Forward Sheridan applauds our local manufacturers on their tour day Oct. 6 to show off their capability and capacity. Manufacturing growth is one of the clear economic development possibilities for us at Forward Sheridan as well as a focus for the state’s diversity efforts.
Our role is to enable this capacity to have new audiences and potential new markets to pursue. Forward Sheridan, with our collaborators, will be convening a manufacturers roundtable with aerospace companies, local manufacturers and the University of Wyoming in November.
The framework is relatively straightforward. Neighboring states Colorado and Utah are the No. 2 and No. 4 largest aerospace states respectively. Many of the aerospace companies are seeking capable subcontractors to carry out their mission — a quick look at the Colorado Aerospace website will provide you with a glimpse of how large this opportunity is. Forward Sheridan is bringing aerospace contractors to Sheridan to discuss the methods, criteria and process to be eligible for contract.
In our region we have companies that are currently or have historically worked in aerospace or defense related contracting. The most visible is L&H Industrial (Sheridan and Gillette) which conducted work on the NASA shuttle transporter for Kennedy Space Center — this is a story worth building on. Other companies such as Vacutech LLC and Kennon are working in this domain as well. We are presenting case studies to regional manufacturers and tech services to demonstrate that:
• The market exists and is huge and opportunity is next door.
• Large contractors are looking for capable subcontractors.
• Our manufacturing companies can perform the tasks needed.
• UW has a demonstrated history of assisting small businesses to win these contracts.
Look at Forward Sheridan’s Facebook page or call our office at 307-673-8004 for general information on the event set for Nov. 2. Forward Sheridan’s board supported this project and we have collaborated with Sheridan Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Sheridan Association, city of Sheridan, Sheridan County, Powder Horn Ranch, First Federal Bank and Trust, Vacutech LLC, L&H Industrial and others to enable this to happen.
In other business sectors, Sheridan County Airport and all the team supporting our ability to move quickly and effectively to Denver International will be celebrating Nov. 1-5, the anniversary for Denver Air Connection. Part of this celebration will be no-cost short duration scenic flights on DAC over the Bighorn Mountains as well as festivities at the airport. These are modest 20- to 30-minute flights to experience DAC. Check the website for arrangements for your family, group or friends to take a jaunt. These flights will be counted as enplanements for the airport, which is a critical threshold to assure maintenance of the airport functions. See www.flysheridan.com/scenic for information and to sign up for your flight.
Jay Stender is the executive director of Forward Sheridan.