The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce considers business retention and expansion a critical element in fulfilling the Chamber’s objective to actively promote a positive business and economic climate for the Sheridan County area.

One of our tools for supporting this is our Business Retention & Expansion Committee. The committee consists of Chamber member businesspeople who share the common goal of developing new tools and programs to help area businesses grow and prosper. In addition, they work to plan and implement workforce strategies that will ensure the future employability of our workers and address issues affecting business retention, productivity and economic competitiveness.

The BRE Committee coordinates a number of programs and events each year to help our local businesses succeed. These include the Ignite Your Business Professional Development Conference, Chamber Coffees and the local Manufacturing Day celebration.

Through the Ignite Your Business Conference, the BRE Committee provides a variety of training seminars for business owners, employees and anyone who wants to spark professional growth. This gives local businesses excellent tools for growing and strengthening their business without the need and cost to travel for training.

Chamber Coffees are held annually in the outlying areas of Sheridan County: Big Horn, Clearmont/Ucross, Dayton, Ranchester and Story. The BRE Committee also hosts additional Chamber Coffees for special topics, such as the recent Chamber Coffee at Sheridan College to welcome new Northern Wyoming Community College District President Walter Tribley. These events give the Chamber an opportunity to learn more about what is happening in those areas, provide resources and advocacy services to address issues and help make connections within the county.

National Manufacturing Day is coming up Oct. 4, and due to the popularity and great response we’ve had the past two years, the BRE Committee has expanded Sheridan’s celebration to three days, Oct. 2-4. Thirteen local manufacturers and the Sheridan College Technical Center will open their doors for tours and demonstrations at various times throughout those three days.

Not only is Manufacturing Day a great time to learn more about products made right here in Sheridan County, it’s also the perfect opportunity for youth to learn about the diverse, high-paying, rewarding career opportunities available in manufacturing and the phenomenal educational programs offered locally. The manufacturing industry has a critical need for qualified employees in these fields, which presents significant job opportunities in Sheridan County.

We are incredibly grateful for the manufacturers who are participating in this year’s tours and demonstrations: Bighorn Design Studio, Black Tooth Brewing Co., Craftco, EMIT, Holly Seed, Kennon, Kings Ropes, Koltiska Distillery, L&H Industrial, Luminous Brewhouse, The Sheridan Press, Tom Balding Bits & Spurs and Vacutech. Visit the Chamber’s website at www.sheridanwyomingchamber.org for a complete schedule. We hope you’ll get the chance to participate in some of these tours.

We at the Chamber greatly appreciate the valuable work of the BRE Committee. If you are interested in learning more about business retention and expansion in the area or would like to be involved in this committee, please call Teresa Detimore at the Chamber at 307-672-2485.

Jodi Hartley is the marketing and communications director for the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce.