We welcome 2019. Economically, Sheridan thrived during 2018 with continued growth in construction, manufacturing and the emerging tech environment. We are often used as a template for other communities largely due to the diversity of our economic strength. We are not a one-horse show. To continue this balanced strategy is essential for long-term sustainability.

Forward Sheridan is part of a statewide aerospace effort to introduce and possibly bring new aerospace opportunities to our existing businesses. This is an effort of market recruitment.

Kennon Products is already in this aerospace/defense sector via some the success of their small business innovated research and applications they do around novel use of fabrics. Other companies such as L&H Industrial and Vacutech are strong candidates to seek and secure contracts within aerospace and defense.

Our goal, in collaboration with other companies from Powell, Casper and Gillette, is to penetrate the aerospace/defense industry by establishing a portfolio of skills that can address some of their market needs. In this discovery we have learned about two new struts to the economic sector that are challenges for the prime contractors.

First is the idea of “vanishing vendor.” For some of us this is foreign. But if you remember, the off-shore push for manufacturing started in the mid-1990s and now begins the reshoring of manufacturing capacity throughout the US. This reshoring effort is the framework for some of our existing Wyoming companies that have immediate capacity within their organizations for job shop capability. This is engineering expertise coupled with industrial machining to address specific issues. L&H and Vacutech have demonstrated portfolio of overcoming these types of challenges as part of their culture.

Second is the perspective of “mission creep.” Forward Sheridan, along with others from Wyoming, have visited with a few Colorado-based primes. They have an aggressive work schedule largely due to the federal/private sector explosion of low orbit space. Their missions are large and complex. To meet this schedule, the primes have an ongoing subcontractor recruitment effort. Our goal is to enter this feeding channel. And we will.

Forward Sheridan would like to thank our board of directors and investors that continue to support our efforts. We clearly work and need our board — and frankly, our investors — to enable the conversation and input for us to be effective. Economic development is focused on sustainability and growth — keeping what we have viable and aware as we focus on manufacturing, infrastructure and technology.

Happy New Year!


Jay Stender is the executive director of Forward Sheridan.