This Week in the Utah Business Report

Friday, October 24th, 2014

In case you missed one or more of the Salt Lake Chamber’s Utah Business Reports on KSL NewsRadio, here is a recap of what we talked about this week.

For the full recorded reports from this week and weeks past, visit KSL NewsRadio online. Remember to tune in between 12:30 and 1 p.m. to KSL NewsRadio every week day on 102.7 FM or 1160 AM. If your business is doing something great, let us know and we may feature it on the Utah Business Report.

Are you looking to save a little money at the pharmacy?

In just two years Utahns have saved $12,311,092 on prescription drug refills by using the Utah Drug Card. The card is available through the Salt Lake Chamber, offering savings of up to 75 percent on prescription drugs.

The cost of health care has risen dramatically in recent years and it’s having a very real impact on businesses, families and individuals. We continue to work on our efforts to drive down health insurance costs for business in our state but this allows us to provide intermediate relief as a statewide business organization and as a good community partner.

The card can be used at more than 56,000 pharmacies across the country. The Utah Drug Card provides Utah residents with a simple solution to the confusing maze of discount prescription programs that have appeared in recent years. Many of these programs only cover certain drugs, charge fees, and some have membership restrictions such as age and income requirements.

Take a moment to check out this great community benefit. For more information visit slchamber.com or Utah drug card.com.

President Barack Obama has appointed Holland & Hart Partner Jody Williams as Commissioner of the Bear River Commission. For more than 30 years, Williams has focused her practice on water law and helped clients navigate the complexities of doing business in the Mountain West. Throughout her career she has been involved in the complex water issues in the Bear River Basin.

With a national reputation for water law, she understands the complex, competing demands for water across the West and the political, economic and social contexts in which disputes arise.

As a long-time problem solver and Chamber member, Williams has negotiated resolution of these conflicts with agencies, diverse stakeholders and public interest groups. She is recognized throughout the industry for her knowledge of water rights, natural resources, commercial real estate transactions and energy law.

She has been an essential voice for getting the Salt Lake Chamber engaged in the water conversations. Congratulations, Jody! For more information visit hollandhart.com.

We need your help in shaping the future of the Central Wasatch Mountains with the Mountain Accord initiative!

Mountain Accord is a multi-phase initiative that seeks to make critical decisions regarding the future of the central Wasatch Mountains. It will holistically evaluate and address issues and goals centered on four topic areas: environment, recreation, transportation and economy.

Mountain Accord is a collaboration between public and private interests, including state and local governments, federal agencies and business and grassroots organizations. Public involvement is an important component of this effort, and input received from the public will be used to inform and guide the process.

Few places in the world have a natural asset as valuable as the Central Wasatch Mountains are to the communities surrounding them. The mountains provide us with water, easy access to superb recreational opportunities, landscape-scale habitat protection and they serve as the place-maker for our region.

Visit mountainaccord.com today to be part of this great effort.

While it may not jump immediately to mind, superior wastewater handling ranks among the necessities that contribute to our high quality of life.

The South Valley Sewer District provides service to an area of approximately 108 square miles in southern Salt Lake County and northern Utah County with nearly 58,000 connections.

South Valley Sewer District completed energy efficiency improvements at its Jordan Basin Water Reclamation Facility in Riverton with help from Rocky Mountain Power’s wattsmart Business program.

The improvements reduced annual electricity use by 2 million kilowatt-hours and provide cost savings of more than $122,000 per year. They also received technical expertise and cash incentives from Rocky Mountain Power totaling more than $252,000.

To find out if Rocky Mountain Power’s wattsmart Business program is right for your energy efficiency project, visit wattsmart.com.

Kimberly Angeli-Selin, Senior Director of programming and events of Downtown Alliance, was recently recognized with a Slow Food Utah “Snail Award.” During the non-profit culinary organization’s annual “Feast of Five Senses” Dinner and Fundraiser, Kim was recognized as a Community Leader in Utah’s Food world, due in part to her dedicated work with the Downtown Farmer’s Market at Pioneer Park. Her support and passion for our community’s farmers, growers, food purveyors and her love for our community is evidenced in this work and in the thriving market that happens for 20 weeks out of every year.

