economic development

Cody Community Review

Cody is participating in the Community Review Project. The project is meant to help local leaders develop future goals. The Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming Extension Office collaborated to launch the survey.

Screen shot from http://www.wyomingbusiness.org/broadband

Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr sees accessible, affordable, high-speed broadband as critical to the city's prosperity and future. Back in January, she announced the formation of a broadband task force. The City Council recently adopted a resolution drafted by the task force following several months of research.

Public forum participants discuss agriculture in Casper College Student Union.
Alanna Elder

About 15 people circled a giant notepad at Casper College. They had already filled several pages and stuck them to the wall, and they were still brainstorming.

Weatherby Inc.

Sheridan has attracted a firearms manufacturer that is expected to provide between 70 and 90 jobs.  Weatherby Inc. announced Tuesday that it will relocate its manufacturing operations to Sheridan after over 70 years in California. 

Weatherby said it is coming to Sheridan because of its available workforce and Wyoming’s business-friendly environment. Sheridan City Administrator Mark Collins said the community is the site of a number of manufacturing companies, and he thinks that helped attract their business.

ENDOW, Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming, logo
ENDOW

The State Superintendent of Public Instruction is concerned that Governor Mead’s executive council focused on diversifying Wyoming’s economy, known as ENDOW, is leaving out K-12 education.

 

Superintendent Jillian Balow made that point recently in a letter to the governor. She said schools should be a part of the economic diversification discussion because public education is one of the largest employers in the state.

 

Stephanie Joyce

Gillette and other towns in Northeast Wyoming may be looking to carbon products - goods like water filters and building materials – to stabilize the coal industry.

The New Growth Alliance, which includes Sheridan, Buffalo, and Gillette, is a group focused on economic development in Northeast Wyoming. It recently held a conference to discuss alternative coal markets, and now the communities are combining efforts to recruit other types of businesses, as well.  

State of Wyoming Legislature

On Thursday, the Wyoming House of Representatives Committee passed the first reading of a bill that would establish a council charged with studying and implementing a plan to diversify Wyoming’s economy. The bill would create the ENDOW Council (or Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming Council).

Lander Representative Jim Allen proposed an amendment adding a tribal member to the council, which he said fits with the stated mission of the council.

City of Cheyenne

The western edge of Cheyenne’s downtown features older, run down, and in some cases abandoned buildings. The rest of the historic downtown features a mix of remodeled older buildings and some that could use an upgrade. To address all of this Cheyenne has embarked on what’s called the West Edge plan.

Cheyenne Planning Services Director Matt Ashby said the city has an effort that could eventually lead to modernizing the downtown and to make the capitol city a player on the Front Range. 

The Wyoming Business Council Board of Directors has unanimously approved $13 million in state grants and loans to help one of the country's largest producers of ammunition magazines for guns relocate to the state.
 
     Erie, Colo.-based Magpul Industries is planning to move its production, distribution and shipping operations to Cheyenne. The company vowed to leave Colorado after that state enacted gun control laws last year.
 

The resource curse is real -- and discernible even at the county level -- according to a new study from the non-profit research group Headwater Economics.

Researchers looked at more than 200 counties across six western states, and found that those with above-average oil and gas development over a long period of time had lower per capita incomes, less educational attainment and higher crime rates.

creative commons

Southeast Wyoming is reporting good economic growth and employment numbers. At the Economic Forecast luncheon today in Cheyenne, Cheyenne LEADS CEO Randy Bruns said the gross domestic product for the city in 2012 was 2.42 percent. The first two quarters of 2013 also showed above-average job growth, and rising retail and home sales.

On Wednesday, the Riverton City Council Chambers will host a pre-bid conference for the Wind River Job Corps project.  Project administrators want to work with as many local contractors as possible.

The completed Job Corps complex will bring much needed training opportunities to Fremont County, as well as create over 100 permanent jobs.

Sandy Barton is the executive director of Fremont County’s Board of Educational Services. She says this meeting will give local contractors the chance to ask project managers questions about what kind of opportunities will be available.

An organization called Good Jobs First says Wyoming should play harder-to-get when businesses apply for state funding and tax incentives. Of the states requiring job-creation results from benefiting businesses, Good jobs first ranks Wyoming 49th. Dan Neal of the Equality State Policy center says Wyoming is being too loose with its purse strings without demanding a return in new jobs.  He says while Wyoming looks at ways to diversify its economy through incentives…it is not unreasonable to require a certain number of good paying jobs to be created.