AEDI/Pollina Ranks Utah in Top 10 for Economic Development Organizations

Pete CodellaAccolades

In a first of its kind ranking, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) has been recognized by American Economic Development Institute (AEDI) and Pollina Corporate as being in the top ten of state economic development organizations.

As a state, Utah was previously honored as the number one “business friendly state for 2014” by Pollina Corporate who is widely recognized ranking of the states is in its 11th year.  The new top ten ranking looked specifically at the economic development agencies in each state in partnership with AEDI.

“The national effort at economic development is failing.  American companies, if they are to survive in a global economy, must be located in the most pro-business locations possible,” says Dr. Ronald R. Pollina, Chairman of the American Economic Development Institute ( and President of Park Ridge, Illinois-based Pollina Corporate Real Estate, Inc. (

“Our political leaders need to understand the truth, difficult as it may be,” he adds. “It is for these reasons we are placing the spotlight on those state economic development organizations that have excelled at their job.”

AEDI examined 32 factors to determine the level of state efforts to be pro-business. Utilizing such criteria as taxes, regulation, right-to-work legislation, marketing of the state to employers, and efforts to incentivize employers to grow and invest in local markets.

“The fact that the Governor’s Office of Economic Development was recognized as one of the best economic development agencies in the country speaks highly of the effective partnerships which have been formed in Utah among the private sector, state government, education and other key stakeholders,” said Val Hale, GOED executive director.

The top-ten ranking following on the heels of the Pollina ranking of Utah as the number one state for business in 2014 recognized  GOED’s active role in bringing businesses to Utah and working with existing employers to find and utilize resources that help grow the local economy. With 18 different GOED programs, businesses working with the GOED staff can access tools in healthcare, rural development, tourism and film, international trade, education and many others. This provides a path for private industry to interact with state government and achieve mutual economic goals.

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development mission is based on Governor Herbert’s commitment to economic development statewide. By maintaining and developing the mission to excel in partnership, workforce development, and efficient state government, GOED has been a key part of maintaining the state’s 3.5% unemployment rate.

GOED’s success can be better understood when looking at their focus on four fundamental objectives:
1.    Strengthen and grow existing Utah business, both urban and rural.
2.    Increase innovation, entrepreneurship & investment.
3.    Increase national and international business.
4.    Prioritize education to develop the workforce of the future.

Keeping with these fundamentals, over the years GOED has been an integral part in incentivizing over 140 businesses to grow and create jobs in Utah.  “While encouraging business expansion and relocation in the state is key, it is important to note that it is only one of many programs GOED offers Utah based businesses,” said Theresa Foxley, GOED managing director for Corporate Recruitment and Business Services. “GOED staff works every day to keep Utah a business friendly state where company leaders feel supported enough that they will add to their workforce and seek new markets.”

GOED sees this top ten ranking as a challenge to further commit to leading the nation as the best performing economy. Keeping a high quality of life while working on Utah’s efforts to attract business, and maintain an efficient state government, GOED is equal to the challenge and continues to work for a Utah that provides improved opportunity for all residents.