Slow Food Utah’s Snail Awards were launched in 2012 as a way of recognizing those people who are ardent supporters and believers in the Slow Food mission; which is to provide good, clean and fair food for everyone. Slow Food people are connoisseurs of taste, protectors of food heritage and champions of local producers.

Congratulations, Kim!

For more information visit slchamber.com

A Proposed Plan of Action for Education in Utah

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

On Tuesday, Oct. 28, Prosperity 2020 and Education First will announce the 5-year plan to take Utah’s education levels back to being in the top ten.

Utah has a robust pro-business climate that has rebounded nicely from the recession, and that is recognized nationally by multiple authorities. Yet the overall health of Utah’s economy still shows signs of weakness that, if not addressed, spell trouble for Utah’s ability to sustain long-term prosperity for Utah’s communities and families. The good news is that virtually every one of these ailments can be remedied through targeted investments in education, investments that will produce a tremendous economic return as they increase both K-12 and post-secondary achievement for Utah residents.

Did you know that Utah no longer ranks as high as it once did in key educational metrics such as third grade reading and math? The plan being presented to the Governor and Legislator will be a turning point for Utah’s falling trend of educational performance. It is the result of collaboration over the past four years with business leaders and education stakeholders statewide and will serve as a starting point for a long-term state plan to energize education.

Across America today, the most vibrant, economically healthy cities and states are those with the highest numbers of college graduates, while those on economic life support encompass substantially smaller populations of adults with postsecondary credentials. Recent research by Stanford economics professor Rebecca Diamond found that economic regions producing large numbers of college graduates attract high-skill, high-wage jobs, that then attract even more college graduates, lifestyle amenities, and high-wage employment in an escalating pattern that rapidly builds the region’s quality of life. Of course, the reverse is also true; those regions that fail to prioritize high levels of college completion face an economic death spiral of low educational attainment, loss of jobs and personal income, housing blight, and urban decay.

The plan will be announced publicly at the Academic XL Conference of over 300 leaders in education, government, business and to parents from across the state.

To learn more, visit prosperity2020.com and educationfirstutah.org. Leave your comments and sign up to support education in Utah. We need your input on this plan! During the conference you can follow the conversation by following #UTED2Top10 from 8:30 to noon.

 

Communities Report Progress at Annual Wasatch Choice for 2040 Consortium

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Long-term planning continues with statewide “Your Utah. Your Future.” initiative

Thursday, October 23, hundreds of community leaders will gather for the Wasatch Choice for 2040 Consortium meeting to highlight planning efforts and provide a progress update on six large-scale improvement projects fulfilling the Wasatch Choice for 2040 Vision to create more livable communities throughout the state.

Featured projects are currently underway in American Fork, Draper, Ogden, Provo, Salt Lake City and South Salt Lake. The development and planning of these projects utilized the principles espoused by the Wasatch Choice for 2040 Vision and the tools created by the effort that were released last year. These tools allow cities to test planning scenarios and help them implement their plans as they relate to the regional vision. The Consortium meeting will also highlight the recently launched “Your Utah. Your Future.” initiative, which will take a multi-generational look at the top issues facing the state.

The Wasatch Choice for 2040 Consortium meeting will include more than 450 elected officials, planners, engineers, business and community leaders whose purpose is to create a better plan for the state’s future. This event will be held at the Salt Palace Convention Center and interviews with Wasatch Front Regional Council Executive Director Andrew Gruber, Provo Mayor John Curtis, American Fork Mayor James H. Hadfield  and Draper Mayor Troy K. Walker will take place.

ABOUT THE WASATCH CHOICE FOR 2040 CONSORTIUM

The Wasatch Choice for 2040 Consortium—comprised of the American Planning Association, Envision Utah, the Mountainland Association of Governments, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, the University of Utah, the Utah Department of Transportation, the Utah Transit Authority, the Wasatch Front Regional Council and many other public and private partners came together to develop tools and implement the Wasatch Choice for 2040 Vision. The annual Consortium provides an opportunity to continue a collaborative approach to shaping the region’s future.

