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Economic Development

Building the NSA’s Utah Data Center in Bluffdale is why I moved here in 2011. It was a $1.3B design-build project that saw many months with between $60M and $100M of billable work performed. These numbers are almost incomprehensible until you realize it employed close to 4,000 trade workers daily at peak production.

Now I read stories like this about friends of mine in the industry trying to run large companies and meet local construction demand when the average age of an electrician is 55 years old. This is completely unsustainable and a recipe for failure. So I ask myself, are all wins for Utah wins for Salt Lake County residents? The answer is simply no.

As your County Councilmember, I will work with local business leaders, the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity (GOEO), the Economic Development Corporation of Utah (EDCUtah), and the Salt Lake Chamber to develop a meaningful plan with incentives to grow a sustainable, productive, local workforce of carpenters, mechanics, electricians, plumbers, steamfitters, masons, etc., to meet the demand of a growing population. We are long overdue for a rebalancing of the job market, one where we’ve overemphasized tech and finance sector growth for the high-paying jobs they bring to Utah at the expense of growing industries that sustain the middle class, are proven to raise people out of dependency, and literally keep the lights on.

We need to attract more people to skilled jobs and a strong manufacturing sector. Jobs where young people can start a career after high school without a college degree and earn enough to start a family, own a house, and save for retirement without going into massive debt or living paycheck to paycheck.

Utah was founded on these principles, it’s why our state motto is ‘Industry,’ and it is why we are the Beehive State.  “For the people of Utah, the beehive symbolizes the Utah community as each person in Utah works together to support and help one another and to create a successful industry.”

Mike Carey for Salt Lake County Council
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