So I was positive I was going to leave Utah when I finish school next year up until a little more than a month ago. I had my world turned upside down as far as that goes the day before I had my chocolate world turned upside down.
A guy by the name of Jason Perry came and spoke to my professional seminar class thing at school. Jason happens to be the head of the Governor's Office for Economic Development, and he reports to Governor Huntsman daily. He and his office are trying to turn Utah into a brainiac and manufacturing hotspot through incentivizing companies to come here. They are offering significant tax breaks to companies IF they hire people from Utah (as I am a registered citizen/voter here, I count as that. Please hold the jokes.) and pay them at least 200% the county average where they show up.
I thought that no amount of money could keep me in Utah, but for the first time, I had concrete-ish figures. He looked me in the eye and told me $90-95K is perfectly plausible straight out of school. I wasn't even going to talk to companies in Utah before that. Also, the places where these companies are going are far away from the parts of Utah that substantiate my stereotypes, which I like. So here is a pro/con list:
Pro (for Utah):
Money (in theory - if not, then I am gone for sure)
Good outdoorsy things
Strong entrepreneurship/investing culture and resources
Really low gang activity
Tons of temples
All that stereotypical piety
Lack of long-term family (depending on how long they take in school)
We would definitely move at some point - moving sucks
Costs of living and housing
I am open to feedback about the situation. In fact, please send it my way, so I can add to my list. I may need to apply weights and rate each category for various places and narrow down that way. But I really don't know.