Governor Gary Herbert has named Val Hale as the new executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.
Hale most recently worked as the president and CEO of the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce. He also spent seven years working in administration at Utah Valley University and 22 years in BYU’s athletic department. He says he’s ready for this new challenge and understands the great responsibility that comes with it.
“There’s little doubt GOED’s success has a definite impact on the state’s bottom line and on every resident in Utah," he says. "Every business that comes to Utah, every tourist who comes here, brings money that will eventually make its way into our schools, our parks, our communities.”
Hale will be replacing Spencer Eccles, who has served in the position since Herbert was elected. At that time the unemployment rate in Utah was more than 8%. It now sits at 3.2%. But Herbert warned Hale that there is still much to do to make sure the economy continues to grow, and it starts with education.
“There are jobs going wanting out there because we don’t have labor that has the skills necessary to facilitate a hirer," Herbert says. "So, we have work to do there when it comes to improving our economy and maintaining our position or else we’ll lose.”
Hale will take over the role starting Monday, August 4.