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.

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.

 

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

 

Women and the Economy

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Ann Marie Thompson, program director at the Women’s Business Center, spoke during a Women in the Economy Commission meeting at the State Capitol on Monday, September 29, 2014. The article “Commision to highlight women in Utah economy” as previsously published by the Deseret News http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865612042/Commission-to-highlight-women-in-Utah-economy.html?s_cid=Email-1, says the following:

A newly formed female-only panel is taking aim at issues facing women in Utah’s economic landscape.

The Women in the Economy Commission conducted its second meeting Monday to discuss potential goals for the panel and how it might impact the state’s future economic success.

The 11-member commission was created during the 2014 Legislature by House Minority Leader Jennifer Seelig, D-Salt Lake. Seeling and House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo, serve as co-chairwomen.

Seelig said the commission’s purpose is to increase public and government understanding of the current and future impacts and needs of the state’s women in the economy.

The commission will also work to determine how those needs may be most effectively and efficiently met, along with identifying and recommending implementation of specific policies, procedures and programs to respond to the rights, needs and impacts of women in the economy.

The panel can also facilitate coordination of the functions of public and private entities concerned with women in the economy.

“We create our institutions, including companies and governments, and then they help create us,” Seelig explained. “Our products are outcomes of who we are as human beings. And part of that contains our hopes, our dreams and our prejudices.”

She noted that since economic systems are “not neutral,” they should be examined to determine how “everybody and participate and contribute.”

Until then, she said, “we’re not going to be able to compete (nationally) or globally.”

Seelig said current economic systems do not take advantage of the full potential and capability of all of the available population, namely women.

“We have an entire human infrastructure and skill set, and we’re not utilizing about half of it,” she said.

While numerous media sources have praised Utah as one of the best economies in the nation, Seelig said that characterization might not be completely accurate.

“It may be one of the best for certain people,” she explained. “If you look at issues related to poverty and wage earnings, we still have a lot to learn.”

For Utah’s entire economy to flourish, the state needs to ”benefit from all the skill sets of all the human infrastructure that we have,” Seelig said. “And right now, we’re really not.”

Among the other issues of interest of the panel are helping women make advances in the state’s burgeoning business economy, explained Ann Marie Thompson, program director of the Salt Lake Chamber Women’s Business Center.

“It is definitely one of our goals to be able to advance women in their own spheres, and one of them is as business owners,” Thompson said.

Education will be a key to helping women make greater gains and creating opportunities for growth and prosperity moving forward, she said.

“(As a commission), we are really trying to figure out what the problems are, how we’re measuring them, and what kind of partners we might need to better understand the needs of our women,” Thompson explained.

Learning best practices and solutions to the pervasive problems that exist are also important objectives of the panel, she added.

Thompson said addressing the issues of access to capital for women entrepreneurs and the wage gap for women in the workplace are also key concerns.

“Women are not aware that their (male) contemporaries are paying themselves a little bit more,” she said.

Women in the Economy Commission members:

House Minority Leader Jennifer Seelig, D-Salt Lake, co-chairwoman

House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo, co-chairwoman

Sen. Deidre Henderson, R-Spanish Fork

Sen. Luz Robles, D-Salt Lake

Carrie Mayne, Utah Department of Workforce Services

Ann Marie Thompson, Salt Lake Chamber

Trina Eyring, Zions Bank

Jennifer Robinson, University of Utah’s Center for Public Policy

Anne Burkholder, YWCA

Judy Barnett, AFL-CIO

Heather Barnum, HDR Engineering

Transportation For America – Local Successes

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

 

Utah’s commitment to disciplined planning and investment was featured as a “can-do” region this month by Transportation For America, an alliance of elected, business and civic leaders from communities across the country, united to ensure that states and the federal government step up to invest in smart, homegrown, locally-driven transportation solutions — because these are the investments that hold the key to our future economic prosperity.

While Utah’s success stories in economic development, transportation funding and quality of life are making their rounds around the nation – we still have significant work to be done, especially in transportation. The article highlight’s Utah’s Unified Transportation Plan as a national best practice and a comprehensive approach that provides for positive outcomes beyond transportation. A quality transportation system offers personal benefits to every Utahn, including more time with families, a cleaner environment and better health and Utah’s transportation system is the backbone of our economy. However, Utah’s current funding mechanisms won’t produce enough to cover all of Utah’s needed transportation projects.

