In 2014, the Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business Study ranked Utah as the best state for business for the third year in a row. Thanks to a large pool of skilled labor and a low cost of living, Utah has become a beacon for businesses looking to relocate.
Here are five industries that call Utah home:
1. Advanced composites:
Employing over 10,000 people, Utah's advanced composites industry produces everything from carbon fiber aerospace components to carbon fiber bicycle wheels. Utah's low electricity costs and business-friendly environment, as well as the presence of Hill Air Force Base, contribute to the state having one of the highest concentration of advance composites businesses in the country.
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Utah also has one of the highest concentrations of aerospace companies in the country, primarily due to the state's highly educated labor pool. Seven institutes of higher learning offer specialized education in the aerospace industry. In addition, the state's Applied Technologies college programs supply a stream of highly skilled machinists, welders, and other craftsmen. Aerospace companies located in Utah include Boeing, ATK, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and General Atomics.
3. Data centers: According to the Economic Development Corporation of Utah
, the state is home to data centers for 18 regional and national companies. These data centers provide both disaster recovery and backup services. Factors that make the state so attractive include a highly skilled workforce, low incidence of natural disasters, and close proximity to one of the most important internet corridors in the country. Companies with data centers in Utah include the National Security Agency, Oracle, Adobe and eBay.
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4. Digital media:
Utah boasts the fourth-highest concentration of multimedia artists and animators in the nation. The state's higher education system has produced digital media superstars, including the founders of Atari, Adobe, Iomega, Novell, Pixar, Silicon Graphics and Word Perfect. Utah is also home to the Sundance Film Festival, the largest independent film festival in the country. Digital media companies that call Utah home include Chair Entertainment, Disney Interactive Studios, Electronic Arts, Fusion-io, Move Networks, Sandman Studios and Tandem Motion Picture Studios.
Utah is uniquely situated to be a distribution hub. The Salt Lake City International Airport is located within two-and-a-half hours of half of the country's population. More than 43,155 miles of highway and roads, a major railway system, a Customs Port of Entry and an easily accessible public transportation system have made the state a much-desired distribution hub. Companies with distribution facilities in Utah include Cabela's, Family Dollar, United States Cold Storage and Petzl America.
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