Utah: Improving Education, Improving Business

Pete CodellaNews

Educating the youth of today is a key element in laying a strong foundation for Utah’s economic future. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) and School Improvement Network announced today a major expansion of their Salt Lake offices creating more than 700 new Utah jobs over the next decade.

“Improving education and growing Utah’s economy are two of my top priorities,” Governor Gary R. Herbert said. “With the expansion of School Improvement Network, more Utah residents will be able to secure good paying jobs, while at the same time helping our educators teach more effectively.”

There is a growing market demand for teacher improvement resources, due to recent Utah legislation and School Improvement Network is working to help teachers meet that demand. School Improvement Network provides tools and resources to educators to help them improve their teaching ability and meet the needs of all students. By partnering with schools, districts and educators, School Improvement Network can make a positive difference in the Utah education system and education systems nationwide, ultimately helping thousands of teachers become more effective and millions of students become college and career ready.

“We are honored to receive this incentive, and share in the Governor’s vision of helping Utahn’s achieve a better education and quality of life,” said Chet Linton, CEO and president of School Improvement Network. “We are proud of our Utah roots, and share the understanding that strong education builds strong economies. We look forward to supporting the governor in his education and economic work as we continue in our cause of helping 100 percent of students become college and career ready.”

Over the 10 year life of the agreement with the state, the company will pay out more than $5,960,275 in new state wages. 470 of the new jobs that are being incented by GOED will pay at least 125 percent of Salt Lake County’s average annual wage including benefits; the additional 230 jobs will have a variety of pay rates as they are created over the coming years. School Improvement Network will also be a community partner in revitalizing downtown Salt Lake by transforming an abandoned building into a 21st century, green workspace.

During the life of the agreement School Improvement Network will pay more than $15,000,000 in new state taxes and will invest more than $10,000,000 in capital expansion at the Utah based offices. In addition, School Improvement Network’s annual education conference hosted in Salt Lake City will continue to draw hundreds of attendees annually, bringing in nearly $1 million in travel and tourism during the two-day conference.

“The expansion of School Improvement Network is exciting for the State for many reasons,” says Jeff Edwards, president and CEO of Economic Development Corporation of Utah, “It means new jobs for our citizens, the continued success of a Utah-founded business and the expansion of a program that helps improve education systems. It’s a win-win-win.”

As part of a contract with School Improvement Network, the GOED Board of Directors has approved a maximum cap tax credit of $3,114,789 in the form of a post-performance Economic Development Tax Increment Finance (EDTIF) incentive, which is 20 percent of the net taxes School Improvement Network will pay over the 10 year life of the agreement. Each year as School Improvement Network meets the criteria in its contract with the state, it will earn a portion of the tax credit incentive.