SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Details of Utah’s ‘Utah Leads Together 4.0’ were discussed in the state’s coronavirus briefing on Wednesday along with additional details being released online. The state’s plan lays out actions to take place in the next 100, 250, and 500 days to revitalize the state’s economy.
The state’s first ‘Lead Together Plan’ established three economic phases; the second plan revealed color-coded health guidance as Utah prepared to re-open; the third plan built upon the other two while protecting those most at risk, and now the fourth plan lays out the foundation for the state’s economic recovery.
In Wednesday’s briefing, Governor Gary Herbert also reminded Utahns that everyone still needs to take three things seriously during the next 100, 250, and 500 days of the new plan:
- Following public health guidelines-including social distancing and wearing facemasks in public
- Staying engaged with the economy
- Assisting those in need
In the 4.0 plan, it points out that while Utah has experienced relatively less economic impact when compared to other states, three major opportunities will support Utah’s revitalization efforts:
- Investment Advantage-Utah can invest in infrastructure and people to create a competitive benefit for the state
- Economic Leadership-Utah can assert greater economic leadership regionally, nationally, and globally and increase the state’s economic reach
- Long-term Focus- Utah can avoid ‘short-termism’ and address priorities that benefit the state for generations
The state’s 100-day horizon focuses on workers who remain ‘job-attached’, meaning they anticipate returning to the same job they had pre-pandemic. About 75 percent of Utah’s continued unemployment claimants have filed as ‘job-attached’. According to the state, the longer these employees remain out of work, the more likely that these furloughs will become permanent layoffs. To facilitate the demand of furloughed employees returning to work as soon as possible, the state has laid out these three things:
- Return to work/follow public health guidelines-Help businesses operate safely so Utahns can return to work and operate under the current public health guidelines
- Make job connections-Connect unemployed Utahns with available jobs
- Stimulus-Provide economic assistance using CARES Act and other funding to stimulate economic reactivation
In the 250-day horizon, the state will begin to pivot away from stimulus and recovery actions to lay the groundwork for economic revitalization. The 250-day plan will focus on construction-ready investment and accelerated bonding. This will be done by bolstering efforts concerning transportation, transit, outdoor recreation, water, broadband, and housing. This horizon will also focus on rapid reskilling and upskilling of workers by helping workers improve their credentials, earn certificates, and help people get into one-year graduate programs.
The 500-day horizon focuses on building upon the recommendations for the next 100 and 200 days plans. Actions items for the state include research and prioritizing ten strategic investment options, sharpening focus on economic inclusion, adopting key sector strategy, re-imagining economic development and incentives, and achieving a higher trajectory of global leadership and growth.