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Oct. 14, 2010
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  Economic Review  
Jeff Edwards President's Message
Forbes Ranks Utah the Best State for Business

It was thrilling yesterday to hear that Forbes has ranked Utah the Best State for Business. You and I already knew that, but the Forbes ranking validates what we have known for a long time: Utah really is the place. After ranking in the top five for the past four years, Utah has moved to #1 on the strength of its expanding economy, job growth, low corporate taxes, low energy costs, and highly educated workforce. The ranking is obviously great news for our economic development efforts and gives us another tool to use as we promote Utah as the best place for businesses to locate or expand their operations. See our "In the News" section in the right column of this newsletter for links to numerous stories about the ranking.

On another subject, next Wednesday we will hold our annual meeting at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City. We hope you are planning to join us for this exciting event. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., with our breakfast meeting following at 8 a.m. You especially won't want to miss Ben Stein's keynote address, which should be both entertaining and informative. If you have not already done so, please RSVP to Eileen Burt: eburt@edcutah.org.

Stein is highly educated and a dynamic speaker. He graduated from Columbia University in 1966 with honors in economics, then graduated from Yale Law School in 1970 as valedictorian of his class. He has worked as a poverty lawyer in New Haven and Washington, D.C., as a trial lawyer in the field of trade regulation at the Federal Trade Commission, as a university adjunct at American University in Washington, D.C., at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA.

In 1973 and 1974 he served as speech writer and lawyer for President Richard Nixon (but he did NOT write President Nixon's famous line, "I am not a crook."), and then for President Gerald Ford. Stein has written and published 16 books: seven novels--largely about life in Los Angeles--and nine nonfiction books about finance and the ethical and social issues in finance, and also about the political and social content of mass culture. His most recent book is about life with his 11-year-old son, Tommy. He has also done pioneering work in uncovering the concealed messages of TV and in explaining how TV and movies get made. Further, he was one of the creators of the well regarded comedy, "Fernwood Tonight."

Stein is also a well-known actor and has appeared in numerous movies, TV shows and commercials. His part as the boring teacher in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" was ranked as one of the 50 most famous scenes in American film. Since July 1997 he has also hosted the Comedy Central quiz show, "Win Ben Stein's Money." Stein also hosts his own talk show, "Turn Ben Stein On." He is presently working on a new show for Comedy Central. We look forward to hearing his perspectives on the global recession, current economic conditions, and where our economy is headed in the future.

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
Utah's First Renewable Energy Summit Slated for Nov. 15

Utah's first Renewable Energy Business Summit will be held November 15, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Salt Lake Community College Larry H. Miller Campus, 9750 S. 300 West, in Sandy. The cost to attend is $65.

Samantha Mary Julian, energy and natural resources cluster director for the Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED), says the Utah Renewable Energy Business Summit was designed to propel Utah's cluster of renewable energy businesses forward--especially the state's wind energy businesses--to meet the opportunities available and also create jobs. Further, she says the summit will connect industry, government and academia around renewable energy opportunities--particularly in wind energy manufacturing--and help educate existing and emerging Utah businesses understand growth opportunities in all aspects of renewable energy: solar, wind, geothermal and energy efficiency. Julian says the event has received strong support from a variety of government, business, and higher education organizations and will be "a very exciting event."

Job Creation
Julian adds that the summit "is for anybody that is in or wants to get into the renewable energy industry. We have received an overwhelming response from organizations interested in sponsorships, presenting or attending the summit." Renewable energy has been identified as a key component in growing Utah's economy and the energy cluster is expected to be a significant source of job creation. In fact, focusing on projects that produce renewable energy, such as wind, solar and geothermal, could generate as many as 7,000 jobs in the state by 2020, according to Utah Clean Energy, a nonprofit advocacy group.

