Val Hale: Utah is better and stronger when businesses and government work together

Lolly BowlerNews

In his 2009 inaugural address, Gov. Gary R. Herbert challenged Utah to create unprecedented partnerships that would lead to unlimited possibilities for the state.

Utahns have responded to that challenge in impressive fashion. Indeed, one of Utah’s secrets to success is the willingness of companies and nonprofits to partner with government to solve problems and create a better place to live and do business. P3s (public-private partnerships) have played a critical role in helping Utah become the best-performing economy in the nation, and they will continue to be essential as we try to maintain our economic advantages. There are myriad examples showing how Utah businesses and nonprofits have chosen to partner with state and local governments, as well as schools and universities, to find solutions to difficult problems.

Nothing is more important to businesses than having access to a qualified workforce. That is why so many companies choose to invest in education. Recently, Andeavor (formerly Tesoro) provided the STEM Action Center with a $1.5 million grant to create a traveling STEM bus. UTA donated a used bus, which was retrofitted with a lab, experiments and projects designed to help teach children about robotics, 3D modeling, renewable energy and other STEM-related subjects. In its first few months, the bus has been a huge hit. It travels throughout the state visiting K-12 schools in both urban and rural communities, providing hands-on, real-world, project-based learning to generate a passion for STEM careers among youths. The bus is so popular there is now a waiting list for interested schools.

Read more here.