Emery County Economic Development Director Mike McCandless was recently appointed by Utah Governor Gary Herbert to sit on the Governor's Rural Partnership Board. This board is assigned to research, analyze and develop solutions to rural issues. Then these issues are brought before the Governor and the Legislature for action. This board has been instrumental in developing new rural programs such as the BEAR program which was developed in Emery and Carbon counties, but now is in 24 counties throughout the state. It also supported the Fast Track Grant program which has delivered more than $2 million in grant assistance to rural businesses.
McCandless also sits on two other state boards including the Utah College of Applied Technology Board of Trustees which currently provides certificate based education to more than 40,000 Utah students, and the Utah Recreational Trails Advisory Council which administers grants to develop non-motorized trails and trail systems throughout the State. He is the chairman of the Emery County Travel Bureau and a member of the Emery County Business Chamber board of directors. McCandless and his wife Helen reside in Huntington with their five children.