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SHERIDAN —The Sheridan Economic and Educational Development Authority Joint Powers Board voted to move forward into the next phase of a Sheridan Area Career Technical Education and Training Strategy and Target Industry Study Tuesday.
SEEDA has contracted with the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, a nonprofit corporation based in Chicago, to research local and regional market trends and how they relate to the existing and future labor force.
CAEL recently completed the primary phase of the study, which consisted largely of assessing the existing workforce and educational opportunities available in Sheridan.
Representatives from CAEL have had a chance to communicate with SEEDA trustees and establish a satisfactory base to continue into the next phase of the study, which will be a target industry profile.
A similar profile was completed by the Wadley-Donovan Group in 2007.
The outcome was a recommendation to emphasize industrial growth in five key areas uniquely compatible to Sheridan’s economy: information services, professional/scientific/management/technical services, small supportive office operations, light manufacturing, creative arts/Western arts/home furnishings and recreation/Western-themed tourism.
In order to update the 2007 assessment, CAEL professionals will interview representatives in the mentioned target industries to document current economic trends and factors relevant to supply and demand of employment opportunities and the available workforce. CAEL will revise the target industry list based on the updated evaluation.
After the profile is complete, the next step will be a career technical education and training strategy. The CTET will mirror the target industry profile, but in the realm of education. The corporation will put a fresh set of eyes on locally available vocational training programs and where training opportunities might exist. The team will also evaluate how existing and potential vocational training relates to business recruitment and community functionality.
SEEDA board members granted authority to a subcommittee to fine tune a work request for CAEL and send the work order off before the board meets again next month.
SEEDA will pay CAEL $22,000 when the target industry profile is complete, $22,000 when the CTET strategy is done, and $22,425 when the final report is delivered. The study will be funded via a $50,000 grant from the Wyoming Business Council combined with funds from SEEDA and the city of Sheridan.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, SEEDA:
• announced a vacancy for a member at large to serve on the board of trustees, as Arin Wadell did not re-up her term. Ken Thorpe, president of the Chamber of Commerce, volunteered to fill the vacancy.
• heard an update from City Planning and Development Director Robert Briggs on the site certification of Sheridan’s high-tech business park via the Wyoming Business Council and an independent consultant. Site certifiers visited the area last week and gave a generally positive overview of the infrastructure in place and compilation of information.
The visit of the site selectors represents the completion of phase two of the certification process, and evaluators are expected to give SEEDA the go-ahead to move on to phase three of the certification process in the coming weeks.
• was informed by Briggs that bids for landscaping of the redesigned North Main Street junction with Interstate 90 came in below the engineer’s estimate. The low bids resulted in leftover grant money, and the board of trustees will be briefed regarding other options to use the available financial resources within the North Main Interchange project.