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SEEDA gets update on economic study

SHERIDAN — The Sheridan Economic and Educational Development Authority met Tuesday to discuss an ongoing study aimed at spurring economic development by bridging the gap between Sheridan’s educational institutions and its workforce.

SEEDA’s career and technical education study is slated to be funded by a combination of $25,000 in SEEDA funds, about $16,000 in matching funds from the city and a $50,000 grant from the Wyoming Business Council.

Set to be conducted in two separate phases, the first initiative has focused largely on analyzing the existing workforce and educational opportunities available in Sheridan.

At Tuesday’s meeting, members of the SEEDA board recapped a recent teleconference with the Chicago-based consultant charged with aggregating data and authoring the final study.

The man charged with heading up that effort is Joel Simon, associate vice president of public sector services at The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning.

SEEDA representatives said that while their recent conversation with Simon had been productive, they are hoping to see a more clearly envisioned executive summary sometime in the next few weeks.

“We need a little more clarity on what our first step (might be),” SEEDA Chairman John Heath said.

Heath said the SEEDA board hopes to use the final study to help policy makers and community leaders further develop the area’s educational resources as a means of expanding the city’s economic base.

Per their discussion earlier this month, members expect to see an updated draft of the project’s first phase early in June. Work on the second phase will begin shortly thereafter.

Until then, Simon is in the process of finalizing a recent series of conversations with representatives of Sheridan College and the area school system in order to best understand their needs and availability of resources.

The second half of the project will entail an in-depth economic analysis of the area in order to determine how area industries and institutions might best adapt to changing times.

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