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Budget Bill Could Save WyoTech

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The future of WyoTech, the automotive school in Laramie, has been in limbo for five months, following the Zenith Education Group’s announcement it would be downsizing. But lawmakers have earmarked $5 million in the budget bill to help WyoTech stay open under new management.


Laramie County Community College President Joe Schaffer said he’s optimistic lawmakers will approve those funds as they wrap up the 2018 Budget Session. Schaffer said LCCC has already put forward a proposal to take over WyoTech and has been negotiating with Zenith to get equipment donated. But the Wyoming Business Council is also soliciting proposals from private enterprises to take over the school.


Schaffer said LCCC has a vision that will benefit the local economy, as well as statewide workforce development. “Those programs: automotive tech, diesel technology, and some of the opportunities for new programs,” Schaffer said, are, “at the heart of where Wyoming is growing and where we need to invest to build a workforce for the future.”


The Wyoming Business Council has until April 1, according to Schaffer, to vet proposals and make a recommendation to Governor Matt Mead, who will ultimately decide how to use the $5 million to support the future of WyoTech.


Tennessee -- despite what the name might make you think -- was born and raised in the Northeast. She most recently called Vermont home. For the last 15 years she's been making radio -- as a youth radio educator, documentary producer, and now reporter. Her work has aired on Reveal, The Heart, LatinoUSA, Across Women's Lives from PRI, and American RadioWorks. One of her ongoing creative projects is co-producing Wage/Working (a jukebox-based oral history project about workers and income inequality). When she's not reporting, Tennessee likes to go on exploratory running adventures with her mutt Murray.
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