By Deborah Carl
Utah's Mormon Workforce Is Advantage Leavitt is Promoting
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Utah Governor, Mike Leavitt, isn't taking
junket trips to Silicon Valley every month, he's persuading high tech
companies to come to Utah. "What if I showed you a place that takes
less time to get to by air than it takes to drive across the valley.
Where they have an abundance of tech-savvy workers, with a high
quality of life, where housing is reasonably priced, where there are
already 2,500 technology companies and three major research
institutions. Would you be interested?"
Leavitt has also made Mormon resources and values a part of his
pitch, telling executives that the state has many returned
missionaries that speak foreign languages. He has also made a point
of emphasizing the influence of Mormon values on the workforce,
saying that the workforce is better-educated than in other states and
has a stronger work ethic.
Software maker Novell thinks it's a winning combination, along with
Iomega, 3Com, Fairchild Semiconductors International, and Gateway.
These high-tech companies, three venture-capital firms, and a
prominent Silicon Valley law firm have headquarters or branches in
Utah. And more companies are looking to make the move. Intel plans to
turn its 150-acre campus in Riverdale into a $500 million
research-and-development center that may eventually employ 8,000
So far Intel has been pleased. The first building went up ahead of
schedule and under budget. It is also easy to find workers. "Work
force is our advantage," Gov. Leavitt said. "No one can change that.
You can't put those workers in the pipeline, we have them. We have to
educate them, and that's a big job. But it's an irreplaceable
resource, and if we can prepare them well, we'll be prosperous." In
order to meet that challenge, the legislature passed two measures to
produce more engineering graduates and to pay bonuses to science and
High-tech discovers Utah
Seattle WA Times (AP) 2Apr01 B4
By Hannah Wolfson: The Associated Press