What Needs to Happen to Keep Utah’s Economy Rolling?


On part of this week’s Inside Utah Politics, Val Hale, Executive Director, Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, joined Glen Mills to discuss Utah’s economy and opportunities for future growth. 

Utah’s Economy – Utah has and continues to see unprecedented success
  • Utah’s economy is strong.
  • We have the fourth most diverse economy in the nation.
  • We see growth in several sectors, from the software and tech industry to financial services.
  • Utah strives to create a predictable and productive business-friendly environment.
  • The state of Utah is fiscally prudent and one of only a few states to hold a Triple-A bond rating from all three rating agencies since they began tracking.
  • Utah’s corporate tax rate has not risen in nearly 20 years.
  • Gov. Herbert has made a best practice to eliminate unnecessary and outdated business regulations.
  • At the end of the day, the secret to our success is our people.
  • Utah has the youngest state in the nation.
  • Utahns are highly-educated and skilled.
  • Utahns speak more than 120 languages in daily business.
  • Our culture and work ethic play an important role.
  • CEO magazine ranked Utah the no. 1 state for workforce quality this year. According to the ranking, sixty percent of companies with an out-of-state presence said their Utah employees are more productive than their out-of-state counterparts.
Utah’s Trade & Business Climate
  • Utah is one of the few states in the U.S. with an export surplus.
  • Gov. Herbert set a goal to increase value-added exports to $9 billion by 2020.
  • In 2015, Utah had more than $7.4 billion in value-added exports, and we expect the upward trend to continue.
  • Utah is a “globally-minded” state, and we welcome foreign investment and international trade.
  • While the political winds are changing in Washington, Utah strives to create a predictable and productive business-friendly environment.
Legislative Issues
  • Economic Development Opportunities in Rural Utah
  • The governor has pledged to not rest until all 29 counties and all 245 cities and towns in Utah are participants in Utah’s economic success.
  • During the State of the State the governor announced a goal of creating 25,000 new jobs in the 25 counties off the Wasatch Front over the next four years.
  • We have challenges to overcome in some areas of our state.
  • We are working with the Rural Partnership Board, private sector, the legislature to ensure all Utahns have the same economic opportunities.
  • Utah is the fastest growing state in the nation, and we have a responsibility to grow our economy-not just today, but for the benefit of future generations.
Building Utah’s Workforce – Talent Ready Utah
  • Regardless of the industry, the businesses we work with tell us the same thing: they cannot find enough skilled workers to fill their jobs. From welders to medical technicians to expert drivers, every industry has a strong need for workforce.
  • During the State of the State the governor announced Talent Ready Utah to help fill 40,000 new high-skill, high-paying jobs over the next four years.
  • Talent Ready Utah is initiative to grow partnerships to align business and education to expand career and industry opportunities statewide for adult education and training.
  • Over the next four years Talent Ready Utah will recruit hundreds of businesses across Utah to partner with and invest in local education.
  • The two main goals of Talent Ready Utah are:
  1. Increase the number of employers who invest in work-based learning partnerships with education.
  2. Increase the number of new high-demand, high-wage jobs in the state by training skilled workers for those occupations.
  • Industry leaders in aerospace manufacturing, diesel tech and life science have led the way in creating innovative work-based learning programs that connect high school students with education pathways to good, high-paying jobs – our Pathways programs.
  • This last week, the Lt. Governor announced the expansion of the Utah Aerospace Pathways program to the Ogden school district.
Corporate Recruitment
  • Corporate recruitment accelerates business growth and job creation through sustainable, industry-focused strategic approach by expanding or relocating businesses.
  • GOED is a facilitator and our role is to connect local leaders with the resources and individuals who can bring strategic business and job opportunities to their communities.
  1. Economic Development Tax Increment Financing, or EDTIF, uses a post-performance model to protect taxpayer dollars.
  2. When people discuss corporate incentives, they often say that we should move money from corporate incentives and put it toward other priorities.
  3. The truth is, there is no money.
  4. It’s simple: A company must generate state revenue before they can receive the post-performance tax credit rebate.
  • Application to the EDTIF program is an intricate process, but the basic requirements for a company to qualify include:
  1. Creating at least 50 new jobs
  2. Creating high wages by paying at least 110 percent of the county average wage
  3. Securing an incentive from the local municipality
  4. Capital investment is also considered.
  • GOED uses an extensive vetting process to make sure we are incentivizing high-paying jobs and growth that will benefit communities statewide.
  • The review process involves more than just GOED-business and local community leaders are an integral part of the process.
  • We value transparency. The review process includes discussion in an open and public setting on multiple levels including:
  1. At the local level
  2. And at the GOED board meeting
  3. The GOED Board deliberates each incentive in an open and public meeting, followed by a public

To connect with Hale, click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Utah VP Debate

More Utah Debate