How We Created a Vision:
People and

Process for Creating the Vision

To create a vision for the future of jobs and the economy in Utah, a team of experts gathered over a two-year period to share knowledge and extensively research and discuss options for improvement. Members of the Jobs and Economy Action Team were selected by Governor Gary Herbert and Envision Utah to represent a spectrum of professional experience and political affiliations. Team members included business leaders, legislators, economic development experts, and other experts from across the state. From 2013 to 2015, the action team met to identify Utahns’ choices related to the economy, create scenarios for public input, and synthesize a vision for the future. The process of creating this vision also included the following components:

A 2014 values study

This study was conducted by Heart+Mind Strategies to identify (1) what factors Utahns view as affecting their quality of life the most and (2) the underlying emotions and values tied to those factors. The study concluded that Utahns value a strong economy because it improves communities and their ability to provide for themselves and their families.

Expert panel

Members of the Jobs and Economy Action Team and the Utah Economic Council took part in an exercise in which they rated 12 topic areas according to their importance to Utah’s future economy. They were also asked to evaluate choices specific to each topic, based on the choices’ overall economic benefit, amount of investment, return on investment, and effect on rural areas in Utah. The results of this exercise were used to help develop the “Build Your 2050 Utah” web app and the scenarios in the Your Utah, Your Future survey.

The “Build Your 2050 Utah” web app

BuildYour2050.PNGThis app allowed Utahns to interactively learn about the outcomes of different choices related to jobs and the economy and to identify the choices that are most important to them. More than 3,000 people across Utah gave input, and the information gathered generated the following findings:

  1. Utahns believe 66% of the state’s population should have a postsecondary degree or certification.
  2. Utahns do not want to increase the number of regulations impacting businesses.
  3. Utahns would accept a moderate increase in taxes to achieve key economic goals.

The action team used this information to create five different scenarios for the future of jobs and the economy in Utah. The scenarios were based on the choices Utahns could make over the next 35 years concerning education, air quality, transportation, and other issues and included the likely outcomes those decisions would have on the economy by 2050. These scenarios were presented to the public in the Your Utah, Your Future survey in spring 2015, and 52,845 Utahns weighed in.

After receiving public input on the five jobs and economy scenarios, the action team met to frame a vision, including goals and strategies, that matched what Utahns said they wanted for the economy in 2050.

Jobs & Economy Action Team


Spencer P. Eccles

Managing Director, The Cynosure Group

Jeff Edwards

President and CEO, Economic Development Corporation of Utah

Natalie Gochnour

Associate Dean, David Eccles School of Business, University of Utah



  • Scott Anderson
    President and CEO, Zions Bank
  • Lane Beattie
    President and CEO, Salt Lake Chamber
  • Todd Bingham
    President, Utah Manufacturers Association
  • Jake Boyer
    President, The Boyer Company
  • Barry Conover
    Executive Director, Utah State Tax Commission
  • Larry Coughlin
  • Lew Cramer
    CEO, Coldwell Banker Commercial
  • John Curtis
    Mayor, Provo
  • Wes Curtis
    Executive Director of Regional Services, Southern Utah University
  • Sophia DiCaro
    Governor's Office of Economic Development
  • Cheri Farnsworth
    Executive Director, Mountain West Capital Network
  • Karen Gunn
    Dean, School of Professional & Economic Development, Salt Lake Community College
  • Val Hale
    Executive Director, Governor's Office of Economic Development
  • Steve Hammond
    Director, Integration Strategy & Technical Marketing, Adobe
  • Howard Headlee
    President, Utah Bankers Association
  • Colin Hilton
    President, Utah Olympic Legacy
  • Justin Jones
    Salt Lake Chamber
  • Karen Mayne
    Utah Senate
  • Ronda Menlove
    Utah House of Representatives
  • Michael Merrill
    Salt Lake Chamber
  • Claudia Nakano
    Director, Utah Office of Multicultural Affairs
  • Stan Nakano
    Utah District Director, U.S. Small Business Administration
  • Richard Nelson
    President and CEO, Utah Technology Council
  • Bill Okland
    President, Okland Construction
  • Randy Okland
    Board Chairman, Okland Construction
  • Aaron Osmond
    Utah Senate
  • Dinesh Patel
    Utah Science and Technology Research
  • Jon Pierpont
    Executive Director, Department of Workforce Services
  • Brian Shiozawa
    Utah Senate
  • Shirlee Silversmith
    Director, Utah Division of Indian Affairs
  • Ryan Smith
    CEO, Qualtrics
  • Val Snyder
    President, L-3 Communications
  • Jerry Stevenson
    Utah Senate
  • Kevin Sullivan
    Utah Defense Alliance
  • Kimball Thomson
    President and CEO, BioUtah
  • Vicki Varela
    Managing Director, Utah Office of Tourism
  • Brad Wilson
    Utah House of Representatives
  • Seth Winterton
    Deputy Director, Utah's Own