OGDEN -- The city is teaming up with Weber State University to bring one of the world's fastest growing industries to Ogden.
Ogden's Community and Economic Development staff has been working with representatives from the WSU Research Foundation to create a program that will develop mobile application software for electronic devices like tablets, iPads, iPhones, and other smartphones.
"With mobile application development, you have an industry that is growing faster than almost any other," said Terrence Bride, Ogden's assistant business development manager. "And it brings with it high-paid jobs. The median salary for these types of jobs in this area is about $80,000 a year."
The program will provide mentoring, training, legal services and even small-business loans for mobile app entrepreneurs.
"We would be taking in those that have a good, marketable concept and provide mentoring and funding to turn that concept into a real business enterprise that employs people," Bride said.
The city estimates that the program could create 750 jobs during its first 10 years.
Bride said one of the focuses of the program will be to have those jobs located in downtown Ogden and create synergy between the program and WSU students who graduate in related fields.
Bride said WSU produces a large volume of software graduates each year -- more than any other school in the state aside from Brigham Young University.
"Weber State is a big reason why this industry fits in Ogden," Bride said.
The Ogden City Council recently approved a funding match for a $1 million federal Economic Development Administration grant that would be used to jump-start the program and pay for a building that will serve as the program's "mobile app center," where the mentoring and training services will be available.
The city will kick in $285,000 for the purchase and renovation of a building at 2314 Washington Blvd. Another $145,000 will go into a loan fund that will be used for business loans associated with the program.
The city also will be proposing an additional $70,000 in funding in the fiscal year 2013 budget for the loan program.
WSU will also contribute $50,000 to go toward the building.
The funding is contingent on Ogden acquiring the grant, which has not been locked down yet.
"We're going through the final documentation process (on the grant) right now," Bride said. "We've been selected for the grant, but we won't know for sure for about another 30 days."
WSU's bookstore will lease space in the city's building and will provide a retail outlet for educational supplies. The bookstore will also sell Apple products.