Gov. Mike Leavitt was the featured speaker at an in-house trade show at the 3Com plant in Salt Lake City Thursday.

The manufacturing plant west of the airport began as Megahertz Corp. and was a market leader in the manufacture of PCMCIA modems for laptop computers. Modem giant US Robotics bought out Megahertz three years ago; and even larger computer communications giant 3Com bought out US Robotics last year.Leavitt, one day after launching the virtual Western Governors University, which will rely heavily on the Internet, said he related to 3Com's "more connected" theme for its trade show. Computer interconnection is bringing people closer together, he said.

The Salt Lake facility is one of two 3Com facilities that builds the company's Palm Pilot and is still manufacturing PCMCIA modems for laptops - 4.3 million of them this year, said Jef Graham, vice president and general manager of 3Com's mobile communications division.

3Com claims the dominant share of the international markets for modems, LAN cards and other computer-to-computer hardware.