‘How Does a Landlocked State Attract a Global Economy?’

GOVERNING magazine interviews Gov. Gary Herbert about why he thinks Utah remains so competitive in today’s tough financial climate.

Reports Liz Farmer:

Utah seems to have figured out how to build a solid economy in today’s competitive, post-recession climate. The Beehive State is the third-fastest growing state — population-wise — in America, has among the fastest growing economies and an unemployment rate that is the sixth lowest in the nation. Big name tech companies like Google, eBay and Adobe Systems have opened offices in Salt Lake, Ogden and Provo. In fact, the area is so tech-focused, it’s now nicknamed Silicon Slopes. The state’s skilled workforce — many of them Mormons who learned languages and entrepreneurial skills during missions abroad — is a big draw, as is a friendly tax climate and a top rated public university.

So what’s the secret to its success? Governing recently sat down with Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, who is also chair of the National Governors Association, to learn a little more about what keeps Utah’s economy ticking. Utah was one of the more financially stable states in the tumultuous years during and following the Great Recession. It was one of the few states to keep its AAA credit rating. And it also has consistently and conservatively managed its finances so well that that its state treasurer proudly referred to Utah’s reputation among municipal finance investors as “boring but solid.”