SWEETWATER