Val Hale, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), has appointed Benjamin Hart as deputy director.
Hart previously served two years as managing director of Urban and Rural Business Services at GOED. With this new appointment, he will oversee corporate recruitment and international trade, along with several additional programs.
“Ben has done a remarkable job overseeing our urban and rural business services at GOED,” Hale said. “His leadership in workforce development has garnered national attention and is considered a best practice. His strong economic development background, combined with his trademark enthusiasm and energy, will make a seamless transition to his new role as deputy director.”
Hart has extensive knowledge in economic and workforce development. His leadership at the Department of Workforce Services led to the creation of programs such as the Utah Cluster Acceleration Partnership and Small Business Bridge, which assisted approximately 700 businesses and created roughly 2,000 jobs. While working at Layton City, Hart led out in several economic wins for the community, including the development of East Gate Business Park, the growth of the Layton Hills Mall business area and the revitalization of downtown Layton. An especially notable win in his service to Layton City was the recruitment of Janicki Industries, a world-leading aerospace manufacturing company.
In his time at GOED, Hart has been instrumental in the creation of business-education partnerships for initiatives such as Utah Aerospace Pathways and Talent Ready Utah. Pathways programs, in particular, have been presented in Washington, D.C., as a best practice and have been replicated in other industries and other states. Recently, Hart was named the Utah Association for Career and Technical Education (UACTE) Champion of the Year for his work in education.
Prior to GOED, Hart worked at the Department of Workforce Services as the director of employer support initiatives, overseeing several education grant programs. He worked at Layton City as economic development and community development block grant administrator, overseeing a complete overhaul of federal programs and bringing the city into full compliance. He also worked for Zions Bank in business underwriting.
Hart completed both his undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Utah, receiving a Master of Science in Economics.
Hart will assume his role as deputy director of GOED effective immediately.