Provo was the subject of two major announcements today. First, the Corporation for National & Community Service held a press conference to report the results of its Volunteering in America research. Once again, Provo has the highest volunteer rate in the nation. Between 2006 and 2009, our average annual volunteer rate was 63.6%, and Provo residents, like the BYU student in the photo above, devoted an average of 149.7 hours of service per year.
Later in the day, there was a groundbreaking ceremony for the new convention center in downtown Provo. It’s quite exciting to think about the impact it will have not just on our city, but also on the surrounding area. I compared the convention center and other recent economic development efforts to the elements of an ecosystem. One element is necessary for another, and together, they result in a healthy, thriving system. The convention center will bring visitors that will support local businesses, which will provide jobs and more support for local businesses, resulting in a continuing upward spiral for our local economy. At the same time, the resulting increase in sales tax revenue will help keep taxes low for residents. Like many other things happening downtown, the new convention center is something to celebrate. Thanks, Seth Taylor, for the photo of the hard hats and shovels above.