Addressing the labor shortage: Salt Lake Community College graduates record setting 4,600 students

In a recent trip to Chicago, EDCUtah COO Mike Flynn gained some valuable insight from some prominent site selectors.

One of the key takeaways was site selectors, and the companies they represent, are not interested in why Utah’s or other states’ labor market is tight, they want to know what local leaders are doing to infuse the area with more talent for these companies to hire.

“As Utah’s unemployment and underemployment rates continue to fall we will continue to get questions and concerns from companies regarding the availability of talented labor,” said Flynn. “Communicating not only the programs in place to add more talent but also the success of these programs will be crucial to our continued success adding jobs to the state.”

On Friday, May 5th, the success of one of those programs was seen as Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) celebrated its largest-ever graduating class. The 4,700 graduates ranged in age from 16 to 79, representing 86 countries and 36 states, collectively earning 5,766 degrees and certificates.

“I hope during your time at SLCC, you have been challenged and nudged to identify constructs, ideals, values, and disciplines you care about,” said SLCC President Deneece G. Huftalin as she addressed the graduates. “Our world, our nation, our state, our country, your neighborhood awaits you. It awaits the tremors you will create.”

The 4,700 graduates will move on to jobs or further their education. In either scenario, they are a critical component of the talent pipeline in the state. As SLCC continues to elevate the level of education they provide to more than 60,000 students each year, they will be a leader in addressing the talent shortage in the state. We look forward to working with President Huftalin and other community partners to continue Utah’s consistent ranking as the best state for business.