We continue, as an organization, to make a purposeful effort to reach out, usually one on one, with our investors-stakeholders. This outreach has several specific aspects. The first and foremost is to ask what is their most pressing concern for day to day sustainability. This focuses the discussion on our current mission – what they, the businesses, deem as important and valued. Second, it is very valuable to understand how they view the economic climate in Sheridan as it relates to their business sustainability. A welcoming climate is appreciated. Our focus is on opening markets to enable higher and better sources of income, specifically for advanced manufacturing.
We use these business interactions to set the groundwork for our strategic planning and implementation. FS’s board is primarily business leaders who can provide insights from their operations. One quick example that encompasses our community, is the continued construction demand. This is very positive for suppliers and support infrastructure such as subcontractors/engineering. These are clear examples of continued investment in infrastructure for the future. For FS we can use these on-going projects as testimony around the commitment to economic diversity. This balance of sectors sets the standard in Wyoming. The success of Kennon Products and their State of Wyoming financial commitment demonstrates that SEEDA and Kennon prepared a competitive and compelling proposition that met the State of Wyoming economic development criteria. As state supported funding becomes more critical the track record not only of projects built but the successful outcomes from the investment is essential to keep the momentum.
Workforce continues to be a concern. Recently in our discussions with two local manufacturing companies the concern is on finding qualified workforce – trained, hungry, and ready to go. One CEO specifically stated that he is looking for the right attitude; they will train candidates. The desired position is to have demand for workforce rather than considering downsizing. Some of the emphasis on housing seems to be, at least for the moment, relaxing to manageable levels. This is not to say that affordable workforce housing is not an issue, as options are currently limited. Again, the focus by the Housing Task Force (HAT) is making headway looking at code conflicts. This was a good event that was approved by the City of Sheridan. The housing team, specifically with valued input from builders and real estate, are opening new avenues to look at mixed or missing middle housing options within Sheridan.
FS would like to acknowledge and congratulate Kristen Czaban on her WPA award that was announced in January. Secondly, Greta Knapp of Bank of the West, was promoted to Regional Vice President working all the Bank of the West facilities in Wyoming. As the community gets primed for the FAB conference celebrating women and their accomplishments it is great to have good news to offer.
Another short byte. The Wyoming legislature is proposing some block chain legislation. One bill is to evaluate the opportunities to use block chain technology within State Records. Secondly, block chain technology was just announced to track Wyoming Beef exports from Powell off shore. FS perspective is that we have block chain skills in Sheridan that are perched to enter this emerging market.