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Utah News

Statewide Competition Aims To Strengthen Utah's Middle Class

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The Alliance for the American Dream is a partnership between the University of Utah and Schmidt Futures - a venture facility dedicated to scientific and technological advancements.

By working together they hope to increase net income for 10,000 of Utah’s middle-class residents by 10 percent by 2020.

“It’s in everyone’s interest in the U.S. to have a vibrant and a strong middle class,” said Courtney McBeth, project director for the alliance at the University of Utah.

The U is one of four research universities in the country participating in the alliance. Participation includes hosting a competition, or ideas challenge.

“We are looking for policy and technology ideas that will either increase income or decrease cost for middle-class families in Utah,” McBeth said. “And that could be in any area whether it’s healthcare, or education, or transportation or housing.”

Criteria for the ideas challenge will be rolled out in mid-May. Submissions will be accepted for the next few months and in September the top 10 ideas will be selected. From those 10 ideas, the top three will be chosen.

“The top ten teams and then the top three teams will have access to the university and various resources to develop and mature their ideas,” McBeth said.

Schmidt Futures is providing the funding that will be used to develop the top ideas. The number one idea will compete on a national level.