Utah's 'Work-Hard, Play-Hard' Spirit Pays Off in 'Top States' Study: Beck

Utah moved up six slots from eighth place in 2011 to rank No. 2 in CNBC’s annual “America's Top States for Business” study. Some people may be surprised by this news but I’m not. Let me tell you why.

Scott Beck
Photo: CHG Healthcare Services
Scott Beck

While it is by chance that the company I lead has its roots in Utah, we have chosen to stay here in part based on the business-friendly climate that helps us grow and thrive.

As one of the nation’s largest providers of healthcare staffing, CHG Healthcare Services has seven offices located across the country and does business in all 50 states. But we choose to be headquartered in Utah.

There are compelling business reasons to operate here. The corporate tax rate is geared to attract business. Recent changes by the Utah legislature have made it even better, helping facilitate CHG’s continued growth.

Utah also offers tax credits, refunds and other incentives that promote business development and job creation. As one example, CHG initiated a project to revamp our operational software. This qualified for Utah research and development tax credits, enabling us to become a more efficient and productive company.

Incentives like this help keep Utah’s companies—and the state—financially sound and able to grow while the rest of the nation continues to struggle. As a result, we have no cities declaring bankruptcy and unemployment is well below the national average.

The business-friendly climate is not the only reason why CHG is thriving here. According to the survey, Utah also ranked in the top 10 for cost of living, economy, infrastructure and transportation, workforce, and quality of life. These factors make this a great place to live too.

Utah is a truly unique place. Where else can you start your morning with a mountain bike ride, work a full day, and still get home in time for dinner with the family?

Speaking of which, strong family ties tend to keep people here, and perhaps it’s this sense of belonging that translates over to Utah’s strong work ethic. Even our nickname, the Beehive State, celebrates the industry of the people here.

This is important to businesses like mine. CHG is a professional services business. Our number one asset is our people and the relationships they develop with our customers.

America's Top States For Business
America's Top States For Business

We’ve found Utah to be a very fertile business environment for attracting the type of talent that fits our values-driven culture.

There’s a well-educated, hard-working pool of people to draw from, which conflicts somewhat with the study statistic that Utah ranks poorly in education.

However, I don’t disagree that education is an area where we can and should improve, especially in light of all the career opportunities becoming available from companies either expanding or moving into the state. Utah is attracting Fortune 500 companies that are bringing high-paying jobs. Big names like Goldman Sachs, Home Depot and Boeing have all announced expansions in Utah recently.

I’m proud to be from Utah and to be growing a company here. It’s a work hard, play hard place where you can have it all. But don’t tell too many people.


Beck was named president in January of 2012 and has been chief operating officer of CHG Healthcare Services for the past three years. Prior to serving as COO, Beck was group president at CHG, overseeing several operating divisions providing physician and allied health staffing services. Beck joined CHG in 1999 and held numerous leadership positions including chief marketing officer and president of the company’s largest sales division, CompHealth Locum Tenens. Before Beck joined CHG, he served as CEO of Endeavor Inc., a sales and marketing consulting firm. Beck has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of Utah and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Masters of Business Administration from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah.

CNBCand YPO, Young Presidents’ Organization, have formed an exclusive editorial partnership, consisting of regional “Chief Executive Networks” in the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. These “Chief Executives Networks” are made up of a sample of YPO’s unrivaled global network of 19,000 top executives from 110 countries who are on the frontlines of the economy. The opinions of “Chief Executive Network” members are solely their own and do not reflect the opinions of YPO as a whole or CNBC.