The Fox Files is a weekly message from EDCUtah President & CEO Theresa Foxley.
The Wall Street Journal ran an article over the weekend likening rural American counties to the inner cities of the 1980’s and mid-1990’s— the rates of teenage pregnancy, drug abuse, life expectancy, occurrence of chronic disease, etc. all track similarly between our country’s least populated counties and the inner cities of yesterday. I was disheartened to see those parallels drawn as I thought of our “Two Utahs”: the prosperity and opportunity available along the Wasatch Front and….everyone else.
The article was timely as we are about to embark on the 25k Jobs Tour.
The Lt. Governor’s Office, World Trade Center Utah, and other statewide economic development organizations are leading a road show to all 25 of Utah's non-Wasatch Front counties between now and the end of September. As part of the 25k Jobs Tour, we will meet with businesses, elected officials, and job seekers to listen to the needs of the communities and to share the suite of economic development, business, and workforce services available.
I hope to personally participate in as many of the visits as possible. I look forward to learning more about the unique characteristics, needs, and assets of our rural communities. I go into the tour optimistic that if any state can crack the rural code, it’s Utah.
We have advantages other rural states do not:
- Outdoor recreation and tourism opportunities;
- Terrific broadband access;
- Language capabilities; and
- A deep history of self-reliance and entrepreneurism.
The 25K Jobs Tour
commences this week in Morgan County. I am excited to discover other rural assets as I enthusiastically prepare for a summer on the road.