SHERIDAN — U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross recently announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration will award a $2.2 million grant to the Sheridan Economic and Educational Development Authority for construction of a new manufacturing facility in the Sheridan High-Tech Park.

The proposed approximately 35,000-square-foot facility will be built on a portion of the nine remaining acres in the development and leased to Kennon Products, Inc., allowing the company to focus on a significant expansion.

The project is expected to create 40 new jobs and spur an additional $1.1 million in private investment in Sheridan.

The $2.2. million EDA grant is one of two grants the SEEDA board applied for this fall to aid in funding the project. The estimated total cost of the manufacturing facility is $6.6 million. SEEDA officials are hopeful the remaining cost of the project will be covered by a $2.85 million grant and a $1.51 million loan from the Wyoming Business Council. The WBC will consider this portion of the funding at its December meeting before the final decision moves on to the State Loan and Investment Board.

Kennon Products specializes in the research, development and manufacture of protective coverings and materials for a range of high value assets, from military aircraft to human life.

“Kennon’s employee owners are excited with the EDA’s announcement of support, and look forward to broadening the company’s reach and opportunities in protecting our country’s military personnel and equipment,” Kennon CEO Joe Wright said in a press release.

“I think this project builds on the momentum we’ve already seen in the High-Tech Park,” SEEDA administrator Robert Briggs said in the press release. “Kennon is a long established presence in the Sheridan community, and their canny blend of research and development with skilled manufacture really aligns with the types of job opportunities we hope to see more of. It is exciting to see them enter another expansion phase.”

This project is funded under the 2018 Assistance to Coal Communities program, through which EDA will award funds on a competitive basis to assist communities severely impacted by the declining use of coal through activities and programs that support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development and re-employment opportunities.