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Jan. 5, 2012

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  Economic Review  
Jeff Edwards President's Message
Key Events Taking Shape; Kudos to Davis County

First off, we wish you a happy and prosperous new year! Also, congratulations to the many new civic leaders to take office this month across the state. See our Newslinks section in this newsletter for media coverage of a few of the leadership changes.

We are busy gearing up for a variety of events taking shape within the next few weeks. Next Wednesday we will be in Southern Utah for "What's Up Down South?" the Washington County Economic Summit at the Dixie Center. Now in its 15th year, the Summit is a premier business planning event that includes much information about projects and activities affecting the Washington County economy. Check out the Summit here. And watch an upcoming issue of this newsletter for a review of the Summit's events and activities.

In relation to "What's Up Down South?" you should have received an invitation to the reception we are hosting Tuesday evening at the Entrada Snow Canyon Country Club. If you are planning to attend "What's Up Down South?" we hope you will also plan to visit us at our reception the evening before. RSVP to eburt@edcutah.org, or call 801.323.4249.

Another event to mark on your calendars: Governor Herbert's Energy Development Summit, which will be held February 15 at the Salt Palace Convention Center. That Summit is the focus of our feature story in this newsletter. We hope you will scroll down and read more about this fantastic Summit.

And finally, kudos to the business and government leaders in Davis County for creating an exciting environment for job growth. A report from the Utah Department of Workforce Services in December said Davis County led the state with 4.5% job growth in 2011. The county is certainly a hotbed of economic activity, gaining 4,600 jobs last year across multiple industries. Kent Sulser, the county's director of community and economic development, is doing a fantastic job and we expect the county's high level of job growth to continue in 2012.

Today's Economic Review also includes links to many of the ED-related news stories from the past week. As always, if you have comments, suggestions or topics you'd like to see in the Economic Review, please contact us by clicking the "Comments" link on the bottom of this page. Enjoy!

Jeff Edwards

Jeff Edwards
President and CEO

Feature Story
Governor Herbert to Host 2012 Utah Governor's Energy Development Summit

Growing jobs in Utah's energy sector is a big part of achieving Governor Gary R. Herbert's goal to create 100,000 jobs in 1,000 days. Energy development is also important to the state's economic future. For those reasons Governor Herbert has decided to host the Governor's Energy Development Summit in Salt Lake City on Feb. 15 at the Salt Palace.

Samantha Mary Julian, director of the state's Office of Energy Development, says the summit will be the premier energy event for Utah and the greater Rocky Mountain area. Governor Herbert will highlight the energy priorities of his administration while keynotes from national-level energy leaders will address the challenges and opportunities within the industry. Meanwhile, 20 power-packed sessions will cover conventional and unconventional energy, energy efficiency, renewable and additional energy sources and will discuss the hottest topics in energy today.

"This will be the first time that Utah has given attention to energy development at a summit this large," says Julian. "It will focus on Governor Herbert's 10 year energy plan and will also cover energy efficiency for homes, manufacturers and industrial enterprises. We will have sessions on nuclear energy and renewable energy financing and storage, as well."

Governor's Energy Plan
The summit will feature presentations and round table discussions that support the goals of Governor Herbert's energy plan. Energy experts will outline how Utah can lead the nation in the development of traditional, alternative, and renewable energy resources. Panel discussions will address how diversification of Utah's energy portfolio will provide affordable, sustainable, and secure energy now and in the future. Industry representatives will discuss the potential for job growth, manufacturing expansion, and new enterprise development that will arise from the expansion and continued growth of Utah's energy sector.

Julian says the summit has been designed to give the public, business and government leaders the opportunity to talk about real energy issues and hear examples of energy development already in the state or pending. Many of the panel discussions will include a mixture of people working within specific energy sectors, from legislators to industry leaders and other interested parties.

"Energy development is the backbone of Utah and the summit is an important platform from which to talk about energy issues," says Amanda Smith, energy advisor for Governor Herbert. The types of jobs available in the energy sector are also profitable, adds Julian. "Energy jobs in Utah pay almost double the average state wage. We want to talk about that. We also want to talk about clean air and environmental issues. How do we deal with those issues and get them out in the open? We also want to talk about the opportunities to export much of our energy. We want to keep that going and increase our energy exports. Governor Herbert's goal to double our exports includes energy exports," she says.

