Utah-State-of-State-Address-2020On January 30th, 2020 Governor Herbert delivered his final State of the State address to both houses of the legislature. During his speech, he surprisingly recognized UAMMI for it’s role in the coal to fiber project as an example of ways to increase prosperity in Utah’s rural areas. 

“I was completely surprised at this mention but obviously very pleased to have this kind of recognition by the governor,” said Jeff Edwards, UAMMI Executive Director.

Regarding the coal to carbon project, the Governor said, “One of the challenges that still remains economically is to ensure job opportunities to the nearly 25 percent of our people that live in rural Utah. 

As I travel from county to county, I recognize that Utahns love the beauty, peace and serenity of the road less traveled, such as Highway 10 through Ferron, or Highway 130 through Minersville, or through Rep. Casey Snider’s hometown of Paradise. 

Many Utahns don’t want to just vacation in rural Utah, they want to live there, and to work there, and to raise their families there. But raising a family in rural Utah requires stable employment. And many rural families are searching for better job opportunities closer to home. 

The good news is that according to our Department of Workforce Services, we are on track to exceed our goal of creating 25,000 new jobs in rural Utah by the end of this year. 

For example, the Utah Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Initiative is finding new ways to turn coal into carbon fiber. The Utah Rural Online Initiative is empowering rural residents with new career options. Our successful efforts to develop broadband throughout the state are setting the foundation for opportunities we can’t yet even imagine. And thanks to technology and our telecommuting initiative, we’ve moved many state jobs to communities off of the Wasatch Front. 

From Panguitch to Providence, and from Richfield to Richmond, we are making significant progress. But we all agree that we will not rest until all 249 cities and towns, in all of our 29 counties, are thriving economically.”

“With this kind of support from the governor, it gives us an opportunity to advance this project. We are fortunate to have support from his staff and from members of the legislature,” Edwards said.

The Governor’s 2020 State of the State address can be read here: https://governor.utah.gov/2020/01/30/2020-state-of-the-state-address/