Governor urges continued investment in education and workforce development through WIP Initiative

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Wyo4News staff, [email protected] [PRESS RELEASE]

January 11, 2024 — In a budget letter submitted to the Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee (JAC), Governor Mark Gordon has called for a $30 million investment to ensure the long-term sustainability of his Wyoming Innovation Partnership (WIP). The WIP initiative is a collaboration to align education and workforce development to help drive Wyoming’s economy and to help address the workforce shortage many businesses are facing.

“The successes of WIP should not be undersold,” Governor Gordon wrote in the letter. “For the first time ever, the University of Wyoming and the state’s eight community colleges, as well as the Wyoming Business Council, Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, and the Wyoming Department of Education, are working to align education, workforce development, and industry to support Wyoming’s economic development needs. Further, we are seeing an increase in the return on investment as students graduate, enter the workforce, and earn high wages. WIP is also supporting business start-up and expansion in Wyoming.”

The first two phases of WIP included the creation of Wyoming’s first applied software development degree, successfully placing students into the Wyoming workforce after they graduated from the WIP-enabled Powerline Technology program at Western Wyoming Community College, and the establishment and expansion of multiple healthcare and nursing training programs at Wyoming community colleges. 

Governor Gordon said that the next phase of WIP will focus on evaluating the sustainability of the developed programming and further coordinating efforts to support thriving Wyoming communities in the long term.

“It is the vision we invested in during the last budget session, and seeing that through is important for Wyoming’s workforce and future,” the Governor wrote. “This will lead to the ongoing development of opportunities for people to stay and succeed in our great state.”

The Governor’s budget letter may be viewed here.