Research, What Is It Good For?

By: Adrene Wike, Program Manager

May 6, 2020


Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

State and community growth can happen organically and inorganically. Some movements begin as tiny fires that need a little bit of help to ignite into something bigger. Other initiatives must be created out of necessity or want. Research helps to provide facts, which can lead to creating larger plans to help where needed.

As the UDRC prepares to look at what the 2020 research agenda will look like, it’s equally important to look back at what has been accomplished and in what ways this research is needed.

Workforce Retention of Graduates

Workforce retention has been a hot topic nationwide. Utah isn’t any different in wanting to look at what college graduates they are retaining. Data paints the picture of what the local graduate migration looks like. The battle to attract youth is constant and will continue as more baby boomers retire and exit the workforce.

Research like this helps Utah to look at what strategic plans can be put in place to retain local graduates. Or possibly, what pipelines can be created to make connections between local industries and our graduates.

Intergenerational poverty

What does intergenerational poverty mean for our future workforce, who will continue to need financial assistance into adulthood, and how/why should we break the cycle? There has been a lot of research and discussion based around communities wanting to attract and retain talented youth. Multiple studies have shown that graduating youth tend to have the opportunity to be mobile. However, what about those that are left behind?

This “left behind” group may have the potential to become a larger percentage of the future workforce. First, it’s important to see what it looks like to be a part of intergenerational poverty. What are the barriers and possible preemptive initiatives that could make a difference?


The point of all of this is to understand the varying doors that research can open. Knowing what’s below the surface helps to create a foundation on which to build. It may create more questions, but only with the hope that it may lead to better answers.