Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist Continues U.P. Trip in Marquette

October 25, 2021

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - On Wednesday morning, Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist visited Northern Michigan University, focusing on the importance of secure and equal internet access for all. He looked to Highline Internet as an example of a step in the right direction for connecting all Michigan residents.

The Lt. Gov. also spoke with the Upper Peninsula Cybersecurity Institute about the necessity for increased security when expanding access, and the growing number of job opportunities in the field. Director Doug Miller says the meeting was encouraging. “{Garlin is} extremely knowledgeable on cybersecurity, computer science, and the topics that we talk about,” Miller said. “It’s fun when someone like that comes in and you get to have a really good conversation with him.”

“As our communities and our industries and our systems get more connected and integrated, the more attractive targets for cyber criminals,” the Lt. Gov. said. “We need to continue to build on Michigan’s leadership, as we’ve shown in the country, for us training the next round of cybersecurity professionals to fill the 3,000,000-person job gap in the cybersecurity industry in America.”

Gilchrist says the state should continue investing in internet connectivity and programs for the cybersecurity professionals of tomorrow to make Michiganders’ lives easier. “The fact that they’re delivering that quality to people across the U.P. shows that we can have equitable service to internet and opportunity everywhere in Michigan if we invest in it, if we make that choice,” said Gilchrist.

Gilchrist heard the obstacles many face in acquiring access and says it is a problem that has to be solved. “This is the biggest opportunity we’ve had to expand access to the internet since the internet was invented,” he stated. “If we don’t meet this moment, then shame on us. So we’re going to step up and get it done.”