Ogden and Salt Lake Rank in the Top 5 U.S. Cities for Young Computer Professionals

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Research from Change the Equation has named Ogden and Salt Lake City as two of the top five cities for young computer professionals. Here’s a link to the blog posting about the list: http://changetheequation.org/blog/top-5-us-cities-young-computer-professionals.

“You might think computer science is a young person’s game dominated by whiz kids in hoodies. Think again. Nationally, a mere six percent of the computing workforce is younger than 25, compared to 13 percent of the workforce as a whole. What’s more, the computing workforce is aging. This year, 43 percent is 45 or older, up from 35 percent in 2001.”

“Yet a handful of metro areas are attracting far more than their share of young computing professionals. Don’t expect to see the usual suspects on this list. (Less than four percent of San Jose’s computer professionals are under 25, for example.) Young people are finding computing careers far from Silicon Valley.”

“Based on our analysis of the nation’s 100 largest metro areas, here are the the top five cities for young computer professionals:

5. McAllen, Texas

4. Salt Lake City, Utah

3. Ogden, Utah

2. El Paso, Texas

1. Madison, Wisconsin”

Office Depot Member Benefit

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Dear Salt Lake Chamber Member,

The Salt Lake Chamber serves the regional business community by connecting members with trusted solutions and resources that provide true business impact. As you may be aware, one of our member benefits is a series of member discounts that help our members save time and money on business-critical products and services.

Our partnership with Office Depot provides Salt Lake Chamber members access to a $70 million group purchasing program.  The program includes a very aggressive 650-item core list, an 18,000 item non-core “market-less” pricing structure and even customized pricing. In addition to online ordering and next day delivery, Chamber members have retail store access that includes a program for all of your employees, copy and print pricing and so much more.

While many members of the Chamber have discovered this program, many more have not and there is an especially good opportunity for huge savings with a company like yours.  There is an added benefit; when members participate in this program, Office Depot provides financial support that allows the Chamber to continue serving the local business community through our advocacy, business development and educational programming.  It’s a win-win proposition.

The best way for us to help you understand it is for us to introduce our Office Depot team to you to discuss the benefits of the program. In the next few weeks, you can expect a call from a team member to schedule an appointment.  There is no obligation and ALL of the programs and pricing are available to you as a member of the Chamber.  Office Depot will even do a price analysis to demonstrate your potential significant savings opportunity.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Warren Schroer at 801-918-4329 or warren.schroer@officedepot.com    

Sincerely,

Brian Lemke

Vice President of Business Development

Salt Lake Chamber

 

This Week in the Utah Business Report

Friday, October 17th, 2014

In case you missed one or more of the Salt Lake Chamber’s Utah Business Reports on KSL NewsRadio, here is a recap of what we talked about this week.

For the full recorded reports from this week and weeks past, visit KSL NewsRadio online. Remember to tune in between 12:30 and 1 p.m. to KSL NewsRadio every week day on 102.7 FM or 1160 AM. If your business is doing something great, let us know and we may feature it on the Utah Business Report.

CLEARLINK employees completed Walk 4 Water 2014 and raised $40,000 for clean water in Rwanda. After walking from Las Vegas to Salt Lake over two weeks, CLEARLINKers celebrated on the final stretch from Salt Air to CLEARLINK headquarters on Friday, October 10. On Friday walkers were shuttled from CLEARLINK’s office to Salt Air. The 10-mile stretch from Salt Air to CLEARLINK along the North Temple frontage road was the final stage of Walk 4 Water this year.

For this company initiative, 300+ employees walked hundreds of miles and nearly eight million steps as a way to bring a clean water system to Rwanda. Phil Hansen, CEO of CLEARLINK, had a strong desire to connect employees to a cause and purpose outside of their day-to-day and it has been a huge success. Working together to fundraise has been a great way to build employee camaraderie and morale.

For more information about this event visit #walk4water2014 across all social properties. You can also visit clearlink.com

Way to go CLEARLINK employees and volunteers!

HealthInsight, a local non-profit that aims to achieve quality and effectiveness in health care, is seeking dedicated employer representatives to participate in a community coalition, the Advisory Board for the Utah Partnership for Value. The “Partnership” is a forum that brings together providers, payers, purchasers or employers and the public to improve healthcare quality and reduce costs.