The article “Local Successes” in Transportation for America highlights this point. One ongoing challenge for the Utah, specifically the Wasatch Front in particular is geography. How will a growing population maintain a good quality of life in a relatively thin sliver of land?

Utah is the sixth most urban state in the country, with 80 percent of the population residing along the Wasatch Front, a metropolitan region in the north-central part of the state that includes Salt Lake City, Provo, and Ogden. Bordered to the east by the Wasatch Mountain Range and to the west by the Great Salt Lake and Utah Lake, the region provides limited space for its two million residents.

To compound the issues associated with limited space, the Wasatch Front’s population is expected to increase 60 percent by the year 2040, swelling to 3.5 million people.

Residents, planners, business leaders and their elected officials are asking the question: How to accommodate that growth while maintaining the region’s reputation as an economic powerhouse with world-class outdoor recreational opportunities?

Answers to that question began in 1987 with the founding of the Coalition for Utah’s Future. From that coalition grew Envision Utah, a nonprofit organization focused on growth issues around the state. In 1997, Envision Utah launched a two-year research effort focused on the growth along the Wasatch Front. That process engaged approximately 20,000 participants and resulted in the Quality Growth Strategy, a vision for the Wasatch Front that aimed to accommodate growth while conserving more land and water, limiting emissions associated with the region’s air quality challenges and providing more transportation and land use choices to meet market demand.

Along with almost unprecedented citizen participation in the region’s long-range planning efforts through Envision Utah, the region’s business community has also played a leadership role in advocating for additional transportation investment in local and state transportation needs.

“The number one issue ten years ago became the infrastructure,” said Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake City Area Chamber of Commerce.

“We realized right up front from a business community [perspective], that if we let the infrastructure slip in our communities, we would absolutely commit economic suicide,” Beattie added. “It takes so much longer to build yourself out of a problem once you’re in, so we had to address it. The business community stepped up and said we want commuter rail, we want light rail, we want roads.”

David Golden, a banking executive with Wells Fargo and co-chair for Salt Lake Chamber’s transportation initiative the Utah Transportation Coalition, agrees.

“One thing I think we’ve proven is that an investment in transportation pays dividends for our economy and I think the citizens and leadership of our state generally understand that,” he said.

“From a business community perspective, we understand how important this investment is and how beneficial it is. We are a growing state with numerous demands, but I think overall, transportation is a proven winner in this state and one that people are on board with getting behind.”

Golden points to an economic analysis that found a $1.94 gain in gross domestic product for every $1 invested in the Unified Transportation Plan. “That’s a winner,” he said.

Through a lot of consensus-building and the cooperation of the public and private sectors on the Wasatch Front, the region’s leaders have laid the groundwork for economic prosperity for years to come. They’ve cultivated a heritage of leadership in the local business community. They’ve engaged thousands of citizens to think about what kind of place they want the Salt Lake City region to be decades down the road — and they’ve supported the vision with their tax dollars.

“We’ve still got more work to be done in investing for our future growth,” said Beattie. “The secret sauce that got us to this point will need a bit of seasoning to ensure we continue to invest prudently in our infrastructure and prosper as a region for years to come.”

See the full article here: bit.ly/1qasUam

 

Flowing Toward 2050: Utah’s Water Outlook

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Reposted from the Utah Foundation website: http://www.utahfoundation.org/reports/flowing-toward-2050-utahs-water-outlook/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Utah’s population is projected to grow by 2.5 million people in the next 35 years. The implications of this projected growth are far reaching for state and local agencies and for policy makers. Previous reports in the 2014 population growth series have discussed where growth will occur, who new Utahns will be, and what they will need to continue to have the quality of life that current Utahns enjoy. This report, the third in a four-part series, focuses on the interaction between population growth and future water supply.

Two different viewpoints Diverted Water Useon Utah’s water future exist – that the state currently has enough water for future demands or the state needs to develop multiple projects to ensure continued water sustainability. Increased pressure on the existing system created by projected population growth provides the groundwork for these two viewpoints. For those who believe the current, developed supply is sufficient, increased emphasis on conservation and better water management are key policy strategies. For those who think that population growth will overrun existing current supply in the next 15-20 years, emphasis is placed on development of new supply through large and small-scale projects. Financing of new development and conservation are both important topics, but this report also discusses impacts created by climate as well as conversion of agricultural land and water rights to municipal and industrial uses.

