Return Utah helping those with career gaps to rejoin the workforce

Feb 9, 2023, 10:49 AM

View of Salt Lake City pictured, governor is cracking down on denver sending immigrants to utah...

Aerial view of Salt Lake City, Wednesday, March 9, 2016. (Ravell Call/Deseret News)

(Ravell Call/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — A  public program is helping Utahns return to the labor force. This program was established by the government to fill vacant jobs in Utah and help citizens feel confident working again.

Return Utah was announced in April 2021 as the first public program of its kind in the country. It aims to specifically recruit people who have taken career gaps to work for the state.

Typically, those who take career breaks have a lower chance of getting a job due to the gap in their resumes.

“We’ve all been told, right, that recruiters don’t look down at a career gap very well. And if there’s a gap in chronological order that it’s a red flag,” said Return Utah Program Manager Shayann Baker.

The program’s goal is to re-train adults with previous experience. It also requires state employers to consider all candidates, even those with career gaps.

Return Utah has been helping fill state jobs that have been vacant since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

It utilizes “returnships”, which are like internships for experienced adults, to train them on the advancements they’ve missed.

“In our case, a returnship is a 16-week period where a person is hired for a job. And for 16 weeks they do that job and then they receive transitional support,” said Baker.

To date, the program has helped get about 40 people back into the labor force. It’s now working to extend its services into the private sector.

“What Return Utah does is it allows access to a pool of candidates that were otherwise overlooked,” Baker said.

The program has traditionally hired in groups every few months, but now, it’s hiring year-round with rolling admissions.


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Business + Economy

Utah's olympic delegation headed to Paris Monday, July 22 to present their pitch to host the 2034 W...

Aimee Cobabe

Utah Olympic delegation jets off to Paris

Utah’s Olympic delegation to Paris is on its way to make one final pitch to host the 2034 Winter Olympics.

13 hours ago

house for sale, no money down house purchase...

Curt Gresseth

No money down to buy a house? It can be done, says agent

If you are planning to buy a house in Utah, but can't afford to put money down, there is a way to make that work, says a real-estate agent

15 hours ago

Food truck employees work through scorching temperatures to keep their business going even during a...

Eric Cabrera

How food truck workers get through the intense heat

Food truck employees work through scorching temperatures to keep their business going even during a relentless heat wave.

5 days ago

The Christmas Box House's Christmas in July campaign is asking for donations, which have lagged beh...

Brian Carlson,

Christmas Box House desperate for donations

At The Christmas Box House, Christmas in July is their campaign for donations, which have lagged behind this year.

6 days ago

FILE - Firearms are displayed at a gun shop in Salem, Ore., Feb. 19, 2021. Firearm stocks have rise...

Aimee Cobabe and Emma Keddington

Firearm stocks rise after attempted assassination of Trump

Along with a rise in firearm stocks, the Dow Jones saw record highs following the past week's big news events.

7 days ago

FILE: New apartments under construction in Herriman are pictured on Feb. 22, 2021. The Utah rental ...

Daniel Woodruff, KSL TV

Utah rental market softens, but for how long?

After years of high prices, the rental market in Utah is softening a little, thanks to a lot of new units currently hitting the market.

7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

A young woman smiles while reading the menu at a lakeside restaurant, enjoying the panoramic view o...

Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau

The best restaurants to try in Bear Lake

Save this guide to the best restaurants in Bear Lake when you need to find a place to dine during your next visit.

Female leg stepping on weigh scales. Healthy lifestyle, food and sport concept....

Health Utah

Sustainable weight loss: the science-backed way to achieve it

Learn more about Debbie's weight loss journey with Health Utah, who have a unique weight loss philosophy for success.

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

Return Utah helping those with career gaps to rejoin the workforce