During its annual meeting held September 22, the Economic Development Corporation of Utah (EDCUtah) celebrated significant successes of the past fiscal year. In addition, the organization recognized community members David Lang, Natalie Gochnour, and the Utah Transit Authority for their outstanding leadership in economic development.
In FY 21, in collaboration with partners including the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity and local economic development offices, EDCUtah won multiple expansion and relocation projects for high-profile companies such as Carvana, Denali Therapeutics, and Scorpion. The hard work of the EDCUtah team, its investors and partners, and the community led to:
37 project wins that resulted in a final decision to relocate or expand in Utah. Exceeding FY 20’s 32 wins, this represents a win rate of about 22.5%, close to EDCUtah’s historical average.
164 net new projects, representing the total number of projects that entered EDCUtah’s pipeline in FY 21. A project is defined as an interested company able to provide three of the following: number of jobs, capital investment, square footage, project timeline, and budget approval. This year’s number is a new record for the organization.
$912 million in capital expenditures or “CapEx,” representing the total amount of money that relocating or expanding companies have committed to investing in Utah real estate and equipment over the life of their projects.
8,306 new or retained jobs, representing the number of jobs that companies have committed to create—7,959—or retain—347—over the life of their projects. This is perhaps EDCUtah’s most important KPI because of what it represents: opportunities for Utah job seekers.
4.3 million in square footage, representing the aggregate total real estate footprint of project wins—how much physical space these newly-relocated or newly-expanded companies will ultimately absorb. This is the highest level since FY 17.
Support of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion – Increasingly, companies looking at Utah are looking at the state’s ability to provide and support a diverse workforce. EDCUtah launched the Center for Economic Opportunity and Belonging to serve as the private sector commitment to work alongside government and communities of color to advance the principles outlined in the Utah Compact on Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. The Center focuses on advancing economic equity and strengthening community cohesiveness by fostering an environment of belonging for all Utahns.
“Despite headwinds from the continuing pandemic, EDCUtah staff successfully competed on multiple complex projects in key industries,” said Theresa A. Foxley, president and CEO of EDCUtah. “We surpassed a number of our goals, and began a long-term project to address the perceptions and realities of a diverse workforce in our economic landscape. I’m proud of the work this team continues to do.”
In the awards portion of the meeting, EDCUtah recognized community members for their outstanding leadership in economic development. David Lang, formerly of Goldman Sachs, was honored with the Thayne Robson Award; Natalie Gochnour of the University of Utah received the Nick Rose Award; and the Utah Transit Authority received the Larry H. and Gail Miller Family Cornerstone Award.
“In his tenure at Goldman Sachs, David Lang has overseen multiple expansions of the company in Utah, and has helped to grow our world-class financial services industry,” said Governor Spencer J. Cox. “His commitment to economic development in Utah, and EDCUtah, is without question. David was the person that companies interested in expanding here most wanted to hear from, and he has been one of our state’s most eloquent and effective advocates.”
“For years Natalie Gochnour has been the voice of reason – and data – when it comes to economic policy in Utah,” said Taylor Randall, president of the University of Utah. “From advising governors and business leaders, to her input in the development of the ‘Utah Leads Together’ pandemic recovery plan, her calm, measured and level-headed approach is a beacon for all of us.”
“The Utah Transit Authority has long been a vital and sometimes unsung catalyst for Utah’s economic growth. The organization’s efforts have created a competitive advantage for corporate recruiting, as many companies rate public transportation as a key criterion,” said Draper Mayor Troy Walker. “The TRAX investment made for the Olympics, and expanded again in 2010, and the FrontRunner follow-on investment, have kept our commute times competitive, expanded the labor commuting range for Silicon Slopes, and helped to mitigate air quality challenges.”