Jobs: Sheridan Workforce Development (part 3 of 5)

Sheridan Mayor - Dave Kinskey

This Guest Commentary is the third in a five-part series about employment/jobs in our community, by Sheridan Mayor Dave Kinskey. Originally published in The Sheridan Press on February 4, 2012.

In my first column we took a look at the kinds of jobs that have been identified, with assistance from the Wyoming Business Council as those that we want to attract and encourage to grow in Sheridan.  These include: internet and information services; professional, management and technical services; administrative and customer support operations; light manufacturing; creative arts; recreation.

The attention then turned to the four questions any business looking to expand or relocate would ask about:  our tax and regulatory environment; availability of employees; quality of life; and, ability to get a business up and running.

This column addresses the second of those two questions a business looking to expand in or relocate in Sheridan may ask: Can I hire the kind of people I need?

The State of Wyoming hired the Wadley Donovan Group – – an Economic Development Consulting firm – – to study target opportunities for Sheridan County.

The report interviewed local people and examined all available data from the state and federal governments.

The study confirmed what we know: Sheridan is blessed with hard working and well educated people.

The study also pointed out that there is a deep reservoir of people in Sheridan who are either under employed or unemployed by choice because they cannot find the right kind of work.

Specifically, the study states “these individuals need quality jobs offering skills diversity and strong wages and requiring a high skills base.”  And it added, “these individuals would benefit through training initiatives that enhance residents skills in high demand occupations.”

Growing up in Sheridan we always knew that we needed greater opportunities in Sheridan.  Underemployment remains rampant to this day.  It is high time that we did something to permanently fix the problem.

The kinds of jobs that we want to encourage to grow or locate in Sheridan, as indicated by the Wadley Donovan state sponsored study, are the very ones that are most well suited to the kinds of  folks that we have in Sheridan.

Our community college is also a tremendous asset in this regard.  Vacutech, the new employer locating into the City of Sheridan High Tech Business Park, said that the programs offered by the college were a critical factor in locating their business in Sheridan.  Sheridan College graduates are even now taking on new job opportunities with this firm.

As my coach used to say, “That play worked so well, let’s run it again.”

If you would like to learn more about the labor market study and targeted industries, the Wadley Donovan Study can be found on the City’s website at http://www.sheridanwy.net/.  I find it to be fascinating reading and it contains many insights about the right kinds of jobs for Sheridan and the best direction for us to take in our economic development efforts.

In the next article we’ll take a look at the third factor that companies looking to expand or relocate ask: what is your quality of life?”

Sheridan is a wonderful place to live, work, raise a family, run a business or retire.  I’m confident that as we continue to build our community together we can establish a better paying job base and more opportunities for our citizenry.

 

 

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