September 13, 2021
SALT LAKE CITY (Sept. 13, 2021) – The Cox-Henderson administration’s first 250 days in office saw an aggressive expansion of vaccinations, a significant reduction in barriers to licenses, new job training opportunities and employment flexibility, additional financial assistance for drought-stricken farmers and ranchers, and a major restructuring of state government agencies to be more responsive to the public.
“We’ve made good on many of our campaign promises and we’ll continue working to cross the finish line on the goals we set in the One Utah Roadmap,” Gov. Cox said. “But the Roadmap is a living document, so we’ll be adding new goals in the Roadmap version 2.0 that will guide our next 250 days and beyond. We want to ensure our work makes Utah a place where everyone can be happy, safe, healthy and successful.”
The One Utah Roadmap version 1.0 focused on six areas: economic opportunity, education, rural, health, opportunity for all and streamlined government. Here are key milestones accomplished at the administration’s 250-day mark:
- Economic advancement: We have implemented 17 new programs to help workers get more training and better jobs through Learn & Work. We have also reviewed 80 licenses, 67 chapters of code, and 86 rules, resulting in 16 licenses suggested for elimination or modification. The goal is to keep Utahns safe while eliminating barriers to success.
- Education: We have identified learning gaps caused by the pandemic and identified fiscally responsible use of federal funds to address COVID-19 related learning disparities to help students. We have also partnered with local education associations and the state auditor to better understand school construction costs in the state.
- Rural issues: We have boosted support for remote work and entrepreneurism in our rural communities, resulting in 104 state jobs relocating to rural areas of the state. In light of the ongoing drought, the Go Utah Board approved an Emergency Disaster Relief loan program for crop and livestock producers who experienced loss due to drought and we have launched a multi-agency effort to develop a long-term comprehensive plan for water.
- COVID-19/health security: We continue fighting COVID-19 by hiring and training more community health workers and improving communication between the Utah Department of Health, local health departments and health care providers. We have also executed an aggressive vaccine strategy resulting in more immunizations after July 4 as Utahns increasingly understood the importance of getting vaccinated. We will continue this effort.
- Equity and opportunity: We completed a gender wage gap study, launched 10 “returnships” for adults returning to the workforce and we are in the process of hiring the state’s first equity and inclusion accelerator. In addition, based on feedback from community partners throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Go Utah has stopped using “first come first serve” practices when awarding grants in order to prevent undue advantage to organizations who have staff to monitor programs, and for whom website navigation is not a challenge based on language barriers, time or other resources.
- State government efficiency: Each agency has begun working to make government more customer friendly and we have hired a new chief innovation officer to help implement improvements. We have made our workplaces more flexible through remote work, expanding positions eligible for remote work to a total of 9,513 positions with about 70% choosing to telework. We have also started to restructure some of our state agencies including the Department of Health and Department of Human Services.
The administration will release version 2.0 of the One Utah Roadmap in the coming days.
Graphic of Utah Roadmap successes here.