First Mark Zuckerberg, now Tim Cook: Can any top tech CEO get through 2017 without doing a tour of “The Heartland”? This week, the Apple CEO made pit stops in Cincinnati, Ohio; Waukee, Iowa; and Austin, Texas. While Zuck’s has been traveling around the U.S. to fulfill his personal New Year’s Resolution (or to set the groundwork for a run for office, as some might believe), Cook was strictly business.

In Ohio, Cook visited with a local manufacturer that creates testing equipment used to help iPhones stay water-resistant. In Iowa, he announced that Apple would be building a new Apple data center in Waukee. In Texas, he visited the Capital Factory — a coworking space, accelerator, and educational center for entrepreneurs in Austin — and announced a partnership with Austin Community College to make its App Development with Swift curriculum available to its students. Cook roped in high-profile CEOs like Bumble’s Whitney Wolfe and RetailMeNot’s Cotter Cunningham to show off the apps their teams have created.

Reaction to Cook’s mini-Heartland tour has been mixed. Some have criticized Cook’s call for tech companies to increase their geographical diversity as Apple touts its data centers — which typically employ a few hundred people at most once they are at full capacity — as its main investment in the Heartland.

The issue of how to bring tech jobs to the Heartland that are on par with ones found in Silicon Valley is one we’ll continue to explore in the Heartland tech section. But at the very least, tech CEOs are realizing that talk of investing in the U.S. is becoming an important part of the public relations playbook in 2017.

Please send feedback, news tips, or story suggestions to me via email — bookmark our Heartland Tech Channel, and please remember to share these #HeartlandTech stories on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Thanks for reading,

Anna Hensel

Heartland Tech Reporter

PS, Please enjoy this video from USA Today, “Apple CEO Tim Cook visits Cincinnati manufacturer


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