Since Utah is a desert and water is an essential element of sustaining life, discussions on water policy are not going away. This report presents six recommendations for policy strategies or further study in the fields of rate structure, local response, and planning.

Public Policy – September Update

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

As the “Voice of Business” and Utah’s statewide Chamber, the Salt Lake Chamber leads out on critical issues that impact Utah businesses and our community. In the coming weeks, here is how we plan to “move the dial” to grow our economy, promote community prosperity and champion business in Utah, as well as ways for you to participate for the month of September and beyond.

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Public Policy 

The Policy Chairs meeting gathered to discuss legislative priorities and to plan the upcoming 2015 public policy guide. The Chamber’s intent remains to enhance major initiatives including economic development, infrastructure, environment and Utah’s workforce, thereby ensuring Utah’s has the premier business climate in the country.

The public policy guide serves as the platform for the business community’s priorities for the upcoming legislative session, desired action in Washington and other key community issues. You can find the 2014 Public Policy Guide here.

If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to Michael Merrill at (801) 328-5068 or mmerrill@slchamber.com.

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Energy and Minerals: Fall Energy Trip (Oct. 21-22) 

The next meeting will be with the Natural Resources Business Council on October 8th from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m.

The Salt Lake Chamber and Utah Office of Energy are excited to announce the 2014 Fall Energy Excursion, October 21-22, 2014, to Utah’s coal country and southeastern energy producing counties. The one-night, two-day excursion builds upon the success of previous excursions to the Uinta Basin (Fall 2013) and Milford/Beaver (Spring 2014). Join us as we head south to explore, engage and learn in southeastern Utah. Register here.

The September task force meeting included an excellent presentation from Alan Westenskow from the Utah Economic Council and Zions Bank Public Finance on the energy economies of Uintah and Duchene counties, an update from Tammie Lucero from Uintah County Economic Development, the high-level details regarding our Fall Energy Excursion, and an update from the Office of Energy Development on their office including, recent new staff additions, partnering with Chamber on the aforementioned trip, a new electric vehicle website they will be rolling out in the near future, videos of energy jobs and opportunities and developing an economic impact for energy on Utah’s economy. We will have updates in the near future on the committee, including meeting dates and ways to participate.

If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to Michael Merrill at (801) 328-5068 or mmerrill@slchamber.com.

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Prosperity 2020:

The U.S Chamber Foundation released the Leaders and Laggards report which ranks Utah in the middle of the pack. Of particular interest are Utah’s low scores in student proficiency and postsecondary and workforce readiness. Prosperity 2020 is actively engaged in improving education outcomes and building a better workforce.

A five-year plan has been drafted to take Utah to the top ten in education in the country. These policies have been outlined in detail in a plan being developed by Prosperity 2020 and Education First, with input from major education stakeholders throughout the state. We’d like your feedback on the draft. If your organization would like a presentation on the plan’s objectives, please contact us.

The plan will be rolled out at AcademicXL, a TED-style conference in Salt Lake City in October presenting innovative practices to make Utah a leader in education. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

Please contact Allyson Bell at abell@slchamber.com or Jana Scott jscott@prosperity2020.com for information.

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Natural Resources Business Council:

Every other month, we meet as a group of four-task forces and then in the off months each task force meets independently. This not only drives unity, but helps the Chamber maximize its staff resources and alleviate conflicts and silos.

In addition to driving fidelity, the Council provides a unique venue for the Chamber to speak on stewardship and sustainability and position the business community as a leader on energy issues. The next Natural Resources business council will be on October 8th from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. and will focus on natural resources principles.

If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to Michael Merrill at (801) 328-5068 or mmerrill@slchamber.com. 

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Regulation: Solutions Summit a Success 

Thursday, August 21, 2014 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM

We partnered with Sen. Mike Lee, Gov. Gary Herbert, the Utah League of Cities and Towns, the Utah Association of Counties and over 200 attendees for the Utah Solutions Summit on Thursday, August 21, 2014  to discuss the vast and uncertain regulatory burden under which businesses are required to comply and develop solutions to move our economy forward.

The agenda included discussion with business leaders and government offi­cials about regulation compliance and the relationship between regulation and economic development. This event included featured keynote speakers U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox.

If you have any other questions or comments regarding regulation solutions, please reach out to Justin Jones at (801) 558-9371 or jjones@slchamber.com.

