The city of Laramie is a growing technology center in the state, according to the Wyoming Technology Business Center. In 2005, Laramie only had 16 tech companies but now has 85, and they expect to see 100 tech businesses in Laramie by the end of the year.
City Manager Janine Jordan said over the past decade there has been a concerted effort from the city, the University of Wyoming and other partners like the Laramie Chamber Business Alliance to encourage the tech sector to sink roots in the community.
"We've recognized for a long time that harnessing brain power is one of the strengths of our community and one of the ways we can really create economic vitality within our community," said Jordan.
It helped that the tech boom received funding from the University. Laramie also built business infrastructure like the Cirrus Sky Technology Park. Jordan said when the park was built, the city and its partners realized the potential in keeping startups in the Laramie.
"At that point in time, we recognized through a quantification report that we did that we had a lot of technology businesses spinning out naturally in the community and we wanted to create a long-term home for them when they were ready to put down roots," said Jordan.
The average age in Laramie is 25, significantly lower than the state average of 37. City Grant Writer Sarah Reese said that offers both an opportunity and a challenge for the city. Reese said the younger population is attractive to tech companies, but it's difficult to convince recent graduates to stay in Wyoming.
While the biggest employers in the city are still in the public sector, Reese estimates around 400 tech and advanced manufacturing jobs have been created in the last 10 years.