| President's Message
Temperature Warms Up and So Does Economic Development
You know, there aren't many states where you can snow ski in the morning and golf in the afternoon. Welcome to Utah! The warm, spring air last week was fabulous. Aside from the weekend, the outside temperature is warming up, and so too is economic development. We have a lot going on (just take a look at our calendar below).
We were pleased to be on hand Wednesday when EMC Corp. officially opened its technical support center in Draper. EMC is a wonderful corporate citizen and we are thrilled to see its Utah facility open. Upwards of 500 people will eventually be employed there in high-tech and customer service jobs. Refer to our news links column in this newsletter for media coverage of this event.
Further, I hope you will join me in welcoming two new members to our economic development team, Jorge Sanchez, Business Development Manager and Christina Seifers, Business Development Coordinator. They join the Business Development Team led by Senior Vice President Todd Brightwell. We also congratulate Sheila Yorkin on her promotion to Director of Marketing and Communications. Sheila joined EDCUtah in 2008 and has managed communications and public relations strategies both internally and externally for the organization.
A few upcoming events to make you aware of…
Next week, on Mar. 22, another exciting "Social Commerce Exchange" event will take place at Salt Lake Community College's Miller Campus from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Networking begins at 5:30 p.m. The focus this time is on "Emerging Social Technologies." The Social Commerce Exchange is a free event organized by local companies to help Utah businesses utilize social media more effectively. Register for the event online here.
On Mar. 28 EDCUtah will hold its Quarterly Investor Update meeting and reception, from 4-6 p.m. at Regence BlueCross BlueSheild of Utah, 2890 Cottonwood Parkway, Salt Lake City. Jessica Gulick, an assistant vice president at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), will be our guest speaker. We are grateful to Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah for hosting our event. Please RSVP to Eileen Burt (801) 323-4249 or email email@example.com.
And then on April 5, we hope you will join in for the Governor's State of Sport Awards luncheon, celebrating Utah's Sports Industry and honoring excellence in high school, amateur, collegiate, Olympic and professional sports for the 2011 calendar year. Voting is now open so be sure to vote for your favorite athletes. More details about this event can be found here.
Today's Economic Review also includes links to many of the ED-related news stories from the past week. As always, if you have comments, suggestions or topics you'd like to see in the Economic Review, please contact us by clicking the "Comments" link on the bottom of this page. Enjoy!
President and CEO
Brigham City Engineering Company Teams Up with 3M, Chesapeake Energy to Revolutionize CNG Tanks for Automotive Industry
Bigger, lighter and less expensive compressed natural gas (CNG) tanks may soon revolutionize the natural gas vehicle industry and one Utah company is a key player in this new effort.
Hypercomp Engineering Inc. (HEI), located in Brigham City, has been a key member of Utah's Advanced Composites Industry Group since its founding in 1996. Today, HEI is supporting the collaboration of 3M and Chesapeake Energy Corporation in the design, manufacture and marketing of a broad portfolio of compressed natural gas (CNG) tanks for use in all sectors of the United States transportation market.
Tom Hannum, director of business development for HEI, says the company will provide design and certification services for the tanks, while 3M will manufacture the tanks and focus its capital on future operations and production. 3M expects the new tanks to be available for sale during the fourth quarter of 2012.
HEI currently employs a dozen people at its Brigham City location and plans to hire an undisclosed number of additional employees to meet the demands of this new project. EDCUtah President & CEO Jeff Edwards says the engineering and development work represents a timely boost for the hard hit northern Utah economy and also for Utah's aerospace cluster.
"Tom has been the tireless advocate for alternative energy projects and the benefits of using advanced composites to make vehicles safer and more fuel efficient," Edwards continues. "We are excited to see HEI get this work."
According to a recent 3M press release, the CNG tank solution combines the company's proprietary liner advancements, thermoplastic materials, barrier films and coatings, and damage-resistant films to transform the pressure vessel industry. "Using nanoparticle-enhanced resin technology, 3M Matrix Resin for Pressure Vessels, 3M will create CNG tanks that are 10 to 20 percent lighter with 10 to 20 percent greater capacity, all at a lower cost than standard vessels," the press release says. "In addition to these benefits, the 3M technology produces safer and more durable tanks than those currently on the market. This tank innovation builds on 3M's proven history of developing and introducing pioneering technologies to the market."
$10 Million Pledge
For its part, Chesapeake has pledged an initial $10 million toward design and certification services, market development support and a commitment to use the new tanks for its corporate fleet conversion to CNG, according to the release.
"The company's investment will be provided by Chesapeake NG Ventures Corporation (CNGV), established in 2011 to identify and invest in companies and technologies that will replace the use of gasoline and diesel derived primarily from foreign oil. CNGV has committed $1 billion over the next 10 years to help fund various initiatives to increase demand for natural gas, including investments totaling $300 million in Clean Energy Fuels Corp. and privately-held Sundrop Fuels, Inc.," the release says.
