Utah leads the nation in employment growth for the Life Sciences industry. Not only is it a rewarding career, but average wages are more than 140% of the Utah average wage. The idea is that as the size of the industry grows it reaches a critical mass and community building phenomenon, much like we are witnessing with Silicon Slopes.

The industry attracts leaders and innovators that are committed to staying in Salt Lake City and all of the benefits of being in our city – from the University of Utah to Research Park to a new innovation hub focus at the Gateway, to manufacturing facilities on the west side near Salt Lake International Airport.


Salt Lake City has strategically selected opportunity zones where there is an RDA project area, New Markets Tax Credits and Community Development Block Grant Eligibility to be able to overlay incentives for development.

The result of that effort is the Salt Lake City Opportunity Zone Prospectus:

SLC Opp Zones - Life Sciences - FINAL 5.29.19 (003)_000

Opportunity Zones offer investors the ability to delay and discount their capital gains liability when they place their profits from the sale of property, stock, or business partnerships into an approved Opportunity Fund.

The Life Science industry accounts for more than 1,000 companies statewide and over 34,000 employees. What is unique about this sector is how it creates both direct and indirect jobs. As the industry expands, more inputs are required from suppliers, creating another 36,000 jobs and investment opportunities.

Utah is a national leader in drugs and pharmaceuticals, medical devices and equipment, and research, testings and medical laboratories:


Workforce Development

Having state funds reduce or eliminate the risk for industry to get more involved in thoughtful talent development has proven successful. Medical Innovations Pathways  program offers specialized courses and practical work experience to help students develop the skills needed by Utah’s most elite medical device and laboratory testing companies.

talent ready utah medical innovations pathway

The goal of of this strategic workforce initiative is to fund the development of stackable credentials, that is, credentials that can be earned in various stations in life, beginning in
high school, that can be stacked together and amount to higher certifications or degrees with credits that can articulate to schools of choice. Funded programs have various on-ramps and off ramps with the intention of always providing a way back into higher learning.

Why Salt Lake City 

Downtown offerings have always enjoyed an urban advantage, providing amenities, culture, and transit which help attract businesses and employees.

  • 10 minutes from Salt Lake City International Airport, a robust public transportation system with an electric light rail and commuter rail connecting Research Park, universities, neighborhoods, and the international airport.
  • Strategic location at the intersection of Interstate 80 and Interstate 15 provides easy ground transportation throughout the United States.
  • Established gigabit network, making business better, faster, and easier.
  • Urban outdoor paradise including 90+ parks, and miles of protected open space.

We are excited to lead the effort in identifying Salt Lake City’s Opportunity Zones and RDA project areas that allow for capital stack throughout our City.

Since the creation of our department publicly announced wins include: Biomerics, Stryker, Recursion Pharmaceuticals, Polarity TE, DiscGenics, and OODA Health with  Cap Ex of more than $194,000,000 and  2,638 jobs created.

If you are interested in exploring these opportunities, give us a call at (801) 535-7200 or ed@slcgov.com.