Local leaders are exploring a unique economic development idea that, while still in its infancy, is gaining attention and support as a creative solution for workforce imbalance statewide. Uintah County Commissioner Bart Haslem has developed the concept being called Balance Utah which aims to make a reasonable work commute possible between Uintah County and the Wasatch Front. While multiple options are being explored to logistically make that happen, the overall idea is that people could live in Uintah County while working on the Wasatch Front by utilizing a special flight from the Vernal airport to commute there in the morning and home each night. Salt Lake has over 17,000 jobs advertised but simply lack the workforce to fill them.. In addition to giving Basin residents an option they previously did not have, the Balance Utah effort could also be advertised to those already living on the Wasatch Front to consider relocating to Uintah County where housing is affordable with the option of commuting to their job in the city. The idea is that into the future if the boom and bust cycle changes, the same concept could be used, just the other way around. The Governor’s Office and others have expressed interest in the concept as it could help balance not only workforce issues but could also help with air quality and affordable housing woes currently plaguing the Wasatch Front. Balance Utah is just one of many ideas local leaders are exploring in their effort to broaden the economic base and stimulate prosperity in the Basin.
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