The Advisory Board is meeting actively but is in need of additional employer representation. Candidates for the Advisory Board should have some knowledge of the health care system as a whole, have the ability to offer their organization’s support for initiatives and share a commitment to collaborative leadership. An exciting example of an upcoming project will be a collaboration with Consumer Reports to encourage employees to appropriately avoid unnecessary imaging services for low back pain, a significant driver of low-value health care expenditures.

Interested parties should contact Suzy Wickens: swickens@healthinsight.org.

U.S. Bank, through the U.S. Bank Foundation, is awarding a total of $68,000 in grants to 17 nonprofit organizations in the Greater Salt Lake. The grants are being awarded for organizations that support arts and culture, economic opportunity and education in the Greater Salt Lake community.

Educational grants are provided to innovative programs that help low-income and at-risk students succeed in school and prepare for post-secondary education, provide financial literacy training or offer effective mentoring programs.

The U.S. Bank Foundation contributes to the strength and vitality of local communities through partnerships that improve the educational and economic opportunities of low- and moderate-income individuals and families and enhance the cultural and artistic life of the communities in which U.S. Bancorp operates.

U.S. Bank is a proud to be a part of the Salt Lake City community. Statewide, U.S. Bank has 73 branches and employs more than 400 people.

For more information visit usbank.com

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Utah’s leading real estate services company, is also one of the best companies to work for, according to a newly released report.

The brokerage company ranked among the top 50 companies in Utah to work for, according to a report by the Deseret News and the career site Glassdoor.com. The list includes the top 50 non-governmental companies on Glassdoor.com with at least 25 reviews and a Utah location.

The workplaces were ranked using employee responses on Glassdoor.com about company culture, work-life balance, benefits, opportunities and management. All stats are taken from employee feedback on Glassdoor.com, including average pay for the most common position listed on Glassdoor. Almost half of the companies are headquartered in Utah.

Congratulations Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage! For more information about this company visit UtahHomes.com.

Cranium Cafe is a unique communication platform that adds value to student services departments for new and current students, leveraging the power of instant communication from any location or device. Cranium Cafe is pleased to announce its first social icon, the Café Now Button. This is a smaller & more sleek version of the Cafe vCard in that it has the same functionality — someone visiting your website can still initiate a Cafe with you if you’re online, and they can still schedule a later appointment if you’ve set your Cafe hours. All of that convenience has been condensed into this effective button.

The Cafe Now Button has three different sizes and color schemes so you can pick whatever fits your business needs. To play around with these options, or if you decide you want a Cafe Now Button on your website, head to the “get your button” page on craniumcafe.com. Once you decide what you like, javascript code will be generated for you to copy and paste right into your webpage. To activate it, just contact Cranium Cafe and you’ll be set to go.

 

Utah Broadband Project Releases Statewide Broadband Plan

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Plan focuses on leveraging, enhancing and strengthening state’s broadband infrastructure

Wednesday, October 8, the Utah Broadband Project released the Utah Broadband Plan, which details strategies and key initiatives to help increase broadband deployment, adoption and connectivity throughout the State of Utah.

“In upcoming years, broadband access will become increasingly more important,” said Kelleigh Cole, manager of the Utah Broadband Project. “This plan outlines strategic goals and initiatives to help Utah continue to be a nationwide leader in broadband deployment and adoption, and most importantly drive economic development. ”

The plan highlights nine strategies to strengthen Utah’s economy through broadband development. It focuses on using broadband technologies to support economic development, education, transportation, public safety and other key sectors by teaching best practices to local governments and better connecting rural Utah to the global economy.

Specifically, these initiatives include developing the nation’s first commercial broadband map, working with partners to connect Utah’s remaining schools and libraries to broadband networks, encouraging broadband deployment best practices, teaching urban and rural communities businesses strategies to leverage broadband deployment and continuing strategic partnerships, particularly the Utah Broadband Advisory Council.

“Utah is already a leader in economic growth because of its commitment to broadband,” said Val Hale, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “As the economy continues to shift online, broadband must continue to be a priority to maintain our economic growth and preserve our recognition as one of the best states for business and careers.”

