Nonprofit Helping Fight Utah’s Record High Unemployment with Jobs that can Endure Another “Shutdown”

June 30, 2020 / Press Release

OGDEN, UT – Utah ended 2019 with a strong economy—one of the fastest-growing in the nation. The State also matched its record low unemployment rate of 2.4 percent.

Four short months later, the coronavirus pandemic brought Utah’s booming economy to a screeching halt, nearly overnight, driving the unemployment rate to record high levels. As a result, around 166,300 Utahns (10.4 percent) found themselves without a job. While Utah’s unemployment rate has improved slightly, hundreds of thousands of Utahns are still unemployed.

Utah’s unemployment rate isn’t the only metric breaking records. The State’s COVID-19 case count has reached a record high. This recording-breaking number of cases is again threatening to shut down Utah’s already bruised economy.

To help get Utahns back to work, an Ogden-based nonprofit, Develop Ogden, is working to share a message that the software industry north of Salt Lake, the greater Ogden area, is growing and the software companies that make up this nonprofit are hiring, even during this time of uncertainty.

“Most Utahns are aware of the software scene around the Point of the Mountain, but few know of the amazing software companies that exist north of Salt Lake and the career opportunities these companies have,” said Bart Liechty, Develop Ogden board member. “It is important to note when we talk about career opportunities with software companies north of Salt Lake, we are not just referring to software development. Currently, our member companies have openings in administration/operations, customer service, marketing, graphic design, sales, and software engineering.”

While no industry is entirely immune from an economic downturn, in the event government and health officials advise companies to avoid working in the office, the software industry’s nature allows software companies to work from home with little to no impact on their business.

Tyson Smith, President of Reading Horizons, a Develop Ogden member company, commented, “It has been inspiring to watch our team members work seamlessly through this time of uncertainty. Established protocols combined with stellar online tools and well-defined team metrics have allowed us to work remotely for the past four months without missing a beat. Almost every team in the company has been working remotely with very few concerns. Developers, marketing specialists, salespeople, customer support specialists, content writers, designers, and quality assurance engineers have been working effectively from home. It is thrilling to watch.”

Neil Krauss, Co-founder of Senior Sign, a Develop Ogden member company, said, "Even before the pandemic, a portion of our team was working remotely. As a software company, most of our company can easily work from home. And during the pandemic, we’ve continued business as usual. We love having a remote workforce that lives and plays close to the office. It makes all-hands meetings easy and inexpensive to hold while granting our people the freedom to set their own schedules and office setting."

Although the future is full of unknowns, Develop Ogden member companies remain hopeful.

Casey Elliott, Chief Administrative Officer at Kadince, a Develop Ogden member company, said, “In many ways, software companies are leading the growth of Utah’s economy. There are many roles within a software company, and salaries are some of the best in any industry. If there was ever a time to pursue a career with a software company, it is now. The future is bright.”

Develop Ogden member companies are currently hiring for well-paying, benefit-rich career opportunities. In the event of another “shutdown,” they stand ready to transition their teams to work remotely, keeping them healthy and safe while maintaining employment.

To learn more about current career opportunities with Develop Ogden member companies, visit www.developogden.org/careers.

About Develop Ogden

Develop Ogden is a recently formed 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Its members are software companies located north of Salt Lake City, the greater Ogden area. The organization was founded to spread the word about the growing software scene in the greater Ogden area, to help those who live in this region work closer to home, and to make the greater Ogden area a better place to live, work, and play.

For more information, visit Develop Ogden’s press page.