GOED announces 1,200 jobs for Utah

Published: Thursday, Oct. 13 2011 2:37 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — The state employment forecast got a bit better Thursday.

The Governor's Office of Economic Development announced nearly 1,200 new jobs coming to Utah by the expansion of three companies.

The GOED board approved a 10-year post-performance, refundable tax credit of $2.2 million for Science Applications International Corporation's plans to expand its Utah operations by adding 200 new jobs. The new jobs will pay up to 200 percent of the average Salt Lake County wage of $41,000.

The new expansion will more than double SAIC’s present Utah operations. The company currently has 136 employees in nine locations throughout the state. The new jobs will be integrated into the company’s existing workforce.

The company will be hiring high-skilled professionals involved in various technology applications.

"It'll be mainly high-end computer science, electrical engineering, math and science (positions)," said Dennis Likes, SAIC program manager for Utah. "We do a lot of technical development."

SAIC is involved in numerous technology fields, including cybersecurity, health, energy and environment as well as national security.

Clearfield-based Lifetime Products also announced plans to add 282 full-time employees over 10 years after GOED approval of a post-performance refundable tax credit of $3.2 million. The company will expand its plastics manufacturing facility in Utah with a $41 million capital investment over the life of the project.

Lifetime currently employs 1,700 workers statewide, according to Vince Rhoton, executive vice president of sales and marketing. He said growing its Utah operations is a decision that made sense for their long-range outlook.

"It's a big investment for us," he said. "We've looked at doing it back east because of shipping (access), but we wanted to keep it here next to our headquarters … in Utah."

Rhoton said the company plans to hire about 40 workers for engineering and technical support positions over the next year. The rest will be hired as needed over the next decade.

The third announcement came from Georgia-based Home Depot, which will establish a new national customer service operation in Ogden. A GOED approved incentive will provide a 10-year post-performance refundable tax credit of $521,867.

The company will add 691 new jobs, with 181 of those positions paying at least 125 percent of the Weber County average wage. The company said it plans to hire nearly all of the new workers by late 2012.

These latest expansion plans have helped the state maintain its jobs momentum, said Spencer Eccles, GOED executive director.

"(These companies represent) broad, diversified group of organizations and it speaks to the economic vitality of Utah," Eccles said. "Today's (announcements) move us further down the path of accomplishing our goal of creating 100,000 jobs in 1,000 days."

While the new jobs were a coup for the state considering the national employment picture, there is still more to be done to help find work for the 102,000 Utahns that are still unemployed, he noted.

"We recognize there are still people out of work," Eccles said. "That's why we're working so diligently … to attract companies that haven't considered Utah as a home base." 

E-mail: jlee@desnews.com

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