America’s Top State for Business … almost

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 12th, 2012 at 6:50 pm and is filed under Chamber News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Make room for one of the best states for business!

In CNBC’s annual Top State for Business report, Utah earned second place. Jumping up from eighth place last year, the Beehive State scored 1,573 points out of 2,500 to take the runner-up spot.

For the third time, Texas came out on top of the list while overtaking last year’s winner, Virginia, which fell to third place.

With the most comprehensive analysis yet, CNBC ranked the 50 states on criteria that states use to sell themselves. The categories include the Cost of Doing Business, Workforce, Quality of Life, Infrastructure & Transportation, Economy, Education, Technology & Innovation, Business Friendliness, Access to Capital and Cost of Living. Click here to see CNBC’s special report.

Utah, in particular, experienced improved rankings in eight of the 10 categories compared to last year. The state was in the top 10 for Workforce (9), Quality of Life (10), Infrastructure & Transportation (which jumped from 33 to eighth), Economy (7), Business Friendliness (10) and Cost of Living (6).

Second place is nothing to be ashamed of in a ranking like this. Still, what kept it from being number one?

Despite all of these positive rankings, Utah had one of the lowest scores in Education, placing 45th. Among other concerns, the report cited over-crowded classes, low spending and mediocre test scores as the reasons for Utah’s low Education ranking.

With everything that Utah is doing well, even a modest improvement in education would be enough to claim the top spot.

Prosperity 2020, a business-led education movement backed by the Salt Lake Chamber and other chambers and business associations, strives to improve Utah’s economy through improving education. As businesses are aware that an educated workforce helps keep the economy moving forward.

The goals for Prosperity 2020 include having 90 percent of third and sixth graders proficient in reading and math and for two-thirds of Utahns to hold academic degrees or skilled trade certificates by the year 2020.

Through this movement and improving policies surrounding education, perhaps Utah may be able to finally beat Texas at being the Top State for Business in the coming years.

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