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Delynn Fielding

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GRPB Priorities

Governor’s Rural Partnership Board 2010 Top 3 Priorities:

  • Entrepreneurial Education
  • Business Resource Centers
  • Natural Gas Infrastructure

Entrepreneurship Education: The Governor’s Rural Partnership Board recommends that the State of Utah incorporate extensive entrepreneurship education into educational programs and curriculums at all levels of public education within the state.

  • Entrepreneurship has never been more important than it is today. The future will be driven more than ever before by entrepreneurship and innovation.
  • We must incorporate entrepreneurial thinking, skills, and approaches in our school systems and curriculums through a focus on entrepreneurship education.
  • Entrepreneurship education is essential to our national competitiveness and to continued economic strength in the future.
  • Entrepreneurship education provides value beyond the creation of new businesses. It teaches a mindset of innovation and problem solving that can benefit all aspects of society.
  • By actively including entrepreneurship education in the public school curriculum (K-16), Utah has the opportunity to lead the nation in developing a workforce that can not only succeed, but can lead out in the dynamic global economy of the 21st Century.

Business Resource Centers: The Governor’s Rural Partnership Board recommends that the Legislature restore the Business Resource Center (BRC) funding that was cut in 2009 ($125,000) and that it increase BRC funding as soon as funds become available with the intent of extending BRC services to underserved areas in rural Utah.

The Business Resource Centers that were funded in fiscal year 2009 by the Legislature are at risk of closing because of the budget cuts for fiscal year 2011. Much has been invested in these BRCs at both the local and state levels, and the loss of these services would be detrimental to businesses and to job retention/creation in these difficult economic times.

Current economic conditions have placed a great deal of stress on small businesses in rural Utah, increasing their need to access resources and technical assistance that can help them survive and keep people on their payrolls. If anything, there is a need to expand these services to hard-hit rural communities that don’t have access to BRC type resources at the present time. (Currently, there is only one rural BRC serving the Southwest region of the state.)

Natural Gas Infrastructure: Since the creation of the Governors Rural Partnership Board, the Board has actively promoted the development of improved utility infrastructure in rural Utah. While progress has been made, new challenges continue to arise and many old problems remain unsolved. New challenges include funding of transmission facilities for renewable energy projects in remote or rural areas. Unresolved problems revolve around the fact that many communities still do not have access to natural gas and other communities do not have adequate industrial grade electrical capacity.

To work toward meeting these needs, the Board is proposing the creation of the Rural Utility Infrastructure Funds to assist in the financing of these critical projects. The first fund will be associated with the deployment of natural gas service into un-served communities throughout the state like Kanab and Green River. The fund will also provide assistance in developing CNG (Natural Gas Vehicle) filling stations throughout the state