The ‘Secret Sauce’ in Utah’s Economic Prowess

Gaylen Webb

March 1, 2011

Achieving objective number three – increasing national and international business – is showing great success. Utah leads the nation in export growth and this partnership will ensure a continued focus on international business. “We want the world to know that Utah is open for business—especially export business,” says Eccles.

Other GOED partnerships are devoted to promoting Utah’s image through targeted business, tourism, film marketing and public relations efforts. “We want to grow Utah’s tourism industry and increase statewide visitation by continuing to promote Utah as a premier tourist, leisure and business destination,” says Eccles. GOED is also working to build critical mass within each of the state’s strategic industrial clusters by promoting the vibrancy and strength of Utah’s business environment and recruiting targeted businesses. The GOED business marketing initiative which began on the west coast is gaining national attention and companies are regularly placing Utah on their short list of States in which expansion plans are being developed.

As the State prioritizes education to develop the workforce of the future, which is the fourth objective on which GOED is focused, the agency has brought together many partners.

A collaborative effort, the Utah Cluster Acceleration Partnership (UCAP) is aligning business, government and education leaders to meet the workforce demands of key Utah industries, including aerospace, digital media, renewable energy and others. “By aligning the degree programs and certification offerings of Utah’s colleges and universities with workforce needs, UCAP is helping to supply these industries with educated workers now and in the future.”

Key partners in this effort include GOED, the Utah System of Higher Education, the Utah Department of Workforce Services, USTAR, Weber State University, Salt Lake Community College, Utah Valley University and industry leaders.

Eccles points out that the State has many “Unprecedented Partnerships” which Governor Herbert has often mentioned. One such partnership – the Governor’s Education Excellence Commission – is aligned with the Utah Prosperity 2020 Coalition. It brings together the chambers of commerce, Utah business leaders and education leadership. The Coalition is focused on ensuring at least 66 percent of Utahns ages 20 to 64 have a postsecondary degree or certificate by the year 2020. As the Coalition has noted, most of the new jobs created in the coming decades will require higher levels of education and Utah will be ready.

It is the partnerships and a lot of work that make up Utah’s “secret sauce” – but it is a recipe for economic prosperity. ‘Still, there is no time to rest. We have many No. 1 rankings that attest to our success so far, and we are redoubling our efforts for the future,” says Eccles.

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