On Tuesday, April 27 Powder River Basin Resource Council will kick off its spring webinar series, Reclaiming & Growing Wyoming’s Future, exploring the resources available to Wyoming families in order to make the changing workforce easier to navigate. Speakers will share the many resources and opportunities available for transitioning workers and their families.
As Wyoming’s economy expands, new workers with a variety of skills will be needed to fill a growing number of roles. For individuals and families who may be experiencing life or career changes in coming years, this webinar is a good place to start.
In this first discussion, Family Resources for a Changing Wyoming Workforce, Robin Cooley, Director of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services; Katie Hogarty, Director of External Relations, Climb Wyoming, and Dr. Kimberly Dale, President of Western Wyoming Community College will discuss new job trends (including remote work), training and educational programs, finding job opportunities, and other employment resources. Dr. Rob Godby, University of Wyoming economist, will moderate the panel.
“We all need to work together to continue to strengthen Wyoming,” said Cooley. “This means helping people who have lost their jobs find meaningful, well-paying work with businesses in our state. This is the top priority at the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services.”
“It’s important that we start thinking about how the energy transition will affect communities in the state and the existing resources in Wyoming that can support those that will be affected,” said Godby. “Impacts will be widespread, and in some cases over the next decade could be severe. We need to understand what resources are available, and how they can be deployed to minimize these effects.”
The webinar is free but requires advance registration, and attendance is capped at 150. Registration is available at www.powderriverbasin.org/events. This April 27 session will run 11:30 am – 1:30pm starting with the speakers’ presentations followed by a question-and-answer period.
The webinar series will further explore a range of different services available as well as success stories from other communities that have diversified and grown. Two more webinars are planned for later this spring.
April 27 Webinar Speaker Bios:
Robin Sessions Cooley, JD
In March 2019, Governor Mark Gordon appointed Robin Sessions Cooley as Director of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services. Cooley has also received gubernatorial appointments to the Wyoming State Board of Equalization and the Wyoming Public Service Commission. Before that, Cooley enjoyed an 18-year career with the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office beginning in the Criminal Division in 1997. She later became the Deputy Attorney General of the newly-formed Human Services Division, where she represented a variety of state agencies including the Department of Workforce Services, Department of Health, Department of Family Services, Department of Education, Community College Commission, the Department of Transportation, and various State Boards. Additionally, Cooley served as Special Counsel to Governor Mead in 2013-2014 and was in private practice in Cheyenne for five years before entering government service. Cooley has also been an adjunct professor at Laramie County Community College and later taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Wyoming College of Law.
Katie Hogarty’s more than decade of experience in program and relationship cultivation at Climb provide her a wealth of structural knowledge to successfully navigate state and federal partnerships. Prior to joining Climb, Katie worked for Governor Freudenthal’s administration as a Health and Human Services Policy Analyst. She speaks nationally on Climb’s federally recognized best practices and presented at the US Department of Agriculture SNAP and Employment and Training Participant Engagement Strategies in Times of COVID Webinar, discussing Climb Wyoming’s job training and placement program during the current COVID-19 pandemic in order to explain the innovation and creativity of new strategies that were incorporated in the organization’s service delivery model for program participants. She has been invited to share Climb’s expertise and input on economic recovery and resilience at the US Council on Economic Mobility as an external employment and training provider. Hogarty holds a JD from the University of Wyoming and will become Climb’s next CEO in the fall of 2021.
Dr. Kimberly Kuster Dale
Dr. Dale came to Western Wyoming Community College in 2019 as Western’s eighth president. She attended a university after high school and left after one semester to go to work. She later returned to college and never stopped, finding her love for learning and serving students. Dr. Dale received a bachelor of science degree in business education from Metropolitan State College of Denver, a master’s degree in management and organization from the University of Colorado Denver, and a doctorate degree in educational leadership and human resource studies from Colorado State University.
Dr. Dale began her academic career as an adjunct business faculty and worked within the Colorado Community College System for over 20 years, serving as a faculty department chair, dean of instruction and outreach. She also taught as an adjunct professor in management and organizational development at the University of Colorado Denver. Prior to coming to Western, she served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer of Western Nebraska Community College. Dr. Dale is also the co-chair of the state’s Educational Attainment Executive Council, focused on increasing economic opportunity for citizens, communities and businesses.
Dr. Robert Godby
Dr. Godby is an economist at the University of Wyoming, Acting Associate Dean, Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources; Deputy Director, Center for Energy, Regulation and Policy Analysis, and Associate Professor. He will become the acting dean of the business school starting May 1. He recently co-authored Adapting to Coal-Plant Closures: A Framework for Understanding State Resistance to the Energy Transition. Dr. Godby is also a member of the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group (CREG) that provides economic forecasting for the state.