CNBC, the most-watched business television network, recently recognized Utah as its “best state for business,” followed by Texas, Colorado, Minnesota and North Carolina.
Utah is a top economic performer in varied studies using different benchmarks and methods of analysis. Forbes, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and WalletHub recognize Utah’s leading economic, business and jobs status.
The state’s strong economy is highly diversified, offering more job opportunities to a growing and highly diverse population. As Scott Anderson, president of Zions Bank, the largest bank headquartered in Utah said, we want a strong economy so that Utah families and individuals can flourish. We want a strong economy because a prosperous society can invest in clean energy and other measures to protect the environment. We want a strong economy so that families can support and enjoy the arts and sports that enrich our society and bring us closer together. We want a strong economy so we can invest in public infrastructure. Perhaps most important, we want a strong economy so that we can provide great education for our young people.
Utah’s weak link is “workforce.” Utah ranks 23rd in education performance. Utah’s low unemployment rate has some businesses wondering if they can find qualified employees in sufficient numbers. “Excellent education,” Anderson believes is the solution. Utah must invest to become a top-10 education state if we want to maintain our strong economy. Utah students can be the state’s greatest asset or greatest liability.
Horizonte, Salt Lake City School District’s alternative high school and adult education center, is helping keep Utah economically strong by providing the desired excellent education. The formerly unsuccessful, immigrants and refugees who receive their high school diploma and who are interested in and qualify for applied tech or college private Horizonte financial assistance, are going far in building Utah’s workforce.