The history of Utah’s economy is one of transformation, industry and purposeful planning. Our forebears developed a principled ever-changing blueprint for our current economic success.
Last year, nearly 100 business leaders, including the majority of the Salt Lake Chamber Board of Governors, engaged in a similar, forward-thinking blueprint process to ensure Utah’s future economic success. Instead of looking in the rear view mirror and making adjustments, business leaders adopted a futurist’s vantage point, dreamed big and developed a plan to achieve an ideal economy. After hours of planning and discussion, an innovative economic blueprint was created. This blueprint’s purpose is to strategically design Utah’s economic direction and competitiveness to create a prosperous future. The blueprint includes 6 pillars, 20 objectives and 54 key milestones to guide Utah’s future. The main pillars consist of the following:
- Global Crossroads: Amplifying global competitiveness and connectivity
- Transformative Choices: Making strategic capital investments
- Unrivaled Location: Enhancing quality of life, health and happiness
- Economic Dynamism: Fostering innovation and entrepreneurship
- Unleashing Opportunity: Boosting economic mobility and high-wage job creation
- Knowledge Capital: Creating a workforce for tomorrow’s jobs
Now a year into the process, how are we doing at achieving the goals outlined in the blueprint?
One way to measure the progress is by looking at the Chamber’s efforts during the 2018 Legislative Session. Each session, the Salt Lake Chamber’s Executive Board designates top priorities of the business community as “priority votes.” Out of the Chamber’s 22 priority votes, 90 percent were passed this last session and became law.
These priority votes reinforced all six pillars of the economic blueprint. The Chamber expanded Utah’s global crossroads by supporting Utah’s Olympic Exploratory Committee and Inland Port, and ensured transformative choices by investing in transportation governance. The Chamber also supported enhancing the state’s quality of life by implementing moderate income housing in city planning and efforts to restore Utah Lake. Other legislative successes included helping unleash opportunity by expanding licensure for military spouses, teleworking in rural communities and intergenerational poverty initiatives. Lastly, the Chamber increased Utah’s knowledge capital by championing the Talent Development and Retention Strategy Loan Program and by supporting the Our Schools Now Legislative Compromise.
Business leaders play an important role in the economic blueprint, but it requires continued collaboration, planning and perseverance from industry leaders and community members alike. Only this collaboration will ensure Utah continues to be what it has always been–a state where people can live, work and play for generations to come.