'2,000 jobs will be created': Tour highlights fast-growing, high-paying Eugene tech sector
EUGENE, Ore. - Matt Sayre places three pieces of paper on a table and fires up an app.
"Check this out," he says. "So we're just looking through this phone."
A map of Eugene comes to life.
A castle rises from a flat image to a three-dimensional structure.
And an image of a monster opens up a portal to another world via augmented reality.
This technology from Eugene startup Glimmer shares a "wow" factor with the downtown tech scene.
"It's a giant day for our community and especially the tech sector," Sayre said.
Thursday evening is the second-ever Eugene Tech Tour, showcasing the local economy's fastest growing sector - which just also happens to be the highest paying sector.
"There are openings for things like web developer or HR administrator, sales, marketing," said Sayre, with the Technology Association of Oregon.
Already, 5,000 people work in the local high tech sector, a $329 million segment of the Eugene/Springfield economy.
And tech is on the grow.
"Twenty-eight percent job growth over the next 10 years," Sayre said. "That means over 2,000 jobs will be created."
The current average wage in the local tech sector? Over $74,000 a year.
The tour includes companies like Arcimoto, now publicly traded after an initial public offering. The company plans to start construction on a 30,000 square foot production facility in Eugene.
"We're just coming up for air from our IPO, that turned out almost twice as large as we had originally aimed for," Arcimoto president Mark Frohnmayer said. "Arcimoto has a lot to celebrate and so does Eugene's tech sector."
And thanks to an expanded, publicly owned gigabit fiber network in downtown Eugene, Sayre believes the high tech industry has an unlimited upside.
"A lot of us want to not be the next Silicon Valley," he said. "What we do want is to be the best version of Eugene."
The Downtown Eugene Tech Tour kicks off at 5 p.m. in Broadway Plaza downtown.
From 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., registered participants can tour dozens of local tech companies in Eugene.