I just concluded a swing through the northeast with Governor Herbert and his team.
This was a key component of our “keep the customer” strategy. During this visit, we met with 10 companies, 8 of which have existing Utah operations. The remaining 2 companies are prospects considering an initial expansion in the state. Of the companies with a current Utah presence, they employ over 5,000 people in the state and range in industry representation from information technology, to financial services, to aerospace, to outdoor products, to life sciences. We met with companies HQ’d in 4 states (MA, CT, NY, and NJ). The purpose of our visit was to thank those companies for being great employers in Utah and to ask them if there is anything we can do to help facilitate their continued investment in the State.
Unsurprisingly, workforce and a range of policy issues drove most of the discussions. Trade and tariffs were also top of mind for several executives, with varying degrees of nuance on such companies’ respective positions. However, it is fair to say that Utah’s approach to trade as a tool to drive social, political, and economic stability resonated well.
In addition to our company one-on-one visits, we co-hosted a “Business in Utah” reception in Massachusetts. Historically, those receptions have focused on business attraction. However, with a number of great Utah educational institution alums present, our conversations also centered around talent attraction and promoting the state for its great career and business opportunities.
I consider it a great honor to be in a role where I can promote Utah, learn about how other states support their existing companies and entrepreneurial climate, and to have the ability to influence investment in Utah.