RMP Title Sponsor
Rocky Mountain Power is the "Terawatt Title Sponsor" for the event. "As the nation's second largest utility owner of wind-powered generation resources, Rocky Mountain Power is pleased to be the title sponsor of the 2010 Utah Renewable Energy Summit," says Richard Walje, Rocky Mountain Power president. "We're very supportive of cost-effective renewable energy development in the region and the environmental and economic benefits it provides. In 1984, our Blundell facility near Milford, Utah, became the nation's first geothermal electric generating plant outside of California. Our first wind project became operational in 1999. Since 2006, we have added 12 wind projects to our diverse portfolio of energy resources in order to serve our customers' growing electricity needs in Utah and five other states. We're also purchasing wind energy from other facilities. Separately, our award-winning Blue Sky program provides a simple and convenient way for customers to support even more renewable energy development at a very low price."

"Gigawatt" sponsors for the event are:

  • Salt Lake Community College
  • Utah Department of Workforce Services (DWS)/Northern Plains & Rocky Mountain Green Jobs Consortium
  • Utah State Energy Program
"Megawatt" sponsors are:
  • Ballard Spahr LLP
  • First Wind
  • Stoel Rives LLP
  • USTAR
"Kilowatt" sponsors are:
  • Enxco
  • Holme Roberts & Owen LLP
  • Hunt Electric
  • Parsons Behle & Latimer
  • Questar
  • Utah Governor's Energy Advisor
  • Utah State University
Other contributing sponsors include the Utah Generated Renewable Energy Electricity Network, Utah Clean Energy, Economic Development Corporation of Utah (EDCUtah), Bureau of Land Management, Utah Division of Facilities Construction Management, and the Utah Manufacturer's Association.

Kick Off Events – "Rapid Fire Resources"
The event kicks off with two keynote addresses, one from the public sector and another from the private sector. The morning's keynote addresses will be followed by two "Rapid Fire Business Resources, Speed Pitching" events in which leaders from 20 organizations and state agencies will talk, in five-minute intervals, about the resources available to help propel Utah's renewable energy-related businesses forward. For example, Julian says representatives from GOED will talk about state incentives available to businesses involved in renewable energy, and Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) will talk about the many renewable energy training programs available. Meanwhile, representatives from EDCUtah will explain the economic development support services that are available to Utah businesses.

One-of-a-kind Wind Energy Training
In one of the most exciting afternoon breakout sessions, representatives from Great Lakes Wind Network (GLWN), an international supply chain advisory group and network of manufacturers in the wind turbine industry, will provide one of a kind training for Utah's wind energy manufacturers about the wind manufacturing supply chain. According to GLWN, wind power is one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. and total U.S. capacity has grown by 45 percent, "with new wind projects accounting for approximately 30 percent of all new power producing capacity added across the country."

Panel Discussions
The summit's afternoon sessions will feature a variety of panel discussion/Q&A sessions covering topics such as workforce development and incentives, seeking investors, obtaining financing, and doing business with state and federal agencies as well as utilities.

During the Workforce Development & Incentives panel discussion, Karen Gunn, SLCC assistant vice president and dean of the School of Professional and Economic Development, will report on the work of the Utah Cluster Acceleration Partnership's (UCAP) energy pilot and the strategies that were developed and submitted to Governor Gary R. Herbert for growing the Utah's energy cluster. She will also talk about the National Institute for Advanced Energy Training, which is the umbrella structure for all energy-related training provided by SLCC.

Melisa Stark, DWS workforce development grant specialist, will explain the $4.6 million State Energy Sector Partnership Grant received by DWS and the opportunities available for some 1,400 Utah individuals to receive free training in areas such as green construction, alternative fuels, energy management, and renewable energy transmission. Attendees of the Workforce Development & Incentives panel discussion will learn where the training will take place and how they can get involved.

Nate Talley, DWS labor market economist, will also be part of Workforce Development & Incentives panel discussion. His will present preliminary findings from the recent Green Jobs Survey, which DWS conducted as part of the Northern Plains and Rocky Mountain Green Jobs Consortium.

