Utah’s 25K Jobs Tour stopped in Moab’s Lions Park on Aug. 10, bringing information on boosting jobs in Grand County and two dozen other rural counties throughout the state.
Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, along with representatives from state agencies and economic development partners, mingled with local officials and residents during the informal two-hour lunchtime event. The tour is part of Gov. Gary Herbert’s new statewide initiative to create 25,000 jobs in Utah’s 25 rural counties outside the Wasatch Front over the next four years.
“The big picture is, Utah’s economy is doing phenomenally well,” said Derek B. Miller, president and CEO of World Trade Center Utah. “But there are parts of our state that are not doing so well.”
Miller said there is a wide range of economic challenges faced by Utah’s rural areas. Some counties, like Cache County in northern Utah, struggle to find enough workers, while others, like Carbon County, have a surplus of workers and not enough jobs, he said.
To that end, Miller said World Trade Center Utah, along with other initiative partners, is focusing on finding ways for companies to expand and diversify their markets, including reaching into overseas markets, and is encouraging companies to add a rural component to their workforce. This can include opening offices and job sites in rural areas, or by having employees work remotely or online.
“We’re going to [each] county and saying, ‘what do you want to do, and how can we help you,’” Miller said.
Dozens of people visited the various booths set up during the tour stop, which included Utah Department of Workforce Services, Zion’s Bank, Utah State University, the Economic Development Corporation of Utah, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, USTAR, the Moab and Salt Lake chambers of commerce, and the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food.
The 25K jobs tour continued on to Monticello later that afternoon, stopping at the San Juan County Fair. The following morning, representatives from several of the entities involved in the tour stopped by the Grand County Council chambers to participate in an informal three-hour roundtable discussion regarding the Moab area’s economic development.
For more information and updates about the initiative visit 25kjobs.com.