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Businesses want schools to prepare workers who are well-trained in the basics, who have a technological background, who can communicate, who are adaptable and who work amiably with others.

Schools want business to help them with both financial support and expertise.It will take both elements working together to make Utah's education and economy mutually healthy and helpful, speakers said during a workshop sponsored by the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. The business/education gathering in the Red Lion Tuesday was also supported by AT&T, Cellular One, Chevron and the Red Lion.

Gov. Norm Bangerter and Don Cash, Questar executive and chairman of the chamber board of directors, set the tone for the business and education representatives. They then got into small groups to discuss how they can foster cooperation.

Utahns may be their own worst critics when it comes to education, Cash said. "We have good schools in Utah. Outsiders see us as a cut above some other states." Although criticism can be helpful, Utahns need to have a more positive outlook on the state's own education processes.

The state's businesses are now competing in a worldwide market, Cash said, and students must come out of the educational system prepared to help America compete successfully.

Productivity in America doesn't measure up at this point, he said, and open dialogue between business and education is one of the solutions to the problem.

Bangerter said that although Utah's economy has remained firm during a national recession, there is not much hope for significant new money for education in the foreseeable future.

"By all the measures, we're doing well, but we still don't have enough money to do what we want to do," he said. Even if the state's birth rate dropped to nothing immediately, it would take 20 years to deal with the students already in the pipeline, he said.

"We have to be as good at job creation as we are at procreation."

Federal mandates for social services, corrections and other state services are making it more difficult to funnel the bulk of Utah's tax money into education, the governor said.

The state already has undertaken a number of initiatives to improve education, including technology promotion, smaller classes and alternative teacher certification, Bangerter said, but the challenge will continue to be great.

Higher education will face increasing pressure at the 30 percent growth that hit public education over the past decade puts more students into the college mode, said the governor. He said he doesn't favor capping college enrollment, but "we should be prepared to do what it takes . . . no matter how good the economy gets, there'll be plenty for the next governor to do." He referred to the upcoming end of his own stint as governor next January.