It has been a trying two weeks in our community. We are all deeply saddened by the events that have transpired both locally and nationally. Mayor Erin Mendenhall has released a statement to the community about transparent policing — as a City we can and must evolve toward greater equity, safety and justice and we are ready to do so.
It is giving us great pause and reflection – both as individuals and as a team to re-evaluate our role and service to this great City and re-commit to change.
It is a reminder of our strong commitment to grow Salt Lake City in a way that values diversity and improves the lives of all our residents. And it is just as important that the businesses that come to our City also help create equitable communities.
We can’t help but connect this moment in history to parallels of the ‘Fourth Wave’ of economic transformation.
So much has changed in the last few months. Yet Salt Lake City’s economy’s underlying truths have not. The Tech and Life Sciences industries are critical pillars; education is essential to upward mobility; and yet systemic racism continues to limit individuals and communities from getting ahead.
What has changed is how rapidly our lives have become further reliant on technology. As the pandemic has forced us into a new normal, our community must proactively embrace technology, which is causing seismic shifts in industry and our lives.
Enter Industry 4.0, which is all about connectivity and creating new opportunities for innovation, fueled by a skilled workforce and research and development. This new worldwide era places strong emphasis on local community – quality of life, fairness, equity, participation, and partnership.
Image Credit, Source: Salesforce
While responsible growth is important to our City’s future, it is critical that growth is equitable and accessible to residents across our city.
We bring it up now, at this moment in history because it is ingrained in our commitment, in leadership at all levels in the City.
Tech is the future of our economy; by getting in at the ground level and creating intentional partnerships we can ensure that growth in our city benefits everyone. It is why Mayor Erin Mendenhall has created the ‘Tech Lake City’ initiative for Salt Lake City to once again lead and invest in real change for good.
“Mayor Mendenhall’s focus is to ensure that Salt Lake City is a dynamic and diverse city that attracts, retains, and grows employers who can offer career pathways and economic opportunities to the city’s residents,” says Celina Milner, Senior Advisor and Community Outreach for Diversity and Human Rights. We must ensure that Salt Lake City is a globally competitive city to which employers flock, communities thrive, and innovation abounds; to recruit and retain a diverse set of businesses; to foster economic opportunities for all Salt Lake City in all neighborhoods; and to partner with workforce development programs and local businesses on talent development ensuring that all Salt Lake City residents can find and retain living-wage jobs.
As the Salt Lake City Department of Economic Development we strive to shed light on the subject of diversity, helping local businesses thrive and attract employees from all over the world. The Salt Lake City Arts Council has also reached out to the community with a statement of action.
Inequality threatens the foundation of society. Now is the time to press the reset button to build a better City – all in the shadow of a pandemic which has shown fault lines and exposed inequities in our community. But we can use this moment of crisis to forge a better Salt Lake City for everyone. Let’s use the 4th Industrial Revolution for good, to build an equitable world. The reset can happen if we work together. Everyone has a role to play.
We are listening. We are learning. We are committed to equity for all.