The ENDOW Economic Diversification Strategy was released on Wednesday, August 22, 2018, followed by a press conference held today, Thursday, August 23, 2018.
ENDOW was established by Governor Mead and the Wyoming State Legislature over eighteen months ago to drive Wyoming’s economy forward and develop opportunities that will allow citizens to find good-paying jobs and meaningful work both now and long into the future. ENDOW engaged with thousands of Wyoming citizens, hundreds of Wyoming businesses, multiple education and research institutions and countless industry and community leaders to establish a collaborative vision driven from the ground up.
Governor Matt Mead started the press conference by recognizing how fortunate we are in this state. He then said, “The economy is hard to plan. We have to diversify our economy. We won’t have the brightest future we can if we continue to export our talent. For the ENDOW we have to have a long term, proactive approach. The private sector has to support the ENDOW or it won’t survive.”
Greg Hill spoke saying, “Thank you to all of those that were involved in this process. This included 25 members on the executive committee, 40 on the advisory council, 1000’s of Wyomingites, and 100’s of businesses. In total with all engagement 135,000 people were involved. We had 17 months of really hard work for the committee and I believe we came up with a great product. However, we aren’t done yet, this is a strategy. The hard work now will be the action plan.”
There are five building blocks based on what was heard from those in Wyoming:
- Workforce and Education
- Healthcare and Quality of Life
- Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
- State Capabilities
Jerimiah Rieman stated, “We have a deep respect for our current industries. We do see an opportunity to grow. With a 20 year strategy for our natural resources we want to maintain what we currently have, however, we do want to grow in solar and wind energy. We also want to grow our tourism industry and manufacturing industries. We will need to invest in infrastructure for these areas to grow, as well as increase our technologies for these to advance.”
With many growth opportunities not all could be pointed out during the press conference. Governor Mead followed up by discussing that this may be a 20 year plan, but in 2019 it won’t be a 19 year plan, it must continue to always be a 20 year plan for the state to continue to grow and succeed.