The Utah Broadband Plan is the culmination of a five-year process which included the development of seven regional broadband teams, analysis on broadband adoption trends and soliciting the feedback of stakeholders across Utah. The Utah Broadband Project will be working with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the Utah Broadband Advisory Council and other key stakeholders to determine the appropriate implementation process for the plan.

A full version of the plan can be found at the Utah Broadband Project’s website at broadband.utah.gov.

About the Utah Broadband Project

Web: broadband.utah.gov

The Utah Broadband Project is a joint effort between the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the Public Service Commission (PSC), and the Department of Technology Services’ Automated Geographic Reference Center (AGRC) to develop a statewide map of available broadband services and a plan to increase broadband adoption and deployment in Utah. The Project maintains Utah’s interactive broadband availability map, and works with broadband providers to gather and verify data twice each year. The Utah Broadband Project has won several awards, including a 2011 GovMark Council Award and the 2011 January Achievement Award from the Utah Product Management Council.

About the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development

Web: business.utah.gov

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development charter is based on Governor Gary Herbert’s commitment to economic development statewide. The mandate for this office is to provide rich business resources for the creation, growth and recruitment of companies to Utah and to increase tourism and film production in the state. GOED accomplishes this mission through the administration of programs that are based around targeted industries or “economic clusters” that demonstrate the best potential for development. GOED utilizes state resources and private sector contracts to fulfill its mission. For more information please contact: Michael Sullivan, 801-538-8811 or mgsullivan@utah.gov.

 

Salt Lake City Named a Top 100 Best Place to Live 2015

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Salt Lake City, Utah, has been named one of the Top 100 Best Places to Live 2015 by Livability.com.

As released by Livability.com:

The editors at Livability.com have broad experience studying and writing about the factors that make a city a great place to live and work. But they wanted other perspectives as well. So, they once again partnered with the research team at the Martin Prosperity Institute. The institute, directed by Richard Florida, is part of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and is the leading think tank on the role of location, place and city-regions in global economic prosperity.

The team analyzed more than 40 data points that were then grouped into eight categories: economics, housing, amenities, infrastructure, demographics, social and civic capital, education and health care. Sources included the best public and private data available from organizations like the U.S. Census Bureau, Walk Score, GreatSchools.com and Esri.

The eight scores were weighted based on an exclusive survey conducted for Livability.com by Ipsos Public Affairs, a leading global market research firm. Respondents were asked about factors that make communities better places to live, as well as the factors they would weigh in selecting another city. More than 2,000 cities with populations between 20,000 and 350,000 were considered in our ranking.

“The cities at the top of the list were often home to a major institution like a university, hospital or state capital,” says Matt Carmichael, Livability’s editor. “Institutions like that help these smaller cities compete in terms of sports, culture, jobs and entertainment.”

Located near majestic mountains and ski resorts, Salt Lake City offers residents an array of outdoor activities throughout the year. While tourism drives the economy in Salt Lake City, the University of Utah steers the culture and provides excellent education to local students. Salt Lake City residents are highly engaged with their community and enjoy the emphasis city leaders place on families.

Livability.com explores what makes small to mid-sized cities great places to live, work and visit. We examine issues related to livability such as walkability, cultural amenities, transportation, urban planning, and sustainability through exclusive research and discussions on our blog. We celebrate the accomplishments of these cities through our monthly top 10 lists, our annual ranking of livable cities, our rich photography and conversations with readers in social media. Livability.com is a division of Journal Communications, Inc.

Be Part of the Mountain Accord Initiative

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

We need your help in shaping the future of the Central Wasatch Mountains with the Mountain Accord initiative!

Mountain Accord had over 130 people attend the public meeting in Park City Monday, October 13. However, we need to up our efforts to get Salt Lake Valley residents engaged.

Mountain Accord is a multi-phase initiative that seeks to make critical decisions regarding the future of the central Wasatch Mountains. It will holistically evaluate and address issues and goals centered on four topic areas: environment, recreation, transportation, and economy.

Mountain Accord is a collaboration between public and private interests, including state and local governments, federal agencies, and business and grassroots organizations. Public involvement is an important component of this effort, and input received from the public will be used to inform and guide the process.

