The Wyoming Business Council (WBC) has released its annual benchmark report. This year's report shows that through two of the Wyoming Business Council's grant programs, Kickstart and Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR), start-ups created 30 jobs and received $4.65 million in follow-up investments.
WBC's Chief Strategy Officer Sarah Fitz-Gerald said that the report also highlights the economic development agency's new strategy that it debuted in May 2019.
"We're much more focused on the diversification of Wyoming economy. That means we're much more focused on our specific industry and making sure we are pursuing targeted efforts to act on big aspirations," she said.
She said the strategic changes has helped to better direct where the agency should be investing its resources.
"What we are today is a much more focused agency, so we're just making sure working to solve one of the biggest and most consistent problems which is economic diversity and development," she said.
Those efforts include investing in communities to create amenities that help attract new industries to the state as well as retain young people. Fitz-Gerald added there is a big emphasis on keeping Wyoming graduates in the state.
Fitz-Gerald said the coming year, the WBC will be working with researchers at the University of Wyoming to identify better ways to attract industries to the state.
The WBC has to send a yearly report to the legislature, and over time it's become a way to track its performance and goals.
"We strive to hold ourselves accountable and to be as transparent as possible. So to do that, we need to translate what we do in an easy to digest way, and this is one of the ways we do that," Fitz-Gerald said.
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