Governor announces Talent Ready Utah grant program and executive board

Governor Gary R. Herbert announced on Thursday the first steps for Talent Ready Utah, a new initiative aimed to help meet his goal of filling 40,000 new high-skill, high-paying jobs in Utah over the next four years.

A $2.1 million grant program will soon be made available to expand collaborative projects between industry and education such as Utah’s pathways program and provide additional work-based learning opportunities to better meet industry needs.

“The Talent Ready Utah grant program unveiled today is a collaborative effort to improve both our education system and workforce here in Utah,” Gov. Herbert said. “The program seeks to align our efforts to provide a pipeline of future talent and meet the needs of Utah businesses.”

Talent Ready Utah will incorporate the grant program formerly known as the Utah Cluster Acceleration.

The governor also announced the new executive board that will help lead the program. Tami Pyfer, education advisor to Gov. Herbert will serve as Chair, Val Hale, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) will be the Vice Chair and the board members will include Jon Pierpont (Workforce Services), Dave Buhler (Higher Education), Dave Woolstenhulme (UCAT), Sydnee Dickson (Public Education) and Vance Checketts (Industry).

At the event, past grant recipients and program participants including Nathan Rose, a current student in the Utah Aerospace Pathways program through SLCC, credited their success to participation in pathway programs and highlighted the need for educational and industrial partnerships as well as work-based learning opportunities.

In his State of the State address, the governor highlighted the importance collaboration between Utah businesses and local education stakeholders for the purpose of preparing the rising generation of Utahns for the workforce of tomorrow. Talent Ready Utah took a great step toward helping the state meet that goal.

For more information about Talent Ready Utah and applying for the grants, visit talentreadyutah.com.

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