tech companies that had positions available.