The Utah Coal Country Strike Team today awarded two $25,000 grants to Carbon and Emery school districts to help fund high-quality computer and information technology courses at the high school level. These initial funds, which are tailored to align with the IT Pathways program established by the Utah Legislature, will target teacher training so graduating students will be prepared for additional training in technology fields.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Utah Coal Country Strike Team for their efforts to help our teachers acquire the skills they need to train our students in the jobs of the future,” said Lance Hatch, Carbon County School District superintendent. “We look forward to getting our teachers certified and providing new offerings in computer science and information technology in the 2020-2021 school year.”

These strike team investments are the first of what will be in excess of $1 million in workforce training investments—including equipment, a remote work site and scholarships—that will help establish Carbon and Emery counties as an attractive location for Utah’s burgeoning tech sector, as well as other industries. Current funding partners include the Utah Legislature and the Alliance for the American Dream.

The Utah Coal Country Strike Team presents a check for teacher training to the Emery County School District.

Additional financial support will be sought from the federal government, business partnerships and private philanthropy. It is also anticipated that both school districts will seek matching funds through Talent Ready Utah grants and Strategic Workforce Investment allocations available from the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

“This is an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ effort, one that will help boost the well-being of all the members of our community,” said Larry Davis, Emery County School District superintendent. “We anticipate that Emery and Carbon counties will have the greatest array of affordable student training options in the state as the entire program rolls out.”

The strike team will also help develop multiple options for non-traditional students, such as coal miners and utility workers, already in the workforce who wish to re-train. The strike team will provide scholarships to help cover costs. These options will include online study-from-home courses, boot camp trainings and an expansion of traditional courses at Utah State University’s Eastern campus.

“Utah’s technology companies recognize the many assets found in Utah’s coal country, including superb broadband access, a public university and a location just 90 minutes away from Lehi, Utah,” said Clint Betts, the executive director of Silicon Slopes and a strike team member. “Many Silicon Slope companies will be partnering with the strike team to define training needs and provide remote jobs to trained workers.”

In addition to new workforce training opportunities, the strike team plans to invest in tourism infrastructure, housing revitalization and economic development incentives to help diversify the economy in Carbon and Emery counties. The region has suffered through a multi-year economic recession and the outlook for coal mining and coal-fired electricity generation remains bleak.

“What isn’t bleak is the economic future of Carbon and Emery counties,” said Mike Kourianos, mayor of Price City and co-chair of the Utah Coal Country Strike Team. “The strike team brings together the strength of our people, our schools, our businesses and our funding partners to shape a bright new future for Utah’s Coal Country. We will get this done.”

ABOUT THE UTAH COAL COUNTRY STRIKE TEAM

The Utah Coal Country Strike Team serves the coal communities of Carbon and Emery counties by raising incomes and diversifying the economy. The strike team includes a multi-disciplinary team of experts who, with the support of the Utah Legislature and national funder Schmidt Futures, assist with public policies and invest in workforce training, tourism infrastructure, housing revitalization and economic development incentives. The strike team includes a public university partnership between the University of Utah and Utah State University and support from over two dozen large employers and organizations. For more information, visit gardner.utah.edu/striketeam.

ABOUT THE DAVID ECCLES SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

The Eccles School is synonymous with ‘doing.’ The Eccles experience provides a world-class business education with a unique, entrepreneurial focus on real-world scenarios where students put what they learn into practice long before graduation. Founded in 1917 and educating more than 6,000 students annually, the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business offers nine undergraduate majors, four MBAs, eight other graduate programs, a Ph.D. in seven areas and executive education curricula. The School is also home to 12 institutes, centers and initiatives, which deliver academic research and support an ecosystem of entrepreneurship and innovation. For more information, visit Eccles.Utah.edu or call 801-581-7676.

Media Contacts

Nicholas Thiriotcommunications specialist, Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute
Office: 801-587-3717

Brooke Adamssenior news writer, University Marketing & Communication
Office: 801-587-2130 Mobile: 801-673-0011