One of the messages we heard from our investor team was to focus on recruitment and look at diversity of industry. Last week we made a specific effort to visit two companies that have expressed interest in establishing a presence in Sheridan. The first question is how do we determine interest? For FS it is a combination of three basic themes. First, what experience to they have with Sheridan? Have they been here? Do they have a connection? What draws their interest? Secondly, simply are they viable entity? Are they organized? Are they organized in Wyoming or a shift from another state? And finally, do they have a specific service or product that can work in Wyoming? These sort of questions are the front edge of “vetting” a candidate business.
Both companies we visited last week had a mixture of vetting conducted prior to using our resources to visit. One business is a training based company that works worldwide so location is not as critical. Their initial sorting was a state that had minimal corporate tax and a demonstrated support for small businesses. Wyoming and Texas are competing for the tax advantage. However, the comment that many states (like Texas) spend a great deal of time building an argument used to lure large corporations – leaving a real interest in small business as merely an afterthought. In Wyoming we are small business. Growth and jobs comes from small business – Remember the fed classification for small business is less than 500 employees- so most of our State is small business. It is key for FS and our colleges to continue to push for small businesses that can come, find adequate employees, and grow.
The second company, located in Colorado, is a mixture of arms and engineering services. Yes some of their team has been in Sheridan and received a first class understanding of our the “willingness” of Sheridan College to work on specific machining skills. Our community provided a unique tipping point positively with the community effort toward the wounded warrior program for veterans. As more servicemen migrate from the service to the private sector a sensitivity and support for their efforts is critical. Again the proof is in the pudding – We openly take an active position supporting our servicemen post their detail and we have VAMC here as well.
Another theme driven from our investors is an interest in developing technology industry providers. As a step, FS and others will be providing a forum for Array School of Technology and Design will be coming to Sheridan May 3rd to host an informational outreach of their program to accelerate programming skills. Array is located in Cheyenne and have established a new format for short run, focused skills. Contact Forward Sheridan for more details.
Yes, once again, it is important to continue the message of commercial air services. Recently, Renee Obermueller reported our year to date performance of Denver Air Connection – a full year of no missed flights and continued and consistent increase in ridership. Ability to transport cost effectively to Denver is a valued piece of infrastructure.