Cedar City's chamber of commerce is stepping onto a trail blazed first by the Salt Lake Chamber and then followed by Gov. Gary Herbert.
The group is asking every business in Iron County to each create one job and spur the struggling recovery into higher gear.
"If every business in Iron County filled one job, that would be 2,000 jobs," Scott Jolley CEO of the Cedar City Area Chamber of Commerce, said Monday.
The chamber expects to reach the target in 1,000 days. Since May 1, when the initiative was rolled out, 162 jobs have been produced.
Like other areas of the state, Iron County was slammed by the recession. Employment peaked at 17,650 in the fourth quarter of 2006, a year before the recession's official start in December 2007. When employment stopped falling almost four years later, the county had lost 18 percent of its jobs, according to the state Department of Workforce Services.
As of the last quarter of 2011, employment in the county was still 1,900 jobs below the previous high, which suggests that if the local economy doesn't generate any new employment other than what the chamber is aiming for, the job count in 2015 won't be much higher than what it was in 2006.
That seems unlikely, though. Jolley said two manufacturing companies are considering expansions. And Convergys, a Cincinnati, Ohio-based company that operates call centers and handles customer management for other companies, has hired 40 people at its Cedar City location.
"Companies are always looking [at the county]," Jolley said.
The Salt Lake Chamber was the first Utah business group to kick off a jobs program in the state. Its program, started early last year, aimed to create 150,000 jobs over the ensuing five years. Chamber economist Natalie Gochnour said the program is on track.
"We got 30,300 in 2011. So far in 2012, [another] 29,000," Gochnour said.
Last September, Gov. Herbert called on a blue ribbon panel to create 100,000 private sector jobs in 1,000 days. Since November, Utah has created 15,900 jobs, according to the governor's website.
The chamber and the governor's office base their counts on the same jobs data issued by the Department of Workforce Services, Gochnour said.
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