What’s Utah Doing Right?

Written by: Peter Reichard

Scanning the indicators for economically successful states, any objective observer would need to pause on Utah. As Utah Foundation recently outlined in part of the 2018 Economic Report to the Governor, the state stacks up very favorably in national and regional comparisons. Looking at 2013 through 2016, the most recent three-year period with complete data, Utah Foundation found that our state ranked second in the nation for GDP growth, with an eye-opening annual growth rate … 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

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

Looking Back at Utah Foundation Research in 2016

Written by: Dan Bammes

Maybe there’s enough time in these final days of 2016 to catch our breath. We’re looking back at Utah Foundation’s research reports as well as the Utah Priorities Project. A monumental election season has concluded, with a challenging session of Utah’s legislature just ahead. Here’s our ranking of the top ten research findings of the past year, along with links to a report or research brief on each. 1 Only half of new education funds go … Continued

Priority #14: Immigration

Written by: Christopher Collard

This post continues our blog series on concerns that many Utah voters expressed in our Utah Priorities Project survey that didn’t make the cut for our top ten list. While immigration did not land on Utah voters’ top ten list of concerns, it has been a top issue (4th place) for Americans during this past election cycle.1 No doubt that its importance in the minds of Americans is related to Donald Trump’s strong position on … Continued

Utah Thrives — Crime

Written by: Dan Bammes

Utah voters rated crime as the #7 issue of concern in this year’s Utah Priorities Project. A research brief from Utah Foundation shows that rates for most crime have been going down both in Utah and across the nation. But there’s serious concern about the way police officers relate to the communities they serve – and about the large numbers of offenders incarcerated in both prisons and local jails. In this edition of Utah Thrives, … Continued

Priority #19: Utah’s Increasing Population

Written by: Mallory Bateman

This post continues our blog series on concerns that many Utah voters expressed in our survey that didn’t make the cut for our top ten list. In the mid-2000s, Utah cities began emerging as some of the fastest growing places in the country. This contributed to “dealing with growth in Utah” being ranked 8th in 2004. By 2008, it had dropped to the 10th spot, 2010 saw the topic fall out of the top 10 and by … Continued

Utah Thrives — Addressing Homelessness

Written by: Dan Bammes

Homelessness and poverty rank 9th on the 2016 Utah Priorities Project top ten list, based on a survey of voters conducted earlier this year. Utah Foundation’s research brief issued July 6th, 2016 shows, among other important facts, that domestic violence is an important contributor to homelessness, involved in 21% of the cases and nearly as significant a cause as substance abuse and mental illness. In this edition of Utah Thrives, Dan Bammes speaks with Shauna … Continued

Utah Thrives — Proposals for Full-Day Kindergarten

Written by: Dan Bammes

The Utah Foundation Research Report Lessons from Our Neighbor: Learning from Colorado’s Educational Success pointed out much broader participation in full-day kindergarten in Colorado. In Utah, 13% of five-year olds attend full-day kindergarten. In Colorado, that number is 74%. Data from Colorado’s Department of Education show the boost kids get from participating in high-quality preschool and full-day kindergarten programs continues into high school. Here in Utah, there have been a number of steps toward implementing … Continued