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Clean Air: 4th Annual Clean Air Summit Scheduled for Early December

Over the next few months the Clean Air Task Force will spend time identifying potential legislative issues that will help clean our air including Tier 3 Fuels and Vehicles, incentives for cleaner burning autos and the revised State Implementation Plan developed to bring Utah into compliance with federal air quality standards.  Additionally, the Task Force will begin work on the second Inversion Mitigation Effort, through which we encourage the business community to do what they can to reduce emissions during our winter inversion season.  The Task Force will also start developing an agenda for the 4th Annual Clean Air Summit scheduled for early December.

The Chamber is also pleased to announce that Chris Lee, President of Deseret Digital Media, has accepted the role of Chair of the Clean Air Task Force.  Chris takes over for Jonathan Johnson who led the task force for approximately four years.  We appreciate the many years of leadership Jonathan provided and look forward to having Chris help guide our clean air efforts.

If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to Ryan Evans at (801) 328-5063.

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Water: Water Task Force Spinning Up

The next water task force meeting will be held September 18th 2014. The Salt Lake Chamber’s first water task force will focus on best practices for business in water conservation and management. It will also look at current and future infrastructure needs. The Chamber launched its efforts in water last month with “Utah | Water Is Your Business” and will continue to meet in the coming months to address this critical issue for business.

If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to Michael Merrill at (801) 328-5068 or mmerrill@slchamber.com.

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Outdoor Recreation & Tourism:

Working with Office of Outdoor Recreation and EDC Utah, we will host a series of discussions over the coming months to promote best practices, build partnerships and discuss issues facing the Outdoor Recreation and Tourism community.

If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to Jesse Dean at (801) 328-5045 or  jesse@downtownslc.org.

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Utah Transportation Coalition: Unified Plan Needs a Unified Front to Fund Transportation

This past month Lane Beattie spoke before the Utah League of Cities and Towns Fall Conference concerning funding Utah’s transportation infrastructure, specifically the local roads in our cities and towns.

With Utah’s anticipated population growth, it’s important to maintain a quality transportation system that benefits the entire business community. The 2040 Unified Transportation plan is a comprehensive approach that provides the outcomes required to successfully support our communities. Additionally, the Coalition is working on a comprehensive communications plan with details to be released in the near future.

In addition, The Utah Transportation Coalition and Parsons Brinkerhoff will be hosting an Aerotroplis forum on October 16th to discuss the importance of the connection between Salt Lake City International Airport and Utah’s economy. The airport just recently broke ground on a 10-year terminal rebuild and released a report detailing the economic impact of the airport to Utah’s economy.

For more details visit www.utahtransportation.org or contact Michael Merrill at (801) 328-5068 or mmerrill@slchamber.com. 

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Downtown Alliance: Downtown Still Rising

Construction continues at unprecedented levels in downtown Salt Lake City, pushing the urban center to new heights with the following signature projects well underway:

George and Dolores Eccles Theater On Main 

Construction for the $117 million project began in Spring 2014. This 2,500 seat, Broadway-style theater is expected to be completed by the summer of 2016 and will be designed to enhance the culture and economic vitality of the region by attracting first-run touring Broadway shows, as well as other national and local music, comedy and family entertainment acts.

111 South Main 

This Class A office development is currently under construction just north of the Eccles Theater on Main Street. The building will feature 440,452 sq. ft. of office space and be integrated with the Eccles Theater project in terms of functionality and design.

300 South Protected Bike Lanes

Salt Lake City Transportation began its protected bike lane project along 300 South between 300 West and 600 East in August with an estimated completion in October. These protected bike lanes are part of the city’s initiative to create low stress urban bikeways connecting neighborhoods to the heart of downtown and will be similar to bike lanes in other major cities like New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Minneapolis.

If you are interested in learning more about the Downtown Alliance’s initiatives or if you have any questions, please contact Jesse Dean, Director of Urban Development at jesse@downtownslc.org.

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Health System Reform: Meet the Candidates Breakfast and Governor’s Healthy Utah Plan

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary and the State of Utah have reached a conceptual deal regarding the Governor’s Healthy Utah Plan. As you know, the Governor has been working hard to close a gap in coverage for people who do not qualify for Medicaid and also fall under the coverage of health exchanges required by the Affordable Care Act. The Chamber has been working closely with the Utah Hospital Association, Chamber members and others to gather support for the Governor’s effort.

