Utah has the best economy in the nation, say investment companies and the Economic Development Corporation of Utah, but it’s not good enough for UVU or Utah’s Gov. Gary Herbert.
Gov. Herbert spoke during UVU’s Business Resource Center ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday at the BRC in Orem. He presented amazing statistics and examples of the state’s economic growth. The BRC leaders emphasized their goal to increase economic development. Surprisingly, the BRC established an initiative focused completely on building bonds with Chinese business professionals’ culture and business strategies.
The BRC’s main goals are to boost the economy through increasing jobs, providing student opportunities for experiential learning, creating new companies and growing small and medium-sized firms. The BRC office has a clean, modern feel with rooms called incubators to house the idea application of entrepreneurs and start-up groups.
“People can come together in the Business Resource Center to collaborate with business leaders and colleagues,” said Fraser Bullock, co-chair for Business Engagement Strategy. “This should greatly impact economic growth in Utah.” The leaders of the BRC all claimed their main purpose is to boost the economy in the state of Utah.
Martin Frey, member of the National President’s Advisory Board, spoke at Friday’s ceremony and presented a UVU flag which he took to the top of Mount Everest last year.
“A UVU education will take you anywhere you want to go,” he said.
One strategy of the BRC which should eventually help boost the economy is to increase the rigor of public education (K through 16) to improve literacy and numeracy. UVU is the largest and fastest-growing university in Utah. As such, the UVU administration seeks to continue implementing higher standards for student admissions. These standards include a higher emphasis on test scores and grades.
Gov. Herbert talked about the great growth of Utah. He reported the Utah economy is three times better than most of the country. Utah is known for having the highest quality of life and has the highest birthrate in the nation.
According to Moody’s Investor Services, Utah is the state with the lowest debt. The governor said the upcoming movie “John Carter,” which is based on a series of books written by Utah native Edgar Rice Burroughs (writer of Tarzan), was filmed in Lake Powell and Grand, Wayne and Kane counties.
The China initiative is fully sponsored by the governor, who implemented the China Trade Mission to increase trade with China. Last spring, he met with business and government leaders in Shanghai and Beijing to put their trading goals in motion.
“Our competitors are India and China … we’ve got to run to keep up and not just keep up but to compete,” he said.
Kent Millington, Technology Commercialization Office director, helped increase the relations with Chinese business leaders and professionals. UVU recently hired Chinese professors to teach UVU students about marketing, languages, philosophy and culture.
Millington said although China is a communist country, it is a free enterprise country with many professionals who have a great passion to learn about building businesses.
Millington said he would love to have talented BYU students become involved with the BRC. He said UVU, as a state institution not connected to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, can focus on the economy of the state of Utah, which BYU is unable to do because it is operated by the worldwide Church.