ENDOW Releases 20-Year Strategic Plan For Economic Diversification
After a year and a half of meetings and planning, the initiative called the Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming, or ENDOW, has released its 20-year strategic plan.
The document outlines more than 50 different actions the state government and private industries could take that would grow and attract businesses and keep young people in Wyoming. Some recommendations include appointing a Chief Economic Diversification Officer, creating business development zones, and growing the University of Wyoming’s footprint. The report also proposes improving access to broadband internet and commercial air service, investing two percent of the state’s portfolio in Wyoming companies, as well as better marketing of the Wyoming brand of products and services.
In a press conference, Governor Matt Mead said the initiative will need financial investment from the government and businesses.
“I think this lives or dies with the private sector,” said Mead. “But if you’re talking about, for example, making sure we have good infrastructure – roads, sewer, water. Those are things the government certainly has an appropriate role in investing.”
Director of Economic Diversification Strategy and Initiatives Jeremiah Rieman said they have not created a budget request yet, but that the initiative’s number one priority is creating the appointed position of Chief Economic Diversification Officer in the governor’s office.
Governor Mead said he’s eager to meet with gubernatorial candidates Mary Throne and Mark Gordon to talk about growing ENDOW and its ideas past his term in office.
“We don’t want to be reading reports 40 years from now, as I did reports from the 1960s, that say ‘We’ve got to do something. We’re losing too many young people.’ So the best thing we can do and for the next governor is make steps all along the way that creates an inertia.”
After releasing the strategic plan, ENDOW will next create a four-year action plan.