The Four Challenges We Need To Address.

Author:Miller, Derek
 
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We have a responsibility toward our employees. Here's what's most important to them.

Utah business leaders are concerned about their employees. It's a recurring theme as I meet with them throughout the state. They feel a sense of responsibility and a desire to engage in their communities to support their employees, not only on the job but in their overall quality of life. This is something of a tradition in Utah, our identity as a state has always been tied to living a life focused on wellbeing and a high standard of living.

To support this feeling of social responsibility throughout the business community, the Salt Lake Chamber launched the Utah Community Builders Foundation in June 2018. Over the last year, the foundation has gathered information, met with issue experts and service providers, and coordinated with leaders inside the Salt Lake Chamber to understand the most pressing challenges for Utah's communities: social mobility, behavioral health, immigration, and childcare.

Social mobility

As our economy and demographics continue to change, many families in neighborhoods across the state cannot break the cycle of intergenerational poverty without broader support from the community. We are well represented by the government and nonprofit organizations (many of which go above and beyond), but we know the business community must play a critical role as well.

Coordinated engagement, along with data and research, can take efforts to address poverty to the next level, pinpointing areas of greatest need and working with employers to create real opportunities and cumulative strategies that lead to greater social mobility for their employees.

Behavioral health

According to the Kern C. Gardner Policy Insititute, baby boomers currently make up 16 percent of Utah's overall population while Gen X and millennial combined make up 42 percent. What does this mean for employers? Research and related reports show that a wave of younger employees is entering the job market while dealing with higher rates of anxiety and depression than those of generations before.

Essentially, Utah has more work to do to provide better access to mental health care. According to Intermountain Healthcare, nearly 72 percent of employees want their employer to prioritize mental health in the workplace-and every generation ranked mental health as the highest priority over other concerns.

Utah Community Builders will work with insurance and health care providers, employers, and...

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