Because of its geographic location and population base, the Wasatch Front is a natural when it comes to attracting businesses from other states.

State and local economic development officials spend plenty of time and money trying to sell out-of-state businesses on the virtues of locating in the corridor between Ogden and Provo, but trying to get the companies to locate in rural Utah is a harder sell.In an effort to disperse some of the incoming companies to boost the rural economy, Alan Rindlis-bacher, director of national business development in the Utah Division of Business and Economic Development, said he spends 50 percent of this time and money trying to recruit businesses to rural Utah.

That is in spite of the fact that 70 percent of the requests for information about Utah come from companies wanting to locate in areas where there are adequate workers, they are close to good transportation and they have access to their suppliers.

Rindlisbacher recently told the Board of Business and Economic Development it is a challenge to mix the rural and urban recruitment effort.

In releasing his marketing plan for 1995, Rindlisbacher said it is his objective to recruit new jobs to the state by capitalizing on the strengths of the Utah economy. That can be done by emphasizing Utah's labor force, technology advantages and quality of life.

To generate new leads of companies contemplating a move or expansion, Rindlisbacher's plan is to focus on creating a pool of qualified prospects in light manufacturing, furniture and fixtures, electric and electronic equipment, warehousing and distribution facilities, value-added agriculture and other appropriate industries.

In addition to recruiters attending trade shows to promote Utah as a business location, Rindlisbacher said an advertising campaign will try to sell urban and rural areas as ideal locations for a business. State officials will work with Metro Utah and Utah Small Cities for a balance between urban and rural areas.

To work more closely with local economic development officials, Rindlisbacher said his staff will regularly provide leads to Metro Utah and Utah Small Cities. Rindlisbacher will provide a general response package to each lead when received.

State officials recently announced the hiring of C. Russell Fotheringham, who will open an office in Southern California and attempt to attract companies in that area to expand or relocate to Utah. They will renew a contract with Joe Staub, who will continue his recruiting efforts on the East Coast and in New England.