Many top business stories of 2010 were positive

Published: Thursday, Dec. 30 2010 8:21 p.m. MST

In December, Czarnowski Display Service Inc. said it would invest more than $6.5 million in the development of a new production and distribution facility in St. George. When completed, the operation will employ 50 new full-time staff and will also periodically hire 25-40 temporary employees to meet seasonal demand.

The second phase of the state's biggest wind-energy electricity-generation facility began commercial operation last month.

Located in Millard and Beaver counties, the first phase of the Milford Wind Corridor project featured 97 wind turbines and is expected to generate 203.5 megawatts of electricity, making it the largest renewable-energy facility in Utah.

Construction of the Milford project began in 2008. The first phase generated nearly $86 million in direct and indirect spending in Utah and the creation of 250 development and construction jobs.

The second phase got underway in November, with officials celebrating an expansion that will add 68 wind turbine generators. Eventually, the $400 million project will include 159 turbines across 40 square miles of public and private land.

Adding to the growth list was Newell Window Furnishings, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Newell Rubbermaid Inc. that made the decision in October to expand and build a new facility in Ogden. As a result, all 415 existing jobs were retained and 50 new full-time positions will be created in the larger new facility.

The parent company markets well-known brands including Rubbermaid, Sharpie, Graco, Levolor and Kirsch.

Under the category of "not so good news," Alliant Techsystems — the Minnesota-based defense contractor that employs nearly 4,000 people in Utah — announced layoffs of 426 workers in October.

A spokesman for the company said the cuts resulted from the loss of federal funding for the Ares I rocket, the expiring space shuttle and the Air Force Minuteman III programs.

Last year, ATK announced it would cut 800 jobs by spring 2010, following 550 layoffs in October 2009. Ironically, the company also announced at the time that it would add 760 jobs over the next several years.

The financial difficulties facing the mainstream print media hit close to home this year as the Deseret News announced a massive reorganization in September. The publication cut 57 full-time and 28 part-time staff positions — 43 percent of the entire workforce.

The paper announced plans to consolidate newsgathering operations with KSL-TV and radio in addition to bolstering its online news presence.

Launched in 1850, the Deseret News is the oldest continuously operating business in Utah. It is a subsidiary of Deseret Management Corp., which is a for-profit business arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Adding to the state's employment contraction, a Utah County firm announced in October that it would outsource the publishing segment of its business, costing about 80 workers their jobs.

Orem-based Ziplocal signed an agreement to move its print publishing responsibilities to Pennsylvania.

The company provides print telephone directories for businesses and communities in 300 cities across 33 states nationwide, as well as digital resources through mobile devices and the Internet.

While the economy had its share of high and lows, there was also a significant milestone announced in 2010, with the Salt Lake Chamber naming Bishop Carolyn Tanner Irish as the first individual female recipient of the Giant in Our City Award. She was the head of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah and the first woman to lead a major religious denomination in the state.

e-mail: jlee@desnews.com

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