The results are in and they are great. As reported in EDCUtah's annual meeting Tuesday at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, FY 2014-2015 was highly productive for the nonprofit economic development organization, with 8,402 jobs created and 5,732 jobs retained, for a total of 14,134 jobs.
Those jobs involve 39 different companies, with 13 companies announcing headquarters relocations to Utah, and comprise a capital investment of more than $851 million.
"It is exciting for us to bring great companies, great jobs and capital investment to the Beehive state, but it is also thrilling for us to retain our home-grown companies and jobs," said EDCUtah President and CEO Jeff Edwards. "We are happy with our work for the fiscal year just ended and helping retain 5,732 jobs with companies that were looking to leave the state is icing on the cake for us. We will continue to work with our Utah companies to help them find the resources and workforce they need to grow and expand in Utah."
EDCUtah closed its fiscal year with a total of 53 site visits – essentially a site visit every week – and an active project load involving nearly 200 companies. "It was a busy, wonderful year and our new fiscal year is off to a great start," Edwards continued, pointing to a report released last week by the U.S. Labor Department that said Utah led the nation in adding jobs to its economy during the period from August 2014-2015.
In his remarks during the annual meeting, Edwards noted that Utah is no longer a fly-over state, as businesses near and far are noticing the productive, business-friendly environment and educated workforce found here. And with the implementation of EDCUtah's global business development program and its partnerships with the Governor's Office of Economic Development and public and private investors, "Team Utah" is prepared for another successful year of job growth.
After losing 79,000 jobs during the period from 2009 to 2012, Utah not only recovered, but is now posting job growth of 4 percent. "We not only bounced back from the recession, but bounced forward," said Edwards. The state's resiliency is similar to that spoken of by keynote speaker Eric Greitens, a former Navy Seal who noted that everyone has a point in life where we face a "front line," where we have to find a way to work through difficult challenges to live a productive, meaningful life.
After deploying four separate times during the Global War on Terrorism, Greitens represents the epitome of living with resilience and leading with strength and compassion through adverse circumstances. "We all face pain, difficulty, and doubt," he told the audience of more than 800 business, government, education and civic leaders. "But we also have the tools to take control of our lives."
Greitens further noted, "Every time in your life that you make a decision to confront your fear, your character evolves. The evolution changes who you are."