September 19, 2012

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State Economic Development Agency Recognized

Press Release

September 19, 2012

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) and Utah State University have just grown a little closer, and it’s a relationship well worth celebrating.

GOED has long sought to increase access to business resources and educational opportunities throughout the state of Utah. USU’s rapidly expanding Regional Campuses and Distance Education (RCDE) program has shown an unparalleled commitment to educating every willing Utah resident in all four corners of the state.

The collaboration elevates USU’s and GOED’s combined ability to be actively engaged in rural Utah, and it is working: soon, more students will be educated by USU off campus than at the main campus. For the Governor’s Office of Economic Development’s help through the university’s growth, USU has just awarded GOED the RCDE Partnership Award.

Utah State University does not just pursue college enrollment, but college success. USU and GOED both recognize the value to the state of Utah of graduating students with the necessary skills to step into the future workforce and immediately contribute to the success of our diverse and high-tech economy. The partnership between GOED and Utah institutions of higher education aligns the State’s educational attainment goals with the current and future needs of businesses in Utah’s most vital economic sectors.

“Utah State University is pleased to honor Spencer Eccles and GOED in recognition of their clear understanding of the critical link between education and economic development,” said Dr. Ronda Menlove, senior vice provost of USU RCDE. “With Mr. Eccles leading the way, GOED is developing rural Business Resources Centers and employment outreach initiatives at the USU regional campuses. GOED’s investment in the partnership with USU, communities, and local business and industry is directly impacting job creation and economic growth. This is a model that works and serves Utah well.”

Spencer Eccles, executive director of GOED, received the award on behalf of the Office.

Eccles noted that the Governor’s Office of Economic Development uses tools such as the statewide network of 14 Business Resource Centers and Rural Economic Development grants to support dynamic economic development activity outside of the Wasatch Front.

“GOED’s collaborative efforts with USU build on past successes and promote the state’s talent pipeline. These unprecedented partnerships help create the quality workforce that multinational companies need to thrive,” said Eccles. “By addressing the quality of our workforce, we are able to recruit and help existing Utah companies grow. And Utah workers have access to these new jobs when successfully completing their higher education and that means an improved quality of life throughout their careers. We appreciate recognition of this fruitful collaboration.”

“The maturity that RCDE has reached under the direction of senior vice provost Menlove is a testament not just to her dedication to rural Utah, but also to Utah State’s University’s commitment to statewide educational attainment goals. Dr. Menlove’s visionary and passionate guidance has enabled the dedicated USU Regional Campuses and Distance Education faculty to grow from 26 to 150 people,” Eccles said.

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