Few places in the world have a natural asset as valuable as the Central Wasatch Mountains are to the communities surrounding them. The mountains provide us with water, easy access to superb recreational opportunities, landscape-scale habitat protection and they serve as the place-maker for our region.

Visit mountainaccord.com today to be part of this great effort.

Also, take a look at these recent news releases on Mountain Accord:

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/58521933-78/accord-mountain-subcommittee-transportation.html.csp

http://www.parkrecord.com/opinion/ci_26704835/our-mountain-playgrounds-future-depends-your-participation

 

President Obama Appoints Holland & Hart Partner Jody Williams Commissioner of the Bear River Commission

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

President Barack Obama has appointed Holland & Hart Partner Jody Williams as Commissioner of the Bear River Commission.

The Bear River Commission was created in 1958 pursuant to the Bear River Compact among the states of Idaho, Utah and Wyoming. The Commission comprises nine gubernatorial appointed Commissioners and one Federal Commissioner appointed by the President, who serves as its Chair. The responsibility of the Commission is to carry out the provisions of the Bear River Compact, which defines its purposes as follows:

The major purposes of this Compact are to remove the causes of present and future controversy over the distribution and use of the waters of the Bear River; to provide for efficient use of water for multiple purposes; to permit additional development of the water resources of Bear River; to promote interstate comity; and to accomplish an equitable apportionment of the waters of the Bear River among the compacting States.

“The Bear River is rich in geographic and political complexity, and the three states’ decision to promote interstate comity as they apportion the waters of the river among them was wise,” Williams said. “The Compact has provided a framework to promote the water interests of each of the three states while preserving their common interests that brought and keep them together.”

“I’m honored to be selected by the President to serve in this role,” Williams said. “I come to this appointment with a respect for the river, the people who depend on it and love it and the three Compact States’ interests in it. I have devoted a significant portion of my career to understanding the intricate history of the Bear River, and I respect the comity the Compact States have exercised as they worked out solutions to old problems and provided for new uses of Bear River water.  This comity has saved the Compact States from costly, almost never-ending interstate litigation in the United States Supreme Court that other states were not able to avoid.”

For more than 30 years, Williams has focused her practice on water law and helped clients navigate the complexities of doing business in the Mountain West. Throughout her career, she has been involved in the complex water issues in the Bear River Basin.

Her deep connection to the Bear River springs from the role she has played in resolving conflict among the water users and Bear Lake interests. She has first-hand knowledge of the Bear River Commission, the various basin interest groups, and the three Bear River Compact States.

Williams has earned the trust of all parties with which she has worked, and was a founder of an inclusive, biannual Bear River water forum to communicate, address and resolve any issues of dispute. She has made it her mission to eliminate controversy over the distribution and use of the waters of the Bear River.

With a national reputation for water law, she understands the complex, competing demands for water across the West and the political, economic, and social contexts in which disputes arise. As a long-time problem solver, Williams has negotiated resolution of these conflicts with agencies, diverse stakeholders, and public interest groups. She is recognized throughout the industry for her knowledge of water rights, natural resources, commercial real estate transactions, and energy law.

Williams was appointed by President Clinton, and reappointed by President Bush, to the Utah Reclamation Mitigation Conservation Commission, a federal agency responsible for mitigating environmental impacts from developing Utah’s Colorado River apportionment by the Central Utah Project.

She has wide-ranging experience representing purchasers and sellers of water rights, licensing and permitting complex private and public water development projects, permitting energy development, acquiring approval to change the beneficial use of water, and performing due diligence review of water rights and real estate. She has negotiated complex public/private agreements regarding water regulated under an interstate compact.

Williams has experience negotiating with state and federal water regulating and permitting agencies, representing developers of energy generation projects and natural resources companies, and acquiring water rights for developers and energy generating facilities. Her clients include industrial, commercial, and residential developers; water conservancy districts; energy and mining companies; ranchers; and water companies.

About Holland & Hart

Holland & Hart LLP delivers integrated legal solutions to regional, national and international clients of all sizes. Since its inception in 1947, Holland & Hart’s more than 470 lawyers have consistently been recognized by leading national and international peer and industry review organizations for innovation and dedication to the practice of law. For more information, visit www.hollandhart.com.