Gov. Herbert congratulates whiz kids | ParkRecord.com

Gov. Herbert congratulates whiz kids

Andrew Kirk, OF THE RECORD STAFF

Park City hosted a world championship earlier this week with more than 50 contenders from over 20 countries.

The finalists beat out nearly 100,000 participants worldwide to be hosted at Silver Lake this week and congratulated by Utah Governor Gary Herbert.

The contestants, mostly teenagers, were showing off their skills at Microsoft Office Word and Excel.

Giving out Microsoft Office certifications is the main business of Certiport, an American Fork company that organizes the annual world championship. Despite its nearby headquarters, this was Park City’s first time hosting the event.

The students as young as 13 began by completing tests at their respective schools. Kids who achieved the highest scores in the least amount of time progressed until the field was narrowed to 50 or so for the world championship.

According to a Certiport press release, winning can have a major impact on the students’ resumes and college applications.

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Having announced the creation of a new Adobe campus in Utah with 1,000 new jobs just four days prior, Governor Herbert took advantage of the event to promote Utah’s goals in attracting technology companies to Utah.

Citing athletic accomplishments of his own and members of his family, Herbert said that having a vision to succeed is necessary to winning competitions. Part of his vision is bringing more technology companies to Utah.

"We are a pioneer state Utah has developed and blossomed as a rose because of our pioneer forefathers," he said. "What can we do to grow the economy?"

Herbert said developing meaningful and marketable skills, like computer literacy, is necessary.

"We have been the birthplace of many companies on the forefront of high-tech innovation," he said.

Herbert named Atari, Word Perfect, Novell, Altiris and Omniture as examples, mentioning Twitter’s recent decision to locate a data center in the Salt Lake Valley.

"Utah recognizes and appreciates the high-tech aspects of its growing economy," he said.

He also mentioned Utah’s many laurels for being business friendly and a livable state.


View Certiport World Championships in a larger map