Once again a third party organization has recognized Utah’s unique collaboration of education, private industry, workforce development and government. This praise would be a sight for sore eyes in most other states. In Utah, it’s become almost boring.
Now in another ranking, the Brookings Institute has reported that Salt Lake City and Provo have set national growth benchmarks unmatched by other states as it posted the lowest unemployment numbers in the nation, and more critically, that employment growth increased faster in Salt Lake City than in any other large metro area in the country. What is it the Brookings Institute is seeing? An average day in Utah!
“The recipe we’ve made here in Utah is the gold standard for economic development across the nation,” said Governor Gary R. Herbert. “These numbers continue to support our efforts to bring prosperity to all Utahns, but the work is only just beginning.”
There were only three metro areas in the Mountain West that saw accelerated growth— all three are in Utah. The Department of Workforce Services recently reported that private sector job growth was 4.8 percent in February, with nine out of 10 private sector industries posting net job increases.
Work is in the heart and backbone of every Utahn. Residents come from every walk of life, and every corner of the globe. In Utah, it isn’t just small government, it’s good government. Moving forward, the state’s priorities are the education and training of both the current workforce and the workforce of tomorrow.
The Utah Cluster Acceleration Partnership (UCAP) is composed of key partners in education, government and business. In support of Utah’s job growth and training efforts, UCAP will unveil a major funding announcement in early April. The funding is designed to continue the partnership efforts for both new skill development and incumbent worker training.
In education, Utah industry and the STEM Action Center will introduce more than 11,000 students to careers and businesses in science, technology, engineering and math with the cooperation of more than 30 local businesses at the first annual STEM Fest on March 25-27.
In addition to the collaboration between the private and public sectors on workforce development, the state also continues its support for local entrepreneurial petri dishes such as Impact Hub and Church & State, two examples of the many “business incubators” that have launched in the state in recent years.
In Utah, we all want to grow. We want good ideas and dreams to become realities, and we work together to achieve that. The teamwork of our many partnerships is paying off:
- Salt Lake City and Provo have the fastest economic acceleration in the nation
- Utah has the youngest population in the nation
- Developer is the most common job
- Utah is the top nation for volunteering for the ninth year running
- Utah is seventh in the nation for venture capital funding
- Utah ranks fourth in number of startups seeded
- Utah ranks fourth in STEM job growth, with a 36 percent boost in computer operations between 2004 and 2014
- Utah ranks first in quality of healthcare and the fourth lowest in cost
“We’re always happy to see our efforts produce results like this,” said Val Hale, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “When groups like the Brookings Institute recognize our state as a leading economic example for the nation, it shows Utahns that partnership efforts on their behalf are working.”