Summit Packed with Content
Jeff Barrett, renewable energy development coordinator in the Office of Energy Development, says details regarding the summit's sessions are being finalized now. He notes, however, that a significant amount of content is being packed into the one-day summit, so attendees will have plenty to choose from.

Governor Herbert recently blogged that past discussions of conventional energy development, including the mining and extraction of natural resources, have been held apart from discussions of development of renewable and energy efficiency resources. This, he said, is partially due to the fact that Utah will be reliant upon conventional energy sources for most of its energy production (as much as 98.5 percent) for the foreseeable future. However, continuing the development of renewable resources and energy efficiency provides an opportunity to increase Utah's energy production, create more jobs for the state, and ensure that Utah will continue to be an energy exporting state for years to come.

Many forces are at work across Utah's energy landscape. Julian says finding customers to purchase renewable energy is the biggest inhibitor to the expansion of that sector. Getting renewable energy to the grid is also an inhibitor. Meanwhile, the development of traditional energy sources is often inhibited by land issues, permitting and environmental challenges. Nonetheless, Julian expects the state will see some job growth in relation to oil shale and oil sands within the next few years. Three companies are currently working through the permitting process, air quality issues and transportation details related to development and production from Utah oil sands. Oil shale is also of interest to petroleum companies working in the state.

Energy Jobs
Energy jobs currently account for approximately 1.9 percent of employment in Utah, but the 1,039 energy associated companies in the state pay approximately $1.5 billion in combined wages annually. "Most of the state's 23,128 energy and natural resources jobs are located in rural Utah, and they pay approximately 171 percent of the average state wage, so the sector is especially significant to employment and the economies of rural Utah," Julian adds.

For further details about the summit, visit www.energy.utah.gov.

Calendar

Jan. 11
What's Up Down South -- 15th annual Washington County Economic Summit (St. George)

Jan. 19
Social Commerce Exchange -- "Blogging for Business" 6:30-8:30 p.m. (Salt Lake Community College - Miller Campus) Free event -- Come learn how to build a better business blog at January's Social Commerce Exchange. Join us as we explore blogging strategies and techniques that add value and build credibility for businesses.

Feb. 15
Utah Energy Development Summit (Salt Palace)

Feb. 21-24
Technology Venture Development Executive Education Seminar (University of Utah)

Oct. 16-19
Technology Venture Development Executive Education Seminar (University of Utah)

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The EDCUtah Economic Review is a weekly publication of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah. It is distributed to EDCUtah partners and selected other government and civic organizations interested in Utah's economic development.

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In the News

Salt Lake City, Ogden, Provo see leadership changes
Salt Lake City's recently re-elected mayor renewed his pledge to make Utah's capital a "Great American City," Ogden got a new chief executive for the first time in 12 years, and Provo saw its female-majority Municipal Council give way to a governing body with just one woman.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

South Jordan chooses new mayor
Scott Lee Osborne is the new mayor of South Jordan -- at least for the next two years.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Three take oath of office in West Valley City
This west-side suburb swore in three members Tuesday to its City Council, including its first member who is an ethnic minority.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

New Davis County city council members swear in
New city councils became official Tuesday as the winners in November's elections took their oaths of office.
(Standard-Examiner)

Cities swear in new councilmembers
With the new year comes new city council members -- and some mayors -- in nearly every city and town in Utah County. Most of those cities are swearing in their new council members and mayors this week.
(Daily Herald)

Becker begins second term as Salt Lake City mayor
Ralph Becker began his second term as mayor by looking back at the past four years and highlighting the ways Utah's capital city continues to thrive.
(Deseret News)

New Ogden mayor plans for focus on economic development
When Mike Caldwell is sworn in Tuesday as Ogden's new mayor, he will finally get the chance to launch an ambitious plan for his first term: to attract 3,000 jobs to downtown and increase tourism revenue by 25 percent.
(Standard-Examiner)

