“Jobs, Jobs and more Jobs” – that’s the mantra I hear on a daily basis working with Governor Herbert. I heard this mantra again yesterday at the Governor’s Economic Development Summit. For the Governor it really is all about job creation and providing opportunity for Utah’s individuals and families. The Job Creation “cornerstone” relates directly to the Governor’s Vision Statement that “Utah will lead the nation as the best performing economy and be recognized as a premier global business destination.”
Hundreds of business and civic leaders gathered in downtown Salt Lake City for the Sixth Annual Summit to discuss how to make that Vision Statement a reality. The various keynote speakers and breakout session presenters offered their informed opinions on the state of Utah’s economy and provided practical advise to employers on how to continue their forward momentum coming out of the Great Recession.
My favorite breakout session title was “The Nation Does Not Have a Credible Jobs Plan – Utah as a Model for the Nation” (provided by Dr. Ron Pollina of the famed Pollina Corporate rankings). Dr. Pollina is right on – Utah is a model for the Nation – a model that is credible because it is simple, realistic and based on proven free-market principles.
The Governor’s economic development plan is focused on the goal of “accelerating private sector job creation of 100,000 jobs in 1,000 days.” (You can track our progress and read the entire plan at www.utahjobsplan.com). The key word in the goal is “accelerating” because the government’s role is to support, not supplant, the private sector in creating jobs.
This proper role is described in the four economic development objectives:
Objective 1: Strengthen and grow existing Utah businesses, both urban and rural.
Objective 2: Increase innovation, entrepreneurship and investment.
Objective 3: Increase national and international business.
Objective 4: Prioritize education to develop the workforce of the future.
To accomplish these objectives, the Governor has set the following specific Action Items for his 2012 workplan:
1. Reduce the tax burden on Utah’s employers and spur new hiring by reducing the unemployment insurance rate.
2. Assist the growth of companies in rural Utah by extending the Business Expansion and Retention program to all rural counties.
3. Double exports over the next five years by increasing outreach and technical assistance to Utah companies to expand international markets.
4. Align public sector job training and placement efforts with private sector demands and workforce needs.
5. Increase the number of Utah start-up companies by improving access to seed funding.
6. Develop a world-class, one-stop-shop for business resources by revamping the structure, collaboration, and service delivery statewide.
7. Continue to recruit new companies to the state and market Utah as the “best place for business”.
8. Ensure a vibrant business environment and maintain Utah’s AAA bond-rating through continuous regulatory reform and fiscally prudent management of state government.
Having the discipline to accomplish these Action Items will provide the fertile field and stable environment for our hard-working entrepreneurs and employers to continue to create jobs, Jobs and more JOBS!