(Gillette, Wyo.) Gov. Matt Mead held a press conference in Cheyenne today to announce the details of the ENDOW Economic Diversity Strategy. The 20-year plan was compiled with input from around 135,000 Wyoming citizens.
ENDOW, Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming, was created by Mead and the state legislature to do just what the name implies.
According to ENDOW Co-chair Greg Hill, 2017 was a year of deep listening, gathering information and finding out which direction Wyomingites wanted to see our state go. In 2018, the group has focused on charting that new course for the state.
“If we just say, ‘That’s good enough,’ what we’re really saying is, ‘The future of Wyoming is going to be determined by the price of a barrel of oil.’ That’s not satisfactory to me,” said Mead during the announcement. “That’s not satisfactory to most Wyoming citizens. Certainly, this small state, this independent state, the cowboy spirit – all these things we celebrate, have a greater say in our future than just relying upon exterior forces to say what our future is going to be.”
The Economic Diversity Strategy is intended to be the blueprint that finally breaks Wyoming’s historical boom-and-bust cycle.
“I think we ended up with a quality product, this is grass roots,” said Hill of the long term strategy.
The foundation of Wyoming has always been three major industries: agriculture, energy, and tourism. ENDOW’s plan is to bolster those building blocks and also strengthen some other major factors important to the state’s economic future including: education, healthcare, and infrastructure.
“I think it’s also important to recognize that we’re not done yet,” explained Hill. “This is a strategy. So, my experience in business is, the easy part is coming up with these strategies. The hard part is actually doing it.”
The legislation that created the ENDOW initiative now requires a four-year action plan, budget requests and policy recommendations.