Thursday, October 14, 2010

Utah Ranked Best for Business

To the surprise of no one who lives here, Utah has once again been named "best" in something meaningful.  This week Forbes named Utah as "Best for Business and Careers."  That is no small achievement for five successive years of consecutive growth at a rate of 3.5%, faster than any state other than North Dakota.  We either ignored or never received the memo that this is the "worst recession since the Great Depression."  We've just been truckin' along despite it all.

At our weekly networking meeting, I remind the folks who come that if you're unemployed this is the best place in America to be unemployed.  The rate here is 7.8% in the latest data.  It's cold comfort, I know, if you're still unemployed, but Forbes is not wrong in their assessment.  The entrepreneurial spirit here is thriving and communicable.  Catch it!  I just spoke with an older couple today at a small business technology expo who decided to start their own social media marketing business because they figured they could do better on their own!

The article confirms the number one issue on voters' minds in this upcoming election is the economy and jobs.  We've seen what bloated government stimulus spending has failed to accomplish, paired with overbearing regulatory "reform" that has done little if nothing to reform but instead retard economic growth. 

Utah is leading the way in the parade of states, doing what it needs to do to attract new business and jobs to the state.  Utah lowered its corporate tax rate from 7% to 5% in 2008. The rate is now one of the lowest in the country. The regulatory climate is also pro-business, with the Pacific Research Institute rating Utah second-best in the regulatory component of its U.S. Economic Freedom Index.

Forbes quotes the Governor:  "We want to make sure we don't have any nonsensical regulations that inhibit the private sector from expanding and having a profitable bottom line," says Governor Gary Hebert.  That's my kind of candidate!  If the federal government can't get it right, you may rest assured the government in the State of Utah is in good hands and we will get it right.

The article cites several notable companies that are expanding into Utah, with more arriving every day.  Included in the Forbes list are Goldman Sachs, Adobe that bought Utah startup Omniture for $1.8 billion last year, Oracle and eBay.

The ranking looks at six analytics to come up with the winner:  costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, current economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life.

There is little doubt Utah must be doing something right, and we are.  This is a place where businesses can be born, grow and thrive.  Increasingly, other states struggling to survive in this economy would do well to take a page from Utah's book of firsts in recent years.

To those who are still unemployed, take heart and keep on trying. 

Remember, "The number of times that I succeed is in direct proportion to the number of times I fail and keep trying."

The job market here in Utah is better, unemployment rates are lower, and companies are hiring.  We are committed at the Employment Resource Center and the Monday morning Professional Placement Program to continue matching employment candidates with the employers who are offering jobs.  The numbers who used to attend our meeting a year ago averaged 170 to 180.  This year in recent months those numbers have dropped consistently and now average 90 to 100.  I tell folks each week that our program is the only place on earth where we can succeed when nobody shows up for a meeting!

I am always heartened by success stories from our candidates who find work.  I get e-mails each week documenting their successful searches for jobs.  I take no credit personally for what is happening.  Our staff provides the authenticity for their experience, since all are themselves job seekers who volunteer their time and talents to assist and teach others.  Each is a living example of someone who is living the law of consecration in reaching out to lift up the hands that hang down and to strengthen the feeble knees, when they themselves are in need.  It's a miracle for me to be able to observe how it works!  And we need more volunteer couples.  Talk to your bishops.

Here's another recent example from someone in my LinkedIn network:

Dear Elder Goates,

My wife found a job listing the other day for a Service Advisor at *** GMC in Ogden. This was not a job I had ever considered but we emailed my resume to the Service Manager and then I immediately drove up to introduce myself to him.

We had a short interview in which I used my "Me in 30." The Service Manager explained to me that he had two other potential candidates who had previous car dealership. It turned out that one candidate had lost his driver's license and the other had some prior criminal background. There is something to be said about living the gospel. I knew that I could pass a drug test and that there was nothing questionable in my past.

I followed up with the Service Manager on Wednesday and he explained that they were waiting for the background check to come back for them.

I got a call today from the Service Manager to inform me that the other guy could not pass the background check and he asked if I could start tomorrow. I explained that we had a truck coming from Las Vegas in the morning with all of our belongings.

He agreed to let me start first thing Monday. I drove up to Ogden today and signed their job offer and then took my drug test.

Elder Goates, thank you so much for your encouragement and the encouragement I have receieved from the LDS Job Placement program. This has been a great blessing in my life.

We are in the process of moving into a house this week and I have been praying and asking what to do and how are we going to be able to afford this house. The answer I kept getting was that everything was going to be okay and that we would be blessed. This job came just at the right time.

I wish I could get up on Monday and share with the group but I know you will understand.

Please share this with the group. There were times I got very discouraged and it was very hard. I kept trying and didn't give up. I volunteered to help others, and attended the temple. I know that I am very blessed for this.

I know that this is an inspired program but you have to have faith and keep trying.

Thank you again,

Service Advisor
*** GMC

* * *

Here's another:

Brother Goates, Brother *** here, one of your father's missionaries if you remember. Good news I found a job, worked at this company eight years ago, not a perfect job, so I am still looking, but two things, good I did not burn any bridges and networking works. I do have a brother in the ward that needs help with a resume. I would like to send him down and work with the brother with the balding head. Sorry, I have forgotten his name. If you could let me know I will pass it along to him. Thanks for all of your help, it really did help.

Brother ***
* * *

And another:

I found a job and started working 9/28/10. I would like to thank you for offering a wonderful program that really does help those of us looking for employment. I particularly found the 2 day workshop that helped with resumes and mock interviews to be very beneficial. It is also nice that you include those of us that are not LDS to participate.

Thank you, ***

* * *

As you can tell, there is ample evidence the employment situation in Utah is improving.  People are finding work.  Employers are hiring.  Not everyone is hanging their head in hopelessness.  I encourage all who are looking for employment to come and partake freely of the offering at the Employment Resource Center at Welfare Square and particularly professionals who may be tempted to think they can do it all by themselves because they've always been self-sustaining in the past.  This is a different economic world, and you need new tools to assist you in your search.  We have our finger on the pulse of what's happening.  Help is available.  Half the people who were placed along the Wasatch Front in 2009 were not members of the Church.  Those who do the work we suggest find the jobs, while the rest of the job seekers are still relying upon sending resumes into cyberspace for job postings that are quickly filled up with hundreds of competitors' resumes.

The two-day professional career workshop is indispensible to job seekers.  We teach it alternatively each week at night and during the day to accommodate job seekers who are unemployed and those who are underemployed.  The Spirit of the Holy Ghost attends each workshop.  It is a revelatory experience designed to pinpoint strengths, skills and weaknesses, and to hone and refine the ways in which the job candidates present themselves to prospective employers.  As the examples above illustrate, it works!

I am happy to assist with pointing anyone to all the available resources, if you e-mail me directly at "d goates at yahoo dot com" (you know what it really is and how to spell it, right?).

1 comment:

  1. Zions Bank economists said today the unemployment rate in Utah stands at 7.4%, better than I originally stated in this post.