Utah Halfway to Governor’s Jobs Goal

Pete CodellaNews

In his 2012 State of the State address, Governor Gary R. Herbert announced an ambitious job creation goal. His challenge to the private sector: Create 100,000 jobs in 1,000 days. For the past eighteen months, the business community and the State have partnered on a plan to accelerate job creation.

Today Governor Herbert and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) are pleased to announce that midway through the 1,000 days challenge, the private sector has created 63,600 jobs — well ahead of the pace necessary to meet the Governor’s goal—and reinforcing the striking contrast between Utah’s low unemployment rate of 4.6% against the nation’s rate of 7.6%.

“At the halfway point, today’s job numbers support Utah’s compelling story of leading economic vitality and growth,” said Governor Gary R. Herbert. “Our sensible business climate, sound budgets and quality workforce have accelerated the private sector’s ability to expand. This is no celebration of the State’s efforts, but a celebration of Utah’s dynamic business ecosystem.”

The 100,000 jobs midpoint celebration highlights the people and the companies behind the numbers. Coupled with the recently announced 2.6 % job growth and a $150 million budget surplus, Utah is gaining momentum to eventually exceed the jobs challenge.

“We’ve maintained from day one that business leaders would be willing to take the risk that spurs job growth in an economic environment defined by stability and optimism,” said Spencer P. Eccles, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “In achieving the Governor’s vision that Utah lead the nation as the best performing economy and become a premier global business destination, we have reinforced the foundation for continual growth and future prosperity.”

To help illustrate the success of the challenge, GOED partnered with Exelis Aerostructures to showcase the strength and depth of the business ecosystem undergirding the achievement.

Exelis is a diversified, top-tier global aerospace, defense, information and technical services company that expanded its aerostructures business in Utah. That expansion has resulted in the opening of 250,000 square feet of manufacturing space in the company’s new facility just west of Salt Lake International Airport. The facility has accelerated the ability of Exelis to compete at a high level in the rapidly expanding, global composites market.

As a part of the midpoint celebration, Exelis included representatives from some of their vendors and sub-vendors to exemplify the more than 300 Utah-based companies who provide goods and services to Exelis. Their attendance provided a strong visual impression, demonstrating the ripple effect one company can have on Utah’s economy. The growth or expansion of one company then impacts its partners, creating more growth and jobs.

“The work ethic and knowledge of the workforce, combined with the foresight of the Governor’s office to support composites and create what we call ‘a composites epicenter,’ drove us to expand in Utah. From tooling to materials, machining to finished goods, to shipping and logistics, it really is the whole package,” said Mike Blair, Vice President and General Manager of the Exelis Aerostructures business.

More information on the jobs plan can be found at www.utahjobsplan.com.

The following link contains interviews with vendors conducted at their locations. https://business.utah.gov/site-media/page-media/lg-uploads/Video/temp/1000jobs.rar