New Roads, New Jobs?

Construction along Center Street in Provo could pave the way for new student jobs. Jake Buntjer/UVU Review

How the Nu Skin Project on Center Street May Affect You

Provo Center Street’s historic south side between 100 West and University Avenue is in for a transformation.

Nu Skin, a multilevel-marketing company, has its corporate headquarters at 75 West Center Street, and plans to extend into a plaza and atrium that will connect a new corporate building to the existing headquarters, essentially covering the area between 100 West and 100 South. Provo city council members voted that existing businesses vacate and relocate to accommodate the plaza, giving Nu Skin the go-ahead on the project.

So does this affect us here? Considering that many are not aware of the new plan for Center Street, it seems it may not. But when students are looking for jobs in the fall and later when they are looking for internships or careers, they may find the expansion beneficial to them.

According to Nu Skin, the project will bring around 400 new employees into the company’s downtown offices. Truman Hunt, president and CEO of Nu Skin said, “We recognize the great potential of this expansion project and the important role it will play in helping to revitalize downtown, generate economic development and provide additional green space for Provo.”

So economically, this may be a good move – and let’s face it, most people are more worried about the economy than about preserving historical architecture. But what about the small businesses that have been long-time contributors to Provo’s personality as well as its economy? Corporations have their benefits, and when you look at the rate of small businesses filing bankruptcy, it’s easy to assume corporations will weather this economy better.

But looking back in recent years, we see big companies failing as well. Remember when General Motors was bailed out by the federal government and then declared bankruptcy a year ago? Or that Lehman Brothers Holdings filed for the largest bankruptcy in the history of the United States? At least when a small business closes its doors, those employees still have strong personal references to hand in with their resume.

So yes, Nu Skin can create jobs, but it will also have a huge responsibility to keep those 400 or so new employees employed if they want to justify the expansion. However, as students, we hear the words “more jobs” and it’s a beautiful chorus of syllables. Sure, we love the historic-feel of downtown Provo, but if we’re struggling to get a job, we want something to change in an economic and beneficial way.

UVU student Tricia Wagner said, “If we can create jobs and boost our economy, it’s a good tradeoff.”

Byron Putnam, another student, said, “I’m a big fan of historic Provo and keeping it that way – but I can see the economic benefits too. So what triumphs over the other?”

Since not every job at Nu Skin involves distributing their product and selling out your friends to the company, it doesn’t seem directly unethical to be employed as a public relations agent, advertising or graphic designer, or warehouse manager. It may even be time for Provo to update that area of town and stimulate the economy a bit.

One Response to "New Roads, New Jobs?"

  1. Jameson   August 6, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    I think historic provo needs to stay but we can change it to help the economy also. Provo center street at one point before the malls and before I-15’s easy commute to salt lake was the place to come shop to buy whatever you need. We see places like freemont street (las vegas) time square (new york) 5th avenue (playa del carmen) etc. and its all a wonderful place to go have fun, shop, etc. I think if we brought in new and exciting businesses it would attract not only locals but also people from all over utah to come shop “PROVO HISTORIC MAIN STREET” and bring in money to help this economy. Also during the winter when we have people from all over the world coming to ski it would be another attraction for them to stop by. With more businesses showing up and more customers to help it would also in return would bring in new jobs. Keep the buildings keep everything just bring in new…

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