Utah Thrives – Voter Participation

Written by: Dan Bammes

Utah once had one of the highest rates of voter participation in the country, but today it’s dropped to 39th among the states. Utah Foundation has been studying the issue of voter turnout for quite a while, and a new research brief shows the situation isn’t improving. In this edition of Utah Thrives, Utah Foundation President Peter Reichard and Vice-President Shawn Teigen offer their thoughts on the factors associated with low participation, including uncompetitive elections. … Continued

Utah Thrives — Microgrids

Written by: Dan Bammes

We often think of electric power systems as regional in scale — a huge grid of high-voltage power lines connecting dams, power plants and substations to industry and homes across a wide area. That’s how they have evolved over the past century or more. But the idea of smaller, independent power systems that become components of the larger grid while serving their own communities is also becoming current. In this edition of Utah Thrives, we … Continued

Remember Utah’s Indispensable Coal Counties

Written by: Dan Bammes

During a presidential race in the not-too-distant past, one candidate campaigned successfully on his outreach to blue-collar voters, whom he called “the forgotten Americans.” There was a time when blue-collar types were far from forgotten. The most popular TV character was “Happy Days’” the Fonz – an auto mechanic. His circle of friends included Laverne and Shirley – factory workers. Archie Bunker, meanwhile, was a loading dock foreman. James Evans of “Good Times” was a … Continued

Utah Thrives – New Leadership at Utah Foundation

Written by: Dan Bammes

Here at Utah Foundation, we’re typically focused outwards on the issues we study and the research we publish. But this summer we’re in a leadership transition. Steve Kroes is leaving his position as president of Utah Foundation after 16 years, and Peter Reichard is coming in as our new president after 15 years as research director of the Bureau of Governmental Research in New Orleans.

This is the Place

Written by: Peter Reichard

“Why don’t you move to Washington, D.C.?” When you work in the public policy arena, it’s not unusual to hear that question. It’s as though working in D.C. would be the summit of our profession. But I’m thrilled to be here in Utah, working for one of the best public policy groups in the country. I believe the real action – the real opportunity to improve government – is at the state and local levels. … Continued

Utah Thrives — Training a Skilled Workforce

Written by: Dan Bammes

The focus of education in Utah seems to be pushing students to graduate from high school and move on to academic degree programs. But many businesses in Utah are having difficulty finding workers with the right skills to fill open positions. In this edition of Utah Thrives, we look at programs being developed in Utah’s colleges and by business groups to help match up students with opportunities — and jobs that sometimes go begging. We … Continued

New Faces at Utah Foundation

Written by: Dan Bammes

The Utah Foundation Board of Trustees has selected Peter Reichard as our new president. Peter comes to Utah from New Orleans, where he served as Director of Research with the Bureau of Governmental Research. He is currently president of the Governmental Research Association (GRA), the national organization of governmental research professionals, and he has served as a GRA trustee since 2010. Earlier in his career Reichard was a journalist; his work included serving as managing editor of … Continued

Goodbye to a great intern

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Utah Foundation bids a fond farewell to Thulasi Seshan. While at Utah Foundation, Thulasi primarily worked on a research report about education funding for certain student populations. She enjoyed being able to contribute to policy writing on such an important subject. She also enjoyed being able to delve into the world of making graphs. Thulasi just finished her last exam of her junior year at the University of Utah and is reveling in post-finals bliss. She’s majoring … Continued

Now Recruiting a Research Analyst

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Research Analyst Position Announcement APPLICATION DEADLINE: May 2, 2017 JOB DESCRIPTION: Utah Foundation is seeking a Research Analyst to perform public policy analysis and outreach. This is a full-time, salaried position. Candidates must have a strong desire to perform analysis of public-sector issues in a professional, nonpartisan setting and must demonstrate an understanding of public policy topics such as healthcare, voting, demographics, and/or infrastructure. Although Utah Foundation is not an advocacy organization, this position offers … Continued

Utah Thrives: Coal Ash — Waste or Resource?

Written by: Dan Bammes

Coal-fired power plants have to deal with one problem that won’t go away — the ash left over from burning their fuel. It’s typically put in ponds and piles near the plants, where it poses a risk of environmental contamination to nearby rivers and streams. But the news about coal ash is not all bad. It contains, among other things, concentrations of rare-earth elements that could turn it into a resource. In this edition of … Continued