Wyoming Governor Awards $26M to Fund Workforce Enhancement Initiative
Governor Mark Gordon has advanced the second phase of the Wyoming Innovation Partnership (WIP), a workforce enhancement initiative that aims to help Wyoming residents boost their incomes with training and education in high-growth fields.
The Wyoming Legislature appropriated more than $26 million in funding to advance this second phase of the WIP.
The projects and programs were selected based on an evaluation of short and long term metrics, outcomes and collaboration to support a resilient workforce and economy.
“These funds will help us to expand and continue our efforts to build a well-trained workforce of the future in high-wage and high-growth fields,” Governor Gordon said. “This is good news for our citizens, communities and businesses, which will all benefit from this critical effort to align education and workforce development.”
Funded applications came from all eight of Wyoming’s community colleges, the University of Wyoming,the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, and the Wyoming Department of Education.
The applications included projects from the six existing programs (Consortial Infrastructure; Digital Infrastructure and Technology; Energy; Entrepreneurship; Healthcare; and Tourism and Hospitality) and three additional component areas in Manufacturing, Workforce Development and Agriculture.
Newly funded Agriculture proposals included Precision Agriculture, Ranch Management and Controlled Environment Agriculture. Additional proposals in Advanced Manufacturing and Internship Development for young adults and Construction Trades were also included in the new component areas.
Governor Gordon launched WIP in 2021 to modernize and focus Wyoming’s efforts to develop a resilient workforce and economy. The effort aims to better align Wyoming’s economic development agenda by increasing collaborations between state entities and ultimately local partners. The partnership involves the University of Wyoming, the state’s community colleges, Wyoming Business Council, and Department of Workforce Services with an emphasis on developing innovative solutions that support and enhance Wyoming’s economy, workforce, and sources of revenue.
Included in the projects funded in WIP’s Phase I that will continue into Phase II were a Software Development program at Sheridan College in partnership with the University of Wyoming. That program’s curriculum has now expanded to include collaborations with Western Wyoming Community College, Northwest College and Central Wyoming Community College.