Utah economy improving, report says
Utah's overall business conditions index for December remained above growth neutral 50.0, climbing to a solid 59.4. Components of the index were new orders at 59.2, production or sales at 62.8, delivery lead time at 52.5, inventories at 63.8 and employment at 58.7.
(Deseret News)

More tourism dollars coming into county
More people appear to be visiting Lagoon and other county destinations. They're also eating out more.
(Davis County Clipper)

Op-Ed: Weber State has power to accelerate local business growth
Community economic development advocates from local businesses, the Chamber of Commerce, Ogden city, Hill Air Force Base and Weber State University will gather in January to determine the next steps to accelerate local business growth in the Top of Utah.
(Standard-Examiner)

World Bank executive director will visit Utah, share global business opportunities
The Utah business community will have the unique opportunity to host the Executive Director of the World Bank, Honorable Ian Solomon, on January 13, at 8:30 a.m. at the Salt Lake Chamber.
(Utah Pulse)

2011 banner year for international trade
2011 has been a banner year for international trade in the state of Utah!
(Utah Pulse)

Utah in top third of states for overall economic health
Based on an average of five broad indicators, Utah's economic well-being ranks fairly well against the other 50 states and the District of Columbia. Taking into account the number of families living below the poverty level, overall economic production, recent house price behavior, unemployment levels and residential foreclosure rates, Utah ranks 16th out of 51.
(Deseret News)

Godfrey to head economic development consulting firm
Mayor Matthew Godfrey will become president of a start-up consulting firm after he leaves office Tuesday.
(Standard-Examiner)

Weathering a recession: Resorts hopeful this ski season will be as good as last year's
Utah ski resorts have a problem, and it's not just a slower economy. Last season Alta ski resort received 264 inches of show by New Year's Day. This season only 110 inches have fallen, 44 percent below average.
(Deseret News)

Layton hopes to continue growth in 2012
Understanding and adapting to the needs of local companies. That is the most important thing to do to continue bringing more businesses to Layton, according to economic development specialist, Ben Hart.
(Standard-Examiner)

Utah economy 2012: Some bright spots, some not so bright
What's in store for Utah's economy in 2012? Here's what to expect for housing, investments, benefits and more...
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Gateway newest Utah location for discounter Tuesday Morning
Tuesday Morning, a closeout retailer with seven other stores in Utah, has opened a location at The Gateway mall in Salt Lake City.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Hill AFB will survive but jobs will be lost
Rep. Rob Bishop is reasonably confident that Hill AFB will survive. But he and Utah Defense Alliance president Tage Flint are both concerned what the base may look like in the future as jobs are lost.
(Davis Clipper)

Blendtec plans to expand Orem facility
Blendtec, which gained notoriety by blending anything from an iPhone to a Wii remote or a glow stick, will expand its manufacturing facilities in Orem.
(Deseret News)

Commercial real estate strengthening in Salt Lake City
The commercial real estate market in Salt Lake area bounced back in 2011, after a challenging year in 2010.
(Deseret News)

Cottonwood Mall site still in development, attracting national retailers
The 58-acre dirt slab where the Cottonwood Mall used to stand is still very much an active development site, with national retailers tuning in.
(Deseret News)

Op-Ed: Ogden City has five key economic development programs
...a high level overview of Ogden key's economic development programs.
(Standard-Examiner)

Spanish Fork approves economic incentives for Costco
To bring Costco to town, Spanish Fork is offering the wholesale giant incentives totalling millions of dollars.
(Daily Herald)

The end in 2012? Salt Lake City just beginning
...a year from now, the outlook for Salt Lake City appears anything but ominous. Instead, 2012 promises to deliver a capital boom — if not an urban revolution — that perhaps has not seen its equal since Mormon pioneers first fashioned a city out of the Great Basin desert.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Rocky Mountain Power plays big economic role
Rocky Mountain Power (RMP) is a driver for economic development. That's a factor many people don't think of when mulling over the area's primary electric utility provider, said Mickey Beaver, economic development manager for the multi-state company.
(Davis County Clipper)