We will continue to be an avid supporter with other key partners in urging thoughtful leadership on this key priority. As an example, the Chamber’s Health System Reform task force chairs, Andrew Croshaw and Marc Bennett, did a great job lending the Chamber’s support by testifying to the Legislature’s Healthcare Reform Task Force, urging their support for the Governor’s plan. There will be more details to come in terms of the final agreement for a waiver, as well as next steps for Legislative approval here in Utah, but this update is good news. The Health System Reform Task Force will have a “Meet the Candidates” breakfast on September 25, in lieu of a task force meeting.

If you have any other questions or comments, please reach out to Justin Jones at (801) 558-9371 or jjones@slchamber.com.

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International: Utah Global Forum

Utah Global Forum – Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014

On September 24, 2014, Utah will host the first of its kind Global Forum. Topics will include Building a Global Brand; Doing Business in Europe, Mexico, Canada, and China; Shared Stories of Success from Utah Companies Abroad; Financing Your Global Expansion; and Global Operational Efficiency Through Sound Legal, Tax and Accounting Practices. The agenda for the event has been release and features a number of world-renowned business and trade experts. If you’re thinking about exporting, looking to invest in one of the fastest growing economies in the United States or seeking inspiration to take your business to the next level, you won’t want to miss out.

For questions regarding the Utah Global Forum please visit: http://www.utahglobalforum.com/.

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Thanks to “Utah | Water Is Your Business” Sponsors

Friday, August 15th, 2014

The Salt Lake Chamber would like to give another round of thanks to our “Utah | Water is Your Business” launch sponsors for their support in helping our week-long water initiative to encourage the discussion on water: CH2M Hill, Holland & Hart, Whitaker Construction and Snell & Wilmer.

CH2M HILL

CH2M HILL is an industry-leading design, program management, and construction management firm. The firm’s work is concentrated in the areas of water, energy, transportation, environmental, nuclear, and industrial facilities. We have provided design and construction services in water system planning, water supply, treatment, conveyance, and water resource management for over 60 years and have been a leader in the Utah engineering community since 1979. Our resources include a comprehensive staff of engineers, scientists, construction managers, and support personnel totaling nearly 200 in Utah along with worldwide resources comprising more than 164 area offices and over 28,000 employees. We consistently rank among the top firms in numerous industry surveys.

CH2M HILL provides a comprehensive array of fully integrated services to help our clients take any water conveyance, treatment, or water resources project from concept to reality. Our full-service capabilities enable us to deliver multidimensional infrastructure projects throughout Utah and worldwide. We take projects of any size from concept to construction, from initial objectives to full operations, and remain at the forefront of technology advancements and innovations that help our clients make a difference in the lives of their customers every day.

Holland & Hart

Established in 1947, Holland & Hart has more than 470 lawyers providing a full range of service from 15 offices across the Mountain West and in Washington, D.C. With over 90 lawyers in our Salt Lake City office alone, we offer clients the value of local experience backed by a firm-wide network of resources to provide effective and efficient counsel on the wide range of legal issues facing Utah businesses. Holland & Hart was named the 2014 “Law Firm of the Year” for Water Law by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms.”

Holland & Hart’s Water Law practice comprises attorneys advising and representing a wide variety of clients across the Mountain West region in various types of water matters, including water rights, water supply development, and water quality issues. The firm’s Salt Lake office is located in Utah’s first LEED Gold-certified high-rise at 222 S. Main Street – a testament to the business community’s responsibility to lead by example in using innovative conservation practices. Partner Jody Williams is a member of Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s State Water Strategy Advisory Team; and as a member of the Salt Lake Chamber’s Board of Governors, she was instrumental in the creation of a Water Task Force in the Salt Lake Chamber’s Natural Resource Business Council.

Whitaker Construction

Founded in 1953, Whitaker Construction has grown into one of the largest utility contractors in Utah. With over 200 employees, we perform all types of water, sewer, natural gas and other pipelines; pump stations, earthwork and other civil projects.

We continue to build some of the largest and most complex utility projects in the state and are proud of our strong relationships with the local municipalities, utility companies, and sewer and water districts. We have been involved in many of the large water projects throughout Utah and we are grateful to be part of the ongoing effort to build the water infrastructure necessary to help our state thrive.”

