FARMINGTON – Utah Governor Gary Herbert was among the hundreds who attended the grand opening of the new Pluralsight office in Farmington’s Station Park on Friday.
Herbert also helped cut the ribbon for the new facility, and also announced a major donation to Utah’s teachers by the company.
Pluralsight will donate free subscriptions to all Utah teachers for a year, Herbert announced before a group of employees, special guests and local government leaders.
Plurasight CEO Aaron Skonnard of Fruit Heights was also on hand to share his thoughts on the rapid growth of the company, and declare Davis County open to tech-based businesses like his.
Pluralsight’s business model is unique. The company recruits industry professionals (mostly in computer-tech sectors) to teach subscribers all about their craft. Company “authors” then tailor their lessons into e-learning (online) classes.
“People don’t usually connect ‘tech’ with Davis County,” Skonnard said. “That’s going to change today.”
Skonnard, an Oregon native who’s lived in Davis County for 15 years, hopes his venture will be the first of many tech-based businesses that will come to Davis County.
If the company’s recent growth is any indicator, the potential for other businesses looks good. Since January, Skonnard says Pluralsight has grown by 100 employees, and there’s room for more.
Herbert said the company is a great example of the economic climate in Utah.
“This is a global business right here in Farmington, Utah,” Herbert told the Clipper. “It shows what a great place this is for business.”
During his speech, Herbert noted that most commuters pass through or leave from Davis County on their way Salt Lake or further away.
“We want them to stay,” he said.
While announcing Pluralsight’s donation (which he valued somewhere between $5 and $10 million), Herbert praised the company’s influence in promoting good business while providing stronger education for workers of the future. He also praised Pluralsight for supporting the state’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education emphasis, which he described as a win-win for economic and educational development.
“We cannot have long-term economic development without education,” the governor said. “Skills have to line up with the marketplace.”
Skonnard noted that most of his employees already live within 10 minutes of the new office, and he hopes the company will attract more.
“We have a great quality of life here in Davis County,” said Skonnard. “I know we can attract the best talent.”
More employees and more tech companies is ‘music to the ears’ of local business leaders.
Davis County Chamber of Commerce Director of Sales and Events Angie Osguthorpe told the Clipper she hopes the Pluralsight success creates a “snowball effect.”
Farmington Mayor Jim Talbot was equally enthusiastic about Pluralsight’s influence on other companies that might consider the Lehi area for development.