Utah has always exerted an incredible pull on its natives.
Kathryn Romney identified the magnet that pulled her and her husband back to Salt Lake City after living away for 20 years when a saleswoman called to sell burial sites in a Boulder, Colo., cemetery."After a long pause, I heard my voice say, "Well - you see, we have Utah bodies," Romney wrote in Utah Holiday magazine.
This state can claim many "Utah bodies" - those who were born and educated here and who even moved away for a time. Something about the majesty of the Wasatch Mountains, the relatively uncrowded freeways and the bonds of family ties pulls natives home.
Politicians explain such a cultural phenomenon by attributing it to the high quality of life offered here, and package it to sell to prospective developers.
An article in the Wall Street Journal says the same patterns can be found throughout the country. At a time when this country's national unemployment rate hovers around a 14-year low, between 5.3 and 5.4 percent, workers aren't migrating in statistical waves to where jobs are.
America has long been a country of transplants. In an era where practically all of our national traditions remain uncertain, perhaps our moving patterns have finally stabilized.
Now more than ever, then, it is time for this country - and for Utah - to maximize local opportunities for the youth we educate every year.
Utahns should to be able to stay close to family and heritage, without having to suffer underemployment.
As a state, let us build on our strengths. Let us brag about our workforce. Let us create the jobs necessary to stop out-migration.
Let us make it possible to keep most Utahns where they would like to be. At home.