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Lt. Gov. Announces Returnship Program


In an effort to help Utahns, especially women, who want to return to the workforce, Gov. Spencer Cox and Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson announced a new returnship program on Thursday. 

“Unlike internships, and I know a thing or two about internships,” Henderson said, “unlike internships which are designed primarily for young people at the beginning of their careers, the goal of a returnship program is to help experienced adults reenter the workforce without starting at the bottom of the career ladder diversity and life experience are valuable to us and should be relevant to pay and opportunity in the workplace.” 


Henderson said that the program is aimed at helping people who have been out of the workforce for an extended period of time for various reasons, such as being a stay-at-home parent, a member of the military or a military spouse, or even being retired. 


The Lieutenant Governor’s returnship initiative will provide paid opportunities to Utahns working to return to the workforce. An executive order signed by both Henderson and Cox will require state agencies to identify new returnship opportunities that can be offered. According to the press conference, Utah state government will be the first state nationwide to offer returnships.


The program is open to anyone and is specifically targeted at helping women return. Henderson said of the roughly 12,000 jobs lost in 2020, 8,000 of those belonged to women in comparison to the 4,000 that belonged to men. 


She said the program will also help Utah employers have the workforce they need and says the governor’s office is encouraging businesses to start returnship programs as well. 


“One of the biggest concerns that we hear from employers in the state of Utah is that there are not enough qualified workers to fill their open positions,” Henderson said. “The purpose of this returnship initiative is not only to help people who want to get back to work but also to help provide an innovative way for employers to find solutions to their workforce needs”