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Aug. 1 , 2013
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  Economic Review  
President's Message
EDCUtah Welcomes New Investors

Last week, less than a month into fiscal year 2013-14, we held a new investor orientation meeting at our offices for representatives from:

  • HJ & Associates
  • Parr Brown Gee & Loveless
  • Workspace Elements
  • C7 Data Centers
  • AGC of Utah (Associated General Contractors)
  • Fluid Advertising
  • Windstream

We welcome these new investors to our economic development circle. EDCUtah holds regular orientation meetings to acquaint our newest investors with our economic development process, to explain how they can be involved and highlight EDCUtah services and benefits. If your company or organization has not sent representatives to participate in our orientation sessions, we hope you will contact Sherrie Martell at (801) 328-8839 to sign up.

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

Being announces its expansion in Utah.
Gov. Gary Herbert (center) joined Boeing officials in January to announce the company's plans to add 100 new jobs to its Utah operations, one of many project wins that helped EDCUtah set another record for jobs created and retained.

Feature Story
Another Record Year for Economic Development in Utah with 11,336 Jobs

It's been another record year for economic development with 9,405 jobs created and another 1,931 jobs retained during EDCUtah's fiscal year, which ended June 30.

"If you roll up the last three years, we are up to nearly 30,000 jobs created and retained," says EDCUtah President and CEO Jeff Edwards. "This is a fantastic time for economic development in Utah."

Notable project wins during the fiscal year include Emery Refining, with 125 jobs in Emery County; SyberJet, with 1,200 jobs in Cedar City; HireVue, with 540 jobs in South Jordan; SolarWinds, with 1,040 jobs in Utah County; Boeing with 100 jobs in West Jordan and Enve, with 324 jobs in Ogden.

Edwards describes EDCUtah's strong partnership with the Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED) as "one of the real secrets to our economic development success." The strong day-to-day working relationship between the two organizations is more than symbolic. "We are fully integrated into each other's processes, which translates into a seamless customer experience," he notes.

"The fact that we have set another record for job growth shows that businesses recognize Utah as an island of stability and economic strength," says GOED's Managing Director of Corporate Recruitment and Incentives Christopher Conabee. "Gov. Gary Herbert's number one priority is the Utah economy and that focus extends through all levels of government and to the EDCUtah team."

Gov. Herbert's active role in economic development is certainly a key part of Utah's economic development success. "We really feel like we are part of Gov. Herbert's team," says Edwards. "He recognizes us, and we do the same. From a visitor's point of view, the partnerships we have in Utah make the economic development process a seamless experience. And so, when a company visits Utah, they find everybody is working in the same direction, from Gov. Herbert to the teams at GOED and EDCUtah and to our partners in education, local government and the business community."

Final Numbers for EDCUtah's 2012-2013 Fiscal Year
Jobs Created9,405
Jobs Retained1,931
Capital Investment$1.4 billion
Headquarters Moves9
Square Feet3.45 million
Total Active Projects354
Site Visits82
Project Wins31

More than half of EDCUtah's active projects are related to manufacturing companies, but Edwards says the organization is seeing significant interest from the IT sector. Data centers have been in Utah for a long time, but the IT sector is maturing "in a big way," he explains, and many of the new projects are reflective of that maturing.

"Five years ago we had a few, but not many IT-related projects," he says. "We have seen a big trend change in the IT space. The financial sector also continues to strengthen, led by Goldman Sachs' diversification of its operations in Utah. Five out of six of Goldman's operating units are now represented here."

Edwards says success begets success. One successful project win creates momentum, and other businesses take notice. Adobe's expansion in Utah is a good example. "We are so pleased that Adobe is here. It has certainly opened a lot of doors for us in Silicon Valley and allowed us to talk to a lot of other companies that might not have considered coming here before," he adds.

One of Utah's key strengths in terms of economic development is the diversity of its economy. While the national economy goes through its cycles, Edwards says the diversity of Utah's business culture helps to even out the cycles. "For example," he notes, "Utah's manufacturing sector includes foods, electronics, metal fabricating, aerospace, all of these different pieces. We've got enough diversity, and we're not experiencing big, huge downturns in our economy because of a downturn in one particular industry."

A few decades ago, in the 1970s, most of the job opportunities in Utah were in aerospace or military or mining, he says, but there wasn't much opportunity in the IT industry. If you wanted to work in IT, you had to go elsewhere. "That has changed. The kids graduating from college now have far more in-state opportunities than people from my generation," Edwards says. "We have been fortunate to be a part of in our organization that is bringing a wide variety of companies to the state, which adds to that economic strength."

"It is fine for Forbes to write an article about Utah, but visiting businesses want to talk to an employer; they want to talk to somebody on the ground in the state to ask what it is really like to hire people here."

During the fiscal year, Utah enjoyed significant rankings from the national media and organizations like Pollina Corporate Real Estate, which ranked Utah at the top of its list of Ten Pro Business States. Edwards says those rankings are important to the extent they get Utah noticed and considered for projects that the state might not otherwise be included. The economic development process starts with the initial idea, he explains. A company considering expansion might see the Pollina ranking and think, "Maybe we should put Utah on the list." He adds, however, that it's a bit of a fantasy to think a company will come to Utah just because of a ranking. "That just doesn't happen," he says, "but a ranking from a credible source will help pique a company's interest."

Rankings also help as site selectors and corporate real estate executives do their initial research on Google. "We keep coming up in those searches, so people say, 'Let's give it a shot and go look at Utah,'" Edwards says. "Once we get that first opportunity, the other side of the economic development equation opens up, and people ask, 'What is it really like to do business in Utah?' It is fine for Forbes to write an article about Utah, but visiting businesses want to talk to an employer; they want to talk to somebody on the ground in the state to ask what it is really like to hire people here."

Setting up those on-the-ground experiences is where EDCUtah's economic development process really kicks in. "With our great board of directors and the partners we represent, plus our access to all of these great companies in the state, we can set up on-the-ground experiences that have a lot more weight than anything we might say or anything the company might read in a news story or ranking," he continues. "The personal testimonials from businesses that are already here and the experiences they have had, are a critical factor in our economic development process. Our job is to be a facilitator and get all of the right people around a new company, so they can get the data and personal experiences that will help them make a decision."

With the solid growth in Utah's economy, plus the strength in EDCUtah's partnership with the state and local communities, EDCUtah is positioned to see its economic numbers continue to grow. Look for ongoing success in the year ahead.

Calendar

Aug. 12-15
AUVSI (Washington, DC)

Aug. 14-15
NAIOP Utah Commercial Leasing CORE CE Course (University of Utah, Spencer Fox Eccles Business Bldg, Room 5130, 1768 Campus Center Drive)

Aug. 15
World Trade Association breakfast with Lew Cramer and Franz Kolb (Salt Lake Community College Miller Professional Development Center, 9750 S. 300 West, Sandy) 8-9 a.m. RSVP by Aug. 12 to wtaofutah@gmail.com

Sept. 19
Uintah Basin Energy Summit (Vernal), 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Click here to register.

Sept. 26
SAVE THE DATE! "What's Goin' Down Up North' Economic Summit (Logan)

Sept. 28 - Oct. 2
IAMC (Industrial Asset Management Council) Salt Lake City

Nov. 13
EDCUtah Annual Meeting (Grand America Hotel, Salt Lake City)

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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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