News Release
For Immediate Release

June 2, 2015

Michael Sullivan, GOED Communications Director

Keep Digging, Utah – Economic Development Continues to Create Opportunities
Utah awarded “Silver Shovel” for Economic Development Excellence

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Utah continues to be among the leading states in supporting economic development in the private sector. For the fourth time in the last six years, Utah is the recipient of Area Development magazine’s Silver Shovel award.

Two of the six years, Utah received the “Gold Shovel” for small state economic development. By fostering two key economic development elements, site selection and facility planning, the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) continues to take active steps in supporting the Utah business community efforts to be among the best performing economies in the nation.

“Utah is proud to be the home of some of the best performing businesses in the country,” said Gov. Gary R. Herbert. “By building strong economic relationships with private industry, we have solidified our position as the best place to do business in America with an unsurpassed standard of living.”

Area Development analyzed two groups, “large population” and “small population” state economic development agencies that provide fertile ground for job creation through smart policies, robust infrastructure, along with additional opportunities for attracting new businesses to a state, or expanding existing facilities.

Economic development has helped to position Utah as one of the most promising small population states for job opportunity. In 2014, 50,700 jobs were created and all industry sectors experienced growth. That job creation directly contributes to Utah’s very low unemployment rate of 3.4% and its robust 4% job growth.

Supporting Utah’s long-term job growth needs, education initiatives from Utah’s STEM Action Center have created a network of workforce development training programs in our public schools, helping accelerate STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in the state.

“We’re hitting the economy from all angles,” said GOED Executive Director Val Hale. “Starting with education, we’re developing tomorrow’s workforce. With site-selection and planning we’re offering opportunities for smart growth, and we will always diligently work to improve development in our rural communities.”


About the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED)

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) charter is based on Governor Gary Herbert’s commitment to economic development statewide. Utah’s economic development vision is that Utah will lead the nation as the best performing economy and be recognized as a premier global business and tourism destination.  The mandate for this office is to provide rich business resources for the creation, growth and recruitment of companies to Utah and to increase tourism and film production in the state. GOED accomplishes this mission through the administration of programs that are based around targeted industries or “economic clusters” that demonstrate the best potential for development. GOED utilizes state resources and private sector contracts with organizations such as the Economic Development Corporation of Utah (EDCUtah) and others to fulfill its mission.  For more information please contact:  Michael Sullivan, 801-538-8811 or

Gov. Gary R. Herbert
Gov. Gary R. Herbert holds the 2015 “Silver Shovel” award from Area Development magazine.

High-resolution image of Gov. Gary R. Herbert can be found here.