May just might be my favorite month of the year — each day is longer and brighter, the flowers are in full bloom, and our beautiful mountain ranges and valleys are verdant.

I love that spring marks new beginnings, including new professional beginnings for many of our college grads. This weekend and last weekend brought college commencement for several Utah universities and colleges. Our young and well-educated workforce has always fueled our economy. At any given time there are over 200,000 college students enrolled in Utah’s system of higher education. That’s about 7% of our overall population. A pretty remarkable stat. About 45,000 of those students will graduate in a given academic year and many of those graduates will seek professional opportunities in Utah.

This year marks the last commencement for a few college presidents throughout the state, including Westminster College President and EDCUtah Board Member, President Steve Morgan. We appreciate the support of all our education partners but I would like to pay a special tribute to President Morgan. President Morgan’s leadership on several EDCUtah board committees has been instrumental to our organization. He provided great non-profit expertise and experience during a time when we needed it, and our organization owes him a debt of gratitude for his service. Thank you, President Morgan!

I’m off next week to the East Coast. As I mentioned in my note last week, our business development efforts are increasingly concentrated on “KTC” - keeping the customer. We have a 3 night, 3 hotel trip planned and will visit with executives from several companies with a Utah operation but that are headquartered back east. Although the days are long, I’d be lying if I didn’t say the work is rewarding. I would also be remiss if I didn’t add that no one will outwork Governor Herbert. We’ll start early and end late but Governor Herbert will be actively engaged in every conversation. I look forward to sharing my thoughts and observations with you upon my return.