The FY21 Utah legislative session is in the books and with it comes an end to another year of legislative funding request efforts for UAMMI and associated programs. We are excited to announce that UAMMI received full funding for FY22, as part of the Utah Industry Resource Alliance (UIRA) appropriation. In addition, UAMMI’s key 2021 programs were funded, which include:
- Systems Engineering Education and Training Programs through Weber State University and the University of Utah.
- A Master’s Degree program through the Center for Advanced Composite Materials & Structures to be developed by Utah State University and Weber State University,
- Research programs for converting coal to carbon fiber at the University of Utah.
We express our appreciation to Representative Kelly Miles for supporting the funding for the advanced degree program and Senator Mike McKell for supporting the UIRA proposed funding!
UIRA’s 2020 Economic Benefit Report, found that Utah’s advanced manufacturing industry contributes $12.7 million in additional tax revenues, 1,744 jobs, $87 million in additional employee wages, and an economic total benefit of $341 million. Our industry is a key driver of our state’s economy.
During the legislative session, Representative Steven Lund invited UAMMI and University of Utah to present to the Rural Caucus our vision for finding non-fuel uses for coal. In our presentation we advocate that coal is “too valuable to burn” and offers rural Utah a potential bright future in new products from refining coal. For more information, please see our presentation: “Coal too Valuable to Burn.”
In addition to the legislative sessions, we have two big announcements this month! First off, is the new UAMMI Group Employee Benefits Plan for UAMMI cluster companies. The plan will be offered through Moreton Insurance and is designed for companies with 2 to 50 employees. It will offer extremely competitive rates with excellent coverage for the employees and a potential for companies to receive a refund on premiums not used. Read more about it here and watch for more information coming soon!
Secondly, we are just a few weeks away from the inaugural Defense Manufacturing Research Symposium on March 24 from 1pm to 5pm MT. This free event, organized by UAMMI and the Utah Defense Manufacturing Community (UDMC), will discuss DoD federal research opportunities with presenters from the Air Force Research Lab, AFWERX and more. You can register for the event here.
Finally, as spring approaches, we are excited to see signs that the COVID-19 restrictions may be ending and that life may return to a sense of normalcy. It has been devastating for so many people and, like you, our hearts go out to them and we hope it is over soon. However, through it all, we’ve been amazed at the level of tenacity shown by so many Utah citizens and companies to get through this rough time and we congratulate them on their resiliency!