The new congressman representing the northern California district where tech giants like Google and Facebook and Apple are based recently visited Eastern Kentucky to meet former coal miners training to be mobile app developers. Rep. Ro Khanna talked to Fast Company about his experience and the lessons he learned about how Silicon Valley can build bridges with “Silicon Holler,” as that part of Appalachia is called.
“We can do a better job—to bring them into the 21st-century economy. And how are we going to provide a middle-class life for them? For me, that means investing in the apprenticeship and training programs. Creating partnerships that rewire labor markets so that people are getting the right skills and employers are taking a chance on those skills.”