Hannum says developing highly engineered carbon fiber pressure vessels for challenging requirements and applications is one of HEI's core competencies. The company has a background in the aerospace industry (its founder, James Patterson, and senior managers all came of Thiokol). Further, HEI's primary customers have been in defense, aerospace, automotive, industrial, oil and gas infrastructure and offshore oil and gas industries. The company also has a strategic relationship with Chesterfield Cylinders in Europe for the development of specialized cylinders.
3M and HEI
Concerning this new opportunity, Hannum says HEI has been working with 3M for several years doing material evaluations. "A result of this relationship is that we have been contracted to provide design and certification services for pressure vessel applications using 3M materials," he adds. "We've been involved in the development of this technology since the late 90s. We've been a known entity in this industry since then in terms of design and engineering services."
The trifecta of economics, politics and environment are driving the macroeconomics surrounding alternative fuels and seems to be bringing this opportunity to the forefront right now, Hannum explains. "The circumstances seem to be converging in favor of this technology for alternative fuel more than at any time in the recent past. We think things are aligning in a way that should definitely allow us to leverage the investment we have made in time and energy in composites pressure vessel design. This has been a process for many years. We are optimistic to see the environment take shape right now that favors this technology.
Governor Gary Herbert's office has focused on expanding Utah's advanced composites cluster due to the Wasatch Front's heritage in composites industry and large population of industry, academia and skill sets that are very familiar with advanced composites. For that reason, Edwards says Utah has a significant advantage recruiting both composites work and composites companies. Hence, Utah will be in a favorable position to compete for the final manufacturing of 3M's CNG tanks.
3M says in its press release that increased political support and private investment have made natural gas a viable automotive fuel alternative with large growth potential. With more than a 100-year supply of natural gas in the United States and an average price per gasoline gallon equivalent of $1.00 to $2.00, the fuel is plentiful, affordable and domestic. The fuel also burns more cleanly than gasoline, cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent and particulate matter by 95 percent.
Bank of Utah Economic Outlook Breakfast, 7:30 a.m. (Ogden Marriott)
Social Commerce Exchange -- Emerging Social Technologies. Networking begins at 5:30 p.m. (Salt Lake Community College Miller Campus)
EDCUtah Board of Trustees Meeting (TBD)
JEC Composites Show & Conference (Paris, France)
Bank of Utah Economic Outlook Breakfast, 7:30 a.m. (Logan Riverwoods Conference Center)
EDCUtah Quarterly Investor Update Meeting and Reception, 4-6 p.m. (Regence BlueCross BlueSheild of Utah, 2890 Cottonwood Parkway, Salt Lake City) RSVP to Eileen Burt (801) 323-4249 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
North Temple Developer's Conference (Utah State Fairpark - Grand Hall)
2nd Annual Principle-Centered Leadership Conference (Eccles Conference Center, USU, Logan)
Utah Alliance for Economic Development Spring Meeting (The Gallivan Center, Salt Lake City)
Governor's State of Sport Awards Luncheon, celebrating Utah's sports industry (EnergySolutions Arena, Salt Lake City)
The Governor's Utah Economic Summit (Grand America Hotel)
Utah League of Cities and Towns Mid-Year Conference (St. George)
USTAR Dedication Ceremony 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. (James L Sorenson Molecular Biotechnology Building - 36 S Wasatch Drive, Salt Lake City)
Industrial Asset Management Council (Austin, TX)
Milford Renewable Energy Fair (Milford, UT)
ICSC RECon Tradeshow (Las Vegas, NV)
SAMPE Tradeshow (Baltimore, MD)
EDCUtah Golf for Grants Tournament (Eaglewood Golf Course)
Technology Venture Development Executive Education Seminar (University of Utah)
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In the News
Global 'cloud' company EMC Corp. to hire 500 in Utah
The $20 billion global digital storage company EMC Corp. officially opened a technical support center in Draper on Wednesday that is expected to eventually employ about 500 people with high-tech and customer service skills.
(Salt Lake Tribune) (Fox 13)
Utah leads in exports, World Bank helping
Yet another hint that Utah's economy is improving -- the Beehive State is once again a leader in merchandise export growth in the U.S. with 39.5 percent growth from 2010 to 2011.
On Utah's 'Silicon Slopes,' tech jobs get a lift
Last year, Utah created jobs at a faster pace than any other state in the country -- with the single exception of North Dakota. While the boom in North Dakota is being driven by oil and gas, the hot job market in Utah is being powered by technology companies.
States to manufacturers: We want you ASAP!
In Utah, 21 manufacturers, ranging from food and medical device makers to aerospace parts makers, have expanded or relocated to the state in 2011. Utah's selling point: "Utah has the second youngest labor force in the country," said Jeff Edwards, president of Utah's Economic Development Corporation.
