SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Governor Gary Herbert shared his vision to improve Utah's education during his State of State speech Wednesday night.
Governor Herbert walked out to deliver his State of the State address with thunderous applause. Once he took the podium he shared why we have reason to cheer.
"I have never been more optimistic about Utah's future. The state of our State is strong and continues to grow stronger," said Gov. Gary Herbert, (R) Utah.
The Governor shared examples of successes in business and education, and announced a new aggressive goal. He said right now only 43% of Utahns get their college degree or a post-secondary certificate. He wants to bump that number to 66% by 2020.
"Tonight, I call upon you, the members of this State Legislature, to unite behind the resolution supporting our 66% by 2020 goal, so we can declare with one voice, with singular focus, Utah will achieve education excellence," said Herbert.
The governor singled out medical technology company Edwards Lifesciences, who has a plant in Draper, as a positive example of what can happen if Utah focuses on education.
"This company grew from about 200 employees in Utah in 2010, to 550 employees today. And they plan to double that number again in the next few years," said Herbert.
The company's Draper facilities General Manager told ABC 4 Reporter Brian Carlson they hope to hire those employees from in-state universities.
"There is a lot of talent in this state, because we've only been focused on that expansion in the last couple years we're really starting to discover what that is," said Rich Lunsford, Edwards Lifesciences.
The Governor said he's committed to making this type of success continue to happen.
"I pledge to you my very best effort. May God bless you, this great nation and may God continue to bless the Great State of Utah," Herbert said.
Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @tv_briancarlson