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So far Mike Butcher has created 29 blog entries.

Community colleges take next steps to offer 4-year degrees

CHEYENNE — The state of Wyoming has officially authorized its seven community colleges to offer Bachelor of Applied Science degrees. It’s the fruit of a hard-fought battle in the Legislature over Senate File 111 (now Enrolled Act 80.)

SF 111 was one piece of legislation seeking to bolster attainment in the state.

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Great Ideas: CyberWyoming takes creative Approach to cybersecurity

Laura Baker and Patrick Wolfinbarger have been to many cybersecurity symposiums, conferences and workshops around the country and noticed they all seemed to employ a similar tactic: fear.

“They use statistics and anecdotes to scare business owners into implementing better cybersecurity practices,” Baker said. “The problem is, people get overwhelmed by that and they freeze up, which has the opposite effect. We think scaring the heck out of them really doesn’t make sense.”

Instead, when Baker and Wolfinbarger started the nonprofit CyberWyoming in 2017, they aimed to empower people and make cybersecurity more approachable – fun, even – to average small- to medium-size businesses.

To do that, they started the Wyoming Cybersecurity Competition with the Wyoming Business Report, the first competition of its kind in the country.

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New stress management program targets main street directors

We get it. Main Street Program directors are passionate, hardworking, and incredibly driven to improve your communities; and you’re also tired. You’d like to shop for groceries without stopping for a detailed presentation on a new project idea from someone in the cereal aisle. You’d like to spend more evenings and weekends at home with your family. You’d like a meaningful work-life balance.

We hear you, and we want to help.

Desiree Brothe, the Community Development Coordinator for the Wyoming Business Council’s Wyoming Main Street Program, knows the challenges you face firsthand. Before starting at the Business Council, she was the Director of the Cheyenne Downtown Development Association/Main Street program for 3 years.

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Wyoming celebrates “SDBC Day”

Wyoming entrepreneurs joined thousands across the country in sharing their success stories thanks to assistance from their local Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Last year, #SBDCDay was one of the top trending hashtags on Twitter.

For 24 years, the Wyoming SBDC Network has helped entrepreneurs start or grow their businesses through nine regional offices across the state. In 2018 alone, the Wyoming SBDC Network assisted 1,366 entrepreneurs, resulting in 111 new businesses, 1,402 jobs created or saved and a capital impact of more than $10 million for the state’s economy.

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Business Council provides $148,800 in startup grants

Three Wyoming startups received $148,800 in grants from the Wyoming Business Council’s February round of Kickstart:Wyoming program.

Fire Friends and Yellowstone Compact & Commodities, based in Jackson, and Lifekey, based in Riverton, expect to create 37 to 43 jobs in the next three years.

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2019 Sundance Winter Festival

The fifth annual Sundance Winter Festival took place on February 16, 2019. Skijoring down Main Street was the featured event. The festival is a big economic driver in the town of 1,100 in Northeast Wyoming. Sundance is part of the Wyoming Main Street program of the Wyoming Business Council.

View event photos.


Chamber Award of Excellence: Large business – Kennon Products

SHERIDAN — A business often recognized as a big player in the manufacturing sector of Sheridan was recognized for its leadership and consistency in the community last month.

Kennon Products is an employee-owned company that manufactures products and provides engineering services to a multitude of markets including: Department of Defense, commercial/general/military aviation, NASA and behavioral health care. The company is inspired by and committed to the protection of high-value assets, from aircraft and other essential equipment to the most important asset: life. Kennon’s products are designed, developed and produced right here in Sheridan.

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Sheridan Skijoring Event one of the biggest

In its first year here, the skijoring event in downtown Sheridan was one of the biggest sanctioned by Skijoring America to date with more than 100 teams registered.

Jeff Campbell of Buffalo, the announcer for the event, said teams were registered in all five divisions – pro, sport, novice, youth and snowboarding.

Before the event started, Campbell predicted a day of fast horses, good wrecks and fast times.

Hundreds of people lined both sides of Broadway to watch the event, part of this year’s first WYO Winter Rodeo in Sheridan.

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Schools chief spearheading creation of $25M community center

When Superintendent Jim Wagner looks at George Grace Field, he doesn’t just see an empty snow-covered field. He sees potential. He sees what he hopes will be the future.

Call it his field of dreams.

“This community center I am proposing to build on George Grace Field would set us apart from some communities in the state and make us comparable to others,” Wagner said. “It gives Buffalo the opportunity to be a legit contender and to attract visitors from around the state.”

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Great Ideas: Wyoming Teacher Co-Founds App to Showcase Students’ Whole Stories

As a teacher at Sheridan High School, Adam Metcalf got to know some remarkable kids.

Big standardized tests were a breeze for some, but many were overcoming significant personal obstacles or learning differences just to make it to graduation. They had inspirational stories and never-give-up attitudes, but, often, less-than-stellar test scores.

And yet those test scores often determined their options – or lack thereof – for life after high school.

“A lot of my students had unique stories to share,” he said. “I wanted to celebrate the stories of those students to help college admissions people see their value, even if their test scores weren’t stellar.”

So, in 2013, he and a team of three other friends came up with ZeeMee (a clever twist on “see me,”) a free app that allows students to share videos with colleges in the application process, with the goal of helping students be seen as more than the sum of their test scores.

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