Networking
Julian also notes that many of the sponsors will have display booths at the summit, to provide attendees with an expansive amount of information to assist in business growth and development. The summit also includes networking opportunities between the various training sessions.

"Whether you are an established business looking to grow, a new business looking to get started, a service provider or a manufacturer seeking to connect with industry, this summit will provide information that will help you find that perfect opportunity in Utah!" says Julian. "Business, academic and nonprofit leaders, manufacturers, community officials and entrepreneurs should attend the summit to become educated about opportunities to grow in the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries. Industry experts from the public, private, and non-profit sectors will give customized presentations, lead discussions, and network with summit attendees."

Calendar

Oct. 14-15
Nano Utah 2010 (Salt Lake City)

Oct. 20
EDCUtah 2010 Annual Meeting (Grand America) 7:30 a.m. registration, 8 a.m. breakfast meeting

Oct. 21
5th Annual Utah Procurement Symposium 7:15 a.m. to 3 p.m., South Towne Expo Center, 9575 S. State Street (Sandy)

Nov. 15
Utah Renewable Energy Business Summit (Salt Lake Community College)

Dec. 15
EDCUtah Holiday Open House (Salt Lake City)

Jan. 12, 2011
"What's Up Down South" Washington County Economic Summit (St. George)

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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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EDCUtah 2010 Annual Meeting Invitation

In the News

Forbes ranks Utah #1 state for business
Forbes: "Who's doing the best job when it comes to fostering growth? Utah, according to our fifth annual look at the Best States for Business."
(Forbes) (Salt Lake Tribune) (ABC 4) (Standard-Examiner) (KSL) (Fox 13) (Washington Examiner) (Detroit Free Press) (Deseret News)

Utah could be on the verge of becoming a hi-tech hub
About a decade ago, Utah was considered one of the emerging technology development incubators in the West. Firms like Novell and WordPerfect were making noise in their respective fields. Today, the state could be on the verge of another breakthrough, according to a Silicon Valley venture capitalist.
(Deseret News)

Governor's office announces new jobs in private sector
Newell Window Furnishings, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Newell Rubbermaid Inc., has made the decision to expand and build a new facility in Ogden. As a result, all 415 existing jobs will be retained and 50 new full-time positions will be created in the larger new facility, according to a news release from the Governor's Office of Economic Development.
(Deseret News) (Salt Lake Tribune) (Standard-Examiner)

Improving global economy helps Utah small businesses
Although it might seem far away for business owners and unemployed workers, the strengthening global economy will assist Utah's small businesses, according to the Small Business Index for September issued Tuesday by Zions Bank.
(Deseret News)

Two tough job reports, one good result for Utah
Among the wishy-washy job-loss numbers contained in two reports released Wednesday was one nugget that reflected favorably on Utah.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Office vacancies up in Salt Lake County
The amount of vacant office space in Salt Lake County reached a six-year high during the third quarter of 2010.
(Deseret News)

Convergys to hire 60 work-at-home positions in northern Utah
Cincinnati-based Convergys announced that the customer service management firm will hire 60 work-at-home positions in northern Utah — from Logan to Salt Lake City to provide customer service support for a client in the entertainment industry.
(Deseret News)

ATK and Clearfield seeking tax credit from Davis School Board
ATK and Clearfield city officials have asked the Davis School Board to consider a $14 million tax credit to help the company open a new facility that will produce composite aircraft structures and eventually add 800 jobs.
(Standard-Examiner)

Companies look to relocate to Southern Utah
Southern Utah is being promoted as a destination for companies looking to relocate or expand their operations even as the region wallows in economic hardship.
(KSL) (Salt Lake Tribune)

CB Richard Ellis releases its 3rd Quarter Market Reports for Salt Lake City
According to CB Richard Ellis, the third quarter "was the best quarter of the year thus far in terms of absorption and continued positive trends from earlier in 2010. Looking ahead, continued uncertainty is sure to be a drag on growth and will further prolong recovery in the office market."
(CBRE)