Public Policy – August Update

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

As the “Voice of Business” and Utah’s statewide chamber, the Salt Lake Chamber leads out on critical issues that impact Utah businesses and our community. In the coming weeks, here is how we plan to “move the dial” to grow our economy, promote community prosperity and champion business in Utah, as well as ways for you to participate for the month of August and beyond.

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Public Policy

We are excited to announce that Michael Merrill has been promoted to Director of Public Policy for the Salt Lake Chamber. Michael will continue to focus and enhance the Chamber’s major initiatives, including economic development, infrastructure, the environment, Utah’s workforce and ensuring Utah’s premier business climate.

Additionally, Jesse Dean has been promoted to Director of Urban Development for the Downtown Alliance, focusing on economic development and urban policies in Salt Lake City’s downtown.

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Prosperity 2020

Prosperity 2020 is actively engaged in ensuring that our state has a world-class workforce and supporting education in our state. This includes recently speaking out in favor of extending the No Child Left Behind waiver.

In addition to these efforts, Prosperity 2020is looking to share how businesses are engaged in supporting education. Please take five minutes to complete this short survey to provide insight for the policymakers and others who ask what industry is saying about education’s impact on their companies.

If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to Allyson Bell at 801-328-5076 or abell@prosperity2020.com.

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Natural Resources Business Council: August meeting focused on public lands initiative

Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014 | 7:30 – 9:00 AM

The Natural Resource Business Council represents an inclusive approach to multiple sectors of Utah’s economy. The Council is the guiding body for the water,  energy and minerals, clean air, and outdoor recreation and tourism task forces.

This month’s meeting will focus on updates from the Chamber’s efforts in these areas, as well as an update from Rep. Rob Bishop on the Public Lands Initiative.

If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to Michael Merrill at 801.558.5068 or mmerrill@slchamber.com.

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Regulation: Chamber partnering on Utah Solutions Summit regarding regulation

Thursday, Aug.21, 2014 | 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM

We are partnering with Sen. Mike Lee, Gov. Gary Herbert, the Utah League of Cities and Towns, and the Utah Association of Counties for the Utah Solutions Summit on Thursday, August 21, 2014 to discuss the vast and uncertain regulatory burden under which businesses are required to comply and develop solutions to move our economy forward.

The agenda includes discussions with business leaders and government offi­cials about regulation compliance as well as the relationship between regulation and economic development. Included featured keynote speakers: U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox.

If you have any other questions or comments, please reach out to Justin Jones at 801.558.9371 or jjones@slchamber.com.

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Clean Air: 6th Annual Clear the Air Challenge another success

We all have a role in keeping our air clean and the 2014 Clear the Air Challenge was another great success exhibiting Utahns and Utah businesses’ willingness to drive smarter and drive less. More than 6,800 participants eliminated over 140,000 single-occupancy vehicles trips, averting more than 2 million miles traveled.

The winners of this year’s challenge will be announced on August 16 at 9:00 a.m. at the Downtown Farmers Market at Pioneer Park on the main stage. If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to Ryan Evans at 801.328.5063.

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Water: Chamber announces new effort to address Utah’s water challenges

As part of the “Utah | Water Is Your Business” week, the Salt Lake Chamber announced a co-chair for the newly launched water committee: Rob Moore, president of Big-D Construction. The Chamber water committee will focus on best practices for business in water conservation and management, and will also look at current and future infrastructure needs. To learn more, please visit “Utah | Water Is Your Business.” You can also follow the discussion on Twitter with the hashtag #UTbiz4H2O.

We will have updates in the very near future on the committee including meeting dates and ways to participate. If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to Michael Merrill at 801.558.5068 or mmerrill@slchamber.com.

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Utah Transportation Coalition: Mountain transportation and Aerotroplis

Save the Date – Aerotroplis Guest Speaker – Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014

This past month Utah Transportation Coalition and Mountain Accord hosted business and community leaders to discuss the future of transportation in Utah’s Central Wasatch. Mountain transportation is one of the key transportation objectives for Utah’s business community because of its possible impact on our economy, quality of life, and opportunities to strengthen and enhance our natural environment.

The Salt Lake Chamber and Utah Transportation Coalition support these efforts to explore transportation options in the Wasatch Mountains that increase accessibility, are a net-positive for the environment, encourage transit, enhance Utah’s global brand, and pass a rigorous environmental and local process. For more information about the Mountain Accord Process, please visit www.mountainaccord.com.

