Wyoming Governor Matt Mead has agreed to provide a $5 million loan to a private group to keep Laramie’s WyoTech open. The previous owners had planned to close the automotive college. During the 2018 budget session the state legislature supported efforts to keep the school open.
Shawn Reese, CEO of the Wyoming Business Council, said Laramie County Community College and a private enterprise led by Jim Mathis, a former WyoTech student, instructor and CEO, submitted proposals. Reese said the private sector proposal was the best fit.
“LCCC’s proposal was really about workforce development, whereas the Mathis proposal has a larger economic development impact,” said Reese. “Because it’s a private school, that would be paying taxes and bringing in students largely from out of state.”
Reese said LCCC had a strong proposal, but it would have required ongoing public investment, whereas Mathis will receive a loan. “Because of the economic development merits of the private sector proposal we felt that best matched the directive that we were given by the legislature.”
Reese said WyoTech will take the fall semester off to finalize the transition, with plans to re-open in the spring of 2019.