Farmington's Pluralsight to relocate as part of $371.7 million expansion

Sunday , September 10, 2017 - 5:00 AM

TIM VANDENACK, Standard-Examiner Staff

FARMINGTON — A Davis County tech company, one of Utah’s Silicon Slopes firms, plans to leave its digs in Farmington for a site farther south as part of a massive expansion that could create more than 2,400 jobs in Utah.

Pluralsight intends to relocate south of Salt Lake City, though Davis County officials hope they can convince it to stay put in Farmington.

The company — identified last year by Fortune magazine as one of 174 firms with a valuation of $1 billion or more, a so-called Unicorn company — provides online technical training.

The planned $371.7 million expansion generated kudos Friday from Gov. Gary Herbert.

“Pluralsight is a Utah business success story, and we are proud to support the expansion of homegrown companies,” Herbert said in a statement. He called it a major player in Silicon Slopes, as Utah’s growing high-tech sector is known, and said the firm “will continue to benefit from the state’s strong business environment and talent.”

The privately held firm, led by Davis County’s Aaron Skonnard, plans to invest $371.7 million as part of its proposed expansion and create 2,464 jobs over the next 10 years, according to a press release from the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development, or GOED. It currently employs 700, said D.J. Anderson, the company’s vice president of communications. Around 400 of those work at the Farmington site at Station Park, according to Shawn Beus, the Davis County economic development manager.

As part of an agreement with GOED, the company would receive up to $21.55 million in tax breaks over 10 years, a quarter of the estimated $86.19 million it’s projected to pay in taxes in the period. Wages to be paid are to exceed 110 percent of the average of the county where it locates and Anderson said the new posts will be “professional-level jobs.” 

Officials from Davis County praised Pluralsight, which made the No. 20 spot on Forbes magazine’s list this year of the 100 hottest tech companies in cloud computing.

“Having Pluralsight located in Station Park has helped this development and Farmington city tremendously,” Mayor Jim Talbot said in a statement. “And I think that Pluralsight has equally benefited from being located in Farmington.”

Beus said seeing the firm leave Davis County would be a disappointment, but officials hold out hope they can somehow convince it to stay, Friday’s announcement notwithstanding. 

“We’re hoping there’s a little bit of time, there’s little big of wiggle room,” Beus said. “They kind of represent the latest and greatest in high-tech companies.”

Anderson said Pluralsight, which was founded in 2004 and generated $131 million in revenue in 2016, is expanding to a temporary location in South Jordan until a new permanent headquarters structure is found. It also currently has operations in Lehi.

Skonnard noted the “deep talent pool” in the Silicon Slopes area. “That’s why we plan to keep investing in this community. We’ve loved our home in Farmington and are looking forward to creating a new, much larger home south of Salt Lake City,” he said in a statement.

Contact reporter Tim Vandenack at tvandenack@standard.net, follow him on Twitter at @timvandenack or like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/timvandenackreporter.

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