Tech tour targets small business growth
More and more, entrepreneurs are relying on technology to help develop their small businesses. How they utilize the high-tech options available to them could be the difference between success and failure, according to an industry analyst.
(Deseret News)

Utah resorts hiring seasonal workers
Utah's 14 ski resorts will employ more than 20-thousand people this winter, which represents an economic engine that's being counted on to boost the state's stagnate economy.
(ABC 4)

Construction jobs drop due to recession, housing market
Numbers from the Utah Department of Workforce Services show the recession and the burst of the housing market bubble have taken a huge bite out of construction jobs.
(KSL)

Rare opportunity to hear one of the top executives in the world discuss the technology industry at annual UTC Hall of Fame Celebration
Members of the Utah technology community have the unique opportunity to listen to one of the "Top 25 Executives Worldwide," Cisco Systems chairman and CEO John T. Chambers, deliver the keynote at The Utah Technology Council (UTC) Hall of Fame Celebration the evening of October 29 at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City.
(BusinessWire)

Businesses find economic success in Utah
It is shaping up to be a busy fall for business in the State of Utah, with both new and existing Utah companies celebrating important milestones.
(GovMonitor)

Utah public school chief calls for targeted spending, strong business relationships
Targeted spending and strengthening business relationships are some of the improvements State Superintendent Larry Shumway would like to see made in the public school system during the upcoming school year.
(Deseret News)

First Wind to add turbines to Utah wind farm
Utah's largest commercial wind farm is getting bigger.
(Businessweek)

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy lists Utah as one of 'most improved' states
"Some of our most-improved states, such as Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico, have moved up in the ranks this year by setting annual energy-saving goals for power providers."
(Reuters)

Utah gov seeks flexible health insurance exchanges
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert wants the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to grant states flexibility as they develop their health insurance exchanges.
(Businessweek)

New training center unveiled for plumbers, pipefitters, welders
As he walked down the halls of the new Utah Career Center, Training Director Dan Smith could have talked about the building itself and how as a Gold LEED-certified facility it was one of the most environmentally friendly structures in the state.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Report: Better days ahead for Utah economy
According to the Autumn 2010 issue of Zions Bank's Insight -- Economic News of Utah and the Nation released today, Utah's lengthy transition to modest economic growth mode is complete after the most severe recession since the Great Depression.
(Standard-Examiner)

WSU hovercraft close to bull's-eye -- Students want Hill to use device for target practice
A hovercraft that has taken more than 10,000 hours of student work to develop at Weber State University may soon be blown to pieces -- and the students, as well as computer and electronics engineering professor Bill Clapp, couldn't be more excited.
(Standard-Examiner)

Utah's snow tops SKI magazine's reader query
Utah might really have the greatest snow on earth -- at least that is what readers of SKI magazine think.
(Deseret News)

Tourism fuels rebound in Utah's redrock counties
Like most businesses, Colin Fryer's Red Cliffs Lodge struggled through 2009.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Utah company to test the future of TV
It could just be that Utah is a safe place in which to test the future of television transmission. Or maybe it's that unlike Apple or Google, Connected Lyfe is a small company that represents no threat to traditional TV program providers and their business models.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Russian company may get Utah town and uranium
Syd Auster's father flew fighter jets to protect American soil, including this dusty company town off a two-lane road to Lake Powell.
(Salt Lake Tribune)

Entrepreneurs meet at Kaysville women's conference
On the back of someone else's manuscript, Lisa Mangum hastily scribbled the outline for a book. That idea would lead her, two years later, to fulfill a dream of becoming a published author.
(Standard-Examiner)

Utah microbubbles clean dirty soil in China
Microbubbles are a much bigger deal than they sound. If all goes as planned during a demonstration project in eastern China, microbubble technology developed at the University of Utah has the potential to boost a wide range of environmental cleanup efforts around the world. Uses include removing oil and gas byproducts from water, removing organics and heavy metals from industrial sites, and removing harmful algae from lakes.
(WaterWorld)