Addtionally, the Utah Transportation Coalition and Parsons Brinkerhoff will be hosting an Aerotroplis forum on October 16 to discuss the importance of the connection between Salt Lake City International Airport and Utah’s economy. The airport just recently broke ground on a 10-year terminal rebuild and released a report detailing the economic impact of the airport.

For more details, visit www.utahtransportation.org or contact Michael Merrill at 801.558.5068 or mmerrill@slchamber.com.

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Energy: 2014 Uintah Basin Energy Summit

Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014 – Vernal

Utah’s rich and diverse energy sector is one key reason behind our state’s thriving economy. This September key stakeholders will gather in one of Utah’s richest energy regions. The Uintah Basin Energy Summit is a complement to the Governor’s Energy Summit that focuses directly on economic growth and energy development in the Uintah Basin. The summit will be in held in Vernal, Utah, on September 4, 2014.

This region is extremely important to Utah’s broader business community. Most recently, the Utah State Chamber, the coordinating entity for chambers of commerce throughout Utah, held its annual summer meeting in the Uintah Basin. If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to Michael Merrill at 801.558-5068 or mmerrill@slchamber.com.

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Outdoor Recreation and Tourism: 2014 Summer Outdoor Retailer and Economic Club of Utah

Outdoor recreation and tourism represent robust business sectors that benefit both urban and rural Utah. We view efforts to enhance these industries as vital to economic development. This past month we held an industry focus group and will continue to engage Utah’s outdoor products and services companies.

As part of that effort, the Salt Lake Chamber visited the 2014 Summer Outdoor Retailer show and connected with key industry leaders. Additionally, the Chamber is supporting the Economic Club of Utah’s Summer Meeting, which is focusing on Utah’s outdoor economy.

We are also excited about our continued partnership with the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation and Office of Tourism, Global Branding and Film as we look to grow these industries.

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Downtown Alliance: Downtown still rising

In July 2014, the Downtown Alliance released the “2014 State of Downtown Economic Benchmark Report” from 2013 through first quarter 2014. This report tells a story of a constantly evolving and improving regional center for culture, commerce and entertainment. Economic activity and tax revenues continue to recover from the Great Recession of 2007-2009, with retail sales reaching over $800 million in eating, drinking, clothing department and other downtown retail categories. Over the last year, dozens of new office buildings, residential developments, hotels, theaters and public structures either broke ground or opened within 1.08 square mile Central Business District. For more information and a full copy of this report, please click here.

Looking forward to 2014-2015, there are several opportunities for improvement within the Central Business District. The Downtown Alliance will focus on policies and programs that impact the following areas:

- Redevelopment in downtown’s burgeoning entrepreneurial and transit-oriented neighborhood, the Depot District.
- Nightlife economy and creating a dynamic and diverse downtown that is welcoming to locals and visitors alike.
- Continued residential development to create a 24/7 urban center welcome to all ages, backgrounds and income levels.
- Development-friendly codes and zoning in order to remain a regional competitor for urban infill.

If you are interested in learning more about the Downtown Alliance’s initiatives or have any questions, please contact Director of Urban Development Jesse Dean at jesse@downtownslc.org.

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Health System Reform: Governor’s Healthy Utah Plan

Health System Reform Task Force meeting – Thursday, Aug.28, 2014

We are actively engaged in a number of issues in regards to health care and the business community. This includes the discussions around the Governor’s Healthy Utah Plan, the continued implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) and its impact on businesses, as well as directly engaging Utah’s employers as the largest payer in health care spending.

The Health System Reform Task Force will be meeting on August 28. If you have any other questions or comments, please reach out to Justin Jones at 801.558.9371 or jjones@slchamber.com.

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International: Utah Global Forum

Utah Global Forum – Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014

On September 24, 2014, Utah will host the first of its kind Global Forum. Topics will include Building a Global Brand; Doing Business in Europe, Mexico, Canada and China; Shared Stories of Success from Utah Companies Abroad; Financing Your Global Expansion; and Global Operational Efficiency Through Sound Legal, Tax and Accounting Practices. The agenda for the event has been released and features a number of world-renowned business and trade experts.

If you’re thinking about exporting, looking to invest in one of the fastest growing economies in the United States or seeking inspiration to take your business to the next level, you won’t want to miss out on this forum.

For questions regarding the Utah Global Forum, please visit www.utahglobalforum.com.