“Great jobs and businesses start with well educated workers,” the governor said. “By bringing industry and education together we start recruiting tomorrow’s scientists in today’s classrooms. Utah technology jobs pay 57 percent more than the state’s average wage. This improves individual lives and the economy.”
The goal to be among the top ten tech and science centers in the US will take a concerted statewide effort and will involve educators and industry. The governor said it will start with an unprecedented statewide planning process to identify and build on current successes and create greater collaboration in Science Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education.
Prosperity 2020 is the largest coalition of business leaders ever assembled to improve Utah’s educational outcomes through investment, innovation and accountability. Prosperity 2020 has laid out the following key goals:
- 66 percent of Utahns will have post-secondary certificates and degrees by 2020
- 90 percent of Utah elementary students will be proficient in reading and math
- The greater Salt Lake area will be a top ten center in technology jobs and businesses
The statewide STEM education and workforce partnership is a collaborative project of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the Utah System of Higher Education and the Utah State Office of Education. It is a direct response to industry recommendations in the state’s Science, Technology and Innovation Plan. The partnership will compliment and build on Utah’s successful USTAR effort, which is bolstering Utah’s research strengths and increasing technology commercialization.
Analysis by the Utah Technology Council shows that technology jobs pay 57 percent more than other sectors. While 8.6 percent of Utah’s workforce is in the technology sector, it constitutes 14.3 percent of Utah’s total payroll. Utah has more than 7000 technology companies, up from 6,374 in 2010.