Next-Gen Partnership Urges Strategic Participation

The Next-Gen Sector Partnerships springing up around the state could be described as a modern day community barn raising.  To tackle a daunting project, the program brings together a group of hard-working people with a broad knowledge base to identify and lay out each component of the project and pair each person’s skills with the task they’re best suited for.

That’s exactly what the Northeast Wyoming Sector Partnership has been doing since the initiative was launched by the Wyoming Workforce Development Council (WWDC) in September 2018. At that time, Campbell, Crook, and Weston counties decided to focus on the financial and insurance sectors.

John Melville, CEO of Collaborative Economics, works as the region’s liaison between the WWDC and each local partnership.

“The goal is to keep business people in the driver’s seat,” Melville told the group of banking and insurance representatives gathered Wednesday morning at the Gillette College Pronghorn Center.

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He said there’s a broad difference between serving on someone else’s board and participating in the sector partnerships.

At that initial meeting, the group identified three priorities to focus on moving forward:

  • Creating a local talent pipeline
  • Educating the community to improve financial literacy
  • Promoting and building regional assets

The purpose of today’s meeting was for each committee to update the larger group on their progress and also to identify what their goals were for the next 60 days.

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Melville said the Northeast Sector Partnership was well above average based on the current timeline.  That efficiency is due, in part, to a consistent focus from the Governor’s office down to the local level.

During the group breakout session, each industry partner was tasked with coming up with one person who they thought could bring value to the discussion. By breaking each task down into smaller pieces, no one person or group will be overwhelmed or overworked.

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The partnership is looking to promote industry internships, producing educational videos, and in general, being advocates for the community.