Picture 2As reported in The Closing Bell, Louisville could be on the verge of an economic development coup should it be able to land the U.S. operations of Australia-based Computershare.

The company appears to be very interested in Louisville, albeit with one potential caveat. Multiple sources have suggested the deal is contingent on the company’s ability to find the necessary IT talent locally.

While the city and region have made tremendous strides in nurturing tech startups, a graphic in BloombergBusinessweek last month indicates the state is not producing a critical mass of IT talent.

The graphic is a map titled “Tech Immigrants: A Map of Silicon Valley’s Imported Talent” and breaks down the average annual influx of domestic and international émigrés to the IT capital of the world.

Kentucky ranks No. 74 as a source of talent for the Valley, right behind Iraq and just ahead of El Salvador, Eastern Africa and Northern Africa.

Yikes.

Massachusetts, where promising Louisville startup Backupify landed in 2009 after running into a talent shortage locally, places No. 15 on the list. Regional competitors Ohio, Tennessee and Indiana come in at No. 19,  No. 43 and No. 54, respectively.

Also of demographic interest is the influence of globalization on the Silicon Valley:

• Asian-Americans make up slightly more than 50 percent of the workforce;

• Indian-Americans found one-third of startups;

• Fifty-one percent of the local population speaks a language other than English at home;

• Mexico (No. 1), the Philippines, China, Japan and South Korea all rank in the top 20 as sources of tech immigrants.

We’re rooting for Computershare to find the talent they need locally. Fingers and toes crossed.

But in order to land coups like Computershare, Kentucky universities need to start producing more graduates with degrees in the STEM fields, or the city of Louisville needs to figure out how to make itself a more attractive option for immigrants with similar skill sets.

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Albrecht Stahmer
Albrecht is your typical Paraguayan-born German-American raised primarily in good ol' Louisville after moving here at the age of six. He currently calls Singapore home and has also lived and worked in New York, Miami, Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Tokyo, but is proud to call the River City his hometown. He writes on things he sees in his travels and how they relate to Louisville. In his spare time, he works as a management consultant and scours the globe in pursuit of the world's best bourbon bars.