Governor's Office of Economic Opportunity

6 CIVIL AND MUNICIPAL VOLUME 3, ISSUE 3 remain in Utah. Thanks partly to the availability of a highly educated and multi-lingual workforce, with about 130 languages spoken in daily business. “I think some of the pioneer spirit still exists in Utah,” says Hemmert. “Younger people are willing to take a risk to start a company. And it’s a very friendly business environment. The tech sector, for example, has come together with an industry association called Silicon Slopes to brand the tech sector in Utah. We also see that in the life sciences industry with a group called BioUtah, and a smaller group called BioHive. Some are even competitors, but they’re working with each other to help grow their industry. It’s a really neat, collaborative environment.” Other attractive benefits include Utah’s friendly regulatory environment and low taxes. Hemmert sums it up well, noting, “Government stays in the background as much as possible, individuals GOVERNOR ’ S OFF I CE OF ECONOMI C OPPORTUNI TY are motivated and highly-skilled, and then you have a great place to live as well. Those all come together, and great things happen, which is what we’re seeing right now in Utah.” The role of the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity is to cultivate economic prosperity and work to future-proof Utah’s economy. As Hemmert explains, “We worry about jobs for the kids who are eight years old today but in a few years will be graduating from high school and deciding to enter the workforce. Or maybe they’ll choose to go through vocational training at a tech college. Or they’ll go on to graduate from a four-year university. We’re concerned about all of them getting jobs. We spend a lot of time thinking about targeted industries or clusters and making sure they’re healthy and growing.” Go Utah focuses on industry sectors, including advanced manufacturing, aerospace and defense, finance, life sciences and healthcare, and software and information technology. Utah leads the nation in composite manufacturing and is home several companies that are pioneers in automating manufacturing processes. Artificial intelligence fits in that category as well. “These five target industries, 10 years from now, are still going to be growing, and our office’s goal is to make sure they’re good-paying jobs,” says Hemmert, “But on top of that, it’s about prosperity in the broader sense of the word, where you have an opportunity for upward economic mobility. Utah leads the nation in that. Individuals can start in poverty, and through educational opportunities and hard work, experience upward economic mobility, and they don’t end in poverty. That’s what we care about. And making sure the environment is such that those opportunities are available. That’s the overarching mandate of our office.” Go Utah directs much of its efforts towards entrepreneurship. According to Hemmert, the goal is for Utah to be the Start-up State, where