Governor unveils first steps to get Utah talent ready

Salt Lake City, Utah- (ABC4 Utah) – Utah has one of the strongest economies in the country, but there's a glaring need that isn't being met.

High tech companies in our state simply don't have the talent they need to fill high paying positions.

That's where Talent Ready Utah comes in. Tuesday, the governor announced the latest efforts to get it rolling.

It's aimed at students like Nathan Rose, who is enrolled in the Aerospace Pathways Program through Salt Lake Community College.

With just three weeks left to go, he's excited for the opportunity to get clearance for take off.

"I hope to one day work at Boeing, it's where my dad works. Building airplane parts for the 787 is what that does, or just in general just building parts, i like working with my hands," said Rose.

The problem is, Utah's education system isn't producing enough students like Rose to meet the current demand.

"Virtually every industry out there is clamoring for more workers, and qualified workers at that," said Vale Hale, Executive Director, Governor's Office of Economic Development.

Governor Gary Herbert's solution is Talent Ready Utah. The governor's goal is to fill 40,000 new jobs over the next four years.

It's a partnership between the private sector and education to provide hands on learning opportunities for students.

"Developing the workforce of tomorrow, today is really a key challenge that we face here as a state if we are going to continue to have great quality of life, and great economic opportunity," said Herbert, (R) Utah.

To help meet that challenge the governor announced the first steps of the initiative.

He unveiled Talent Ready Utah's new executive board, and $2.1 million in available grant money for programs that align with the goal.

It's an effort to provide Utah companies with the help they need, and students with the chance to take their lives to new heights.

"I want to provide for a family, and a career in this field is a good start," said Rose.

The governor's Education Adviser, Tami Pyfer, will chair the new executive board, Hale will serve as vice chair.

Money for the grant program comes from the Department of Workforce Services' job growth fund.

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