Good news! Cathie Rigby has joined our team as a new Economic Development Project Coordinator!
In this role, Cathie will be working with community economic development partners Economic Development Corporation of Utah (EDCU), the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), the State of Utah, property owners and developers and internal City Departments to address the issues and needs of businesses looking to relocate or expand in Salt Lake City.
She is an advocate for Salt Lake City, working with stakeholders to get the right answers for SLC’s potential employers – coordinating meetings with universities, companies, associations, and other government entities.
It’s about making sure that the needs are met, and that we attract the right opportunity to enhance a better quality of life for Salt Lake City residents. ALL residents.
Cathie will also be coordinating applications to SLC’s Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) – a program that allows delayed or reduced duty payments on foreign merchandise, as well as other savings.
Cathie holds a Masters of Public Policy (MPP) degree from the University of Utah, with a strong background in financial administration, affordable housing, and public policy. She’s passionate about solving the challenges and overcoming obstacles that come with public service using big skills in data analysis, policy evaluation, stakeholder communication and grant writing. Not only that, but she’s also bilingual / fluent in Spanish! Very impressive!
We asked Cathie a few questions about economic development, her love of Salt Lake City and what she’s looking forward to. Here’s what she said:
How can SLC better connect with providing better opportunities to Spanish speaking entrepreneurs?
It’s about more than speaking Spanish or understanding the language, its about knowing the cultural perspective. Many who speak another language also come from countries whose governments may have not been stable or are corrupt. So there is distrust or at the very least an apprehension to reach out to government for help. These entrepreneurs are looking for stability and reliability along with opportunity. Spanish speaking entrepreneurs would like program contacts they can communicate with and who will take the time to make sure they understand the process. Follow up and friendship is key to working with them.
One of Mayor Mendenhall’s initiatives “digital equity for all” aims to ensure access and foster opportunities for all SLC citizens – how does that fit in with corporate recruitment?
I love that Mayor Mendenhall is forward thinking in this way, realizing that digital equity is vital in order to not leave any communities behind. Our workplaces are changing rapidly, and due to Covid we have seen the need to be ready for anything at any time. If we want Salt Lake City’s workforce to not only survive but to thrive through all types of economic changes, we need to ensure that all citizens have the tools necessary to learn, adapt and be ready for those work opportunities wherever they may lie. We want to work with companies who get that.
What is your favorite public space to hang out in SLC? Favorite event?
My favorite public space to hang out in SLC is Liberty Park. I have fond memories as a kid, packing a picnic basket full of food and spending an entire day there. Whether it was running around the playgrounds, or taking a boat ride on the pond, or riding the Ferris wheel there was always so much to do. It was also so much fun to just people watch and enjoy fresh air and green space! My favorite event to this day is Living Traditions. As part of a cultural group, Kausachun Peru, I had an opportunity to dance on a Living Tradition’s stage, but I have also come to watch many great performances and eat amazing food. Sharing your culture with music, dance, art or food is so memorable and enriching. What a great way to build Community and say this is Salt Lake City!
What is Salt Lake City doing right for business?
Salt Lake City does a great job at being welcoming: we want you here, we will help you find what you need to come here and stay here. What I have learned from my co-workers about our mission is that we have a strong connected and resourceful ecosystem happening in Salt Lake City. Economic Development wants to take the years of institutional knowledge and help a company hit the ground running.
Thanks Cathie! Welcome to the team.
At Salt Lake City’s Department of Economic Development, our goal is to better understand the challenges ahead of you, to help grow your business. We work to streamline processes, provide excellent customer service, and ensure you have the tools to thrive. For more information, visit http://www.slc.gov/ed.