Former International SAMPE President awarded "Governor's Medal for Science and Technology"
Steve Rodgers, the International President (2009-2010) of the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE) and founding principal of EmergeTek was awarded the Utah "Governor's Medal for Science and Technology" at a special ceremony held in the Gateway Centre on the 10th January 2012.
Uintah Basin sees 'tremendous' job growth
That message -- on orange and black signs in storefront windows or on business marquees -- is making a comeback in the Uintah Basin after a two-year hiatus.
$1M in Cash Awards and Services: Grow America Springboard Entries Begin March 13, 2012
Entries begin March 13 for Grow America Springboard, Grow America's regional business competitions to reward and support Utah's best entrepreneurs.
(Utah PUlse) (Standard-Examiner) (Daily Herald) (ABC)
ACG Utah honors two Utah companies for driving economic growth
ACG Utah recognized two Utah companies at the 2012 ACG Utah Intermountain Growth Conference for their contribution to economic growth in Utah during the past year.
Mobile Slopes Mobile App conference comes to Ogden March 16
Registration ends Monday for Mobile Slopes, a first-in-Utah mobile application development conference hosted and presented by the city of Ogden, Weber State University, USTAR and Moki Networks.
Utah Business Board approves film incentives
Members of the Governor's Office of Economic Development Board of Directors have approved film incentives from the Motion Picture Incentive Program for eight films that will be shot in Utah, the most projects the board has ever approved in a single meeting.
(Utah Pulse) (Utah Business)
South Korea trade mission planned June 18-20, 2012
The newly ratified U.S. - Korea Free Trade Agreement presents groundbreaking export opportunities for U.S. companies. To assist Utah companies in identifying and taking full advantage of those opportunities, the World Trade Center Utah and the Governor's Office of Economic Development, International Trade and Diplomacy (ITDO) will be leading a delegation of Utah businesses on a trade mission to South Korea, June 18-20, 2012
Nordstrom returning to downtown SLC
Standing on the southwest corner of West Temple and South Temple, the familiar large brown lettering can be seen spelling out the iconic name renowned in retail circles — Nordstrom.
(Deseret News) (Salt Lake Tribune)
Eco-minded startups eligible for small business venture capital fund
Startups with a social bent, particularly those that serve the underserved, have a potential new funding source.
(Salt Lake Tribune)
New mall in St. George includes Dick's, Gap and Old Navy
A newly opened mall in St. George will feature several stores that, until now, were found only in northern Utah.
(Salt Lake Tribune)
Morgan chamber of commerce unveils new economic development plan
The best way to improve economic development in Morgan County is to help existing businesses expand and capitalize on tourism and outdoor recreation, says the Morgan Area Chamber of Commerce.
Iomega still around in Roy but not like it once was
When Iomega opened its doors in 1980, along 1900 West and 4000 South, it was with a great deal of forethought and planning.
Not occupying Wall Street: Goldman Sachs grows in Utah
These days Utah has to be loving the way Wikipedia describes the investment banking and securities firm:
John Carter gives Utah film industry economic boost
Economic Development leaders in Utah are optimistic that the release of John Carter from Walt Disney Studios will create interest in the state as a tourism destination.
Utah home sales up for 8th straight month, report states
Utah home sales climbed for the eighth consecutive month in January, up more than 6 percent from a year ago, according to a new report from the Utah Association of Realtors.
Macy's anchoring City Creek Center
When City Creek Center celebrates its long-awaited grand opening later this month, it will offer a mix of familiar names on its roster, as well as some that will be new to the Utah market.
Goss: Economy in mountain states looking up for 2012
February's economy was strong among mountain states said the Colorado-based, bi-partisan think tank Goss Institute for Economic Study in a recently released report.
Clearfield puts out the 'Open' sign
Clearfield is trying to send the message that it's open for business. The Davis County city has hired J.J. Allen as assistant manager and made the focus of his newly created job economic development.
(Salt Lake Tribune)
Chevron to upgrade Utah refinery
Chevron Corp., the second largest U.S. energy company by market value, said an upgrade to an oil-processing unit at its Salt Lake City refinery will cost $83 million.
(Salt Lake Tribune)
'Why Salt Lake?' is key question in Olympic bid
Before asking the general public whether it supports another Olympic bid by Salt Lake City, the opinions of key community leaders will be solicited in one-on-one meetings with members of the Olympic Exploratory Committee.
(Salt Lake Tribune)
Commercial real estate bouncing back
The commercial real estate industry in Utah is seeing a recovery, but some are worried that slow lending may stall future projects, according to a group of real estate experts at a Utah Business magazine roundtable Tuesday morning.
China conference at Utah Valley University March 23-24
Utah Valley University is hosting its inaugural Chinese studies conference under the title "China's Global Impact."
(Salt Lake Tribune)
City Creek Center: Will all of downtown Salt Lake City benefit?
Hopes are high that City Creek Center will usher in a new, livelier era for downtown -- something like the glory days of the 1950s.
(Salt Lake Tribune)