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Cox encourages Utahns to ‘be builders’ at Silicon Slopes Summit

By Ashtyn Asay - Daily Herald | Sep 30, 2022

Ashtyn Asay, Daily Herald

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox speaks at the Silicon Slopes summit in Salt Lake City on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022.

As a late addition to the schedule, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox spoke at the sixth-annual Silicon Slopes Summit Friday morning, encouraging Utahns to give back to their communities and be builders.

Cox spoke during the summit’s morning session, along with speakers like NFL Hall of Famer and Brigham Young University alum Steve Young and actor/comedian/veteran Rob Riggle.

Cox began his remarks by looking back on Utah’s exponential growth in the tech industry in recent years. The state has one of the fastest growing economies in the U.S., has seen 6.5% job growth in the tech industry over the past year and has the second lowest unemployment rate in the nation, according to the governor’s speech.

The Silicon Slopes Summit is an indicator of that growth as the two-day event brings together tech businesses from all over the nation, and has quickly become one of Utah’s biggest conventions.

“The growth is just phenomenal,” Cox said. “We’re so proud of what you are doing to help grow Utah’s economy and make this a destination for people from all over the world.”

Utah also leads the nation in volunteerism. According to data from AmeriCorps, Utah is the only state with more than half of residents volunteering, garnering a 51% volunteer rate. Minnesota has the second highest rate at 45.1%.

“We are so fortunate to live in a state where we lead the nation in volunteerism, we lead the nation in charitable giving, we lead the nation by a long way,” Cox said. “We need you to keep giving back, we need you to make part of your mission giving your social capital to lift others.”

Cox himself has championed volunteerism by creating the Governor’s Spirit of Service Award and launching the One Kind Act a Day campaign, declaring April 12, 2022, One Kind Act a Day day.

Cox encouraged listeners to cast aside political biases and focus on building Utah up together, regardless of beliefs.

“Our nation is very divided, we need builders. I’ve stopped looking at people on the spectrum of far left or far right, it’s not exactly helpful. I’ve started defining people as builders and destroyers,” he said. “We need builders now more than ever. I don’t care what your politics is, I don’t care where you come from, we need you.”

In the end, Cox remarked on the necessity of teamwork in societal systems to solve problems and create a better future.

“Government was not designed to solve all of our problems. We can’t do it without the public sector, the nonprofit sector, and we can’t do it without you,” he said. “And you are doing it.”


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