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IN FOCUS Discussion: Manufacturing in Utah

Jul 7, 2021

When you think of job growth in Utah, some things may come to mind immediately: high-tech jobs, the outdoor industry, and healthcare. However, an overlooked area is manufacturing, even though a recent study by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute stated it’s Utah’s fifth-largest industry. The research also found that there are more than 140,000 jobs in the state with an average annual salary of $72,000.

Stephen Merrill, chief operating officer for Dynamic Blending, and Nathan Jones, president and founder of Xlear joined ABC4’s Glen Mills on the CW30 News at 7 p.m. for an IN FOCUS discussion about their companies. Dynamic Blending is a cosmetic manufacturer and Xlear manufactures oral care products. Both talked about the manufacturing scene in Utah, how many people are employed, where they’re located, what types of jobs they offer, the pay-scale for the various positions, and how they would characterize the workforce here.

In part two of the discussion with Merrill and Jones, they addressed the demand of the jobs they offer, whether they feel manufacturing is included in conversations about job growth, the barriers to expanding operations and retail space, and some of the misconceptions that may exist about the manufacturing industry.

Jarrod Hunt, a commercial real estate/leasing expert for Colliers International and broker for St. John Properties shared what types of properties he leases out, the requirements generally needed for manufacturing spaces, the manufacturing scene in Utah, how competitive and expensive workspace sales and leasing are, what he thinks about manufacturing being left out of the conversation about growth, and whether there are any other issues with rebuilding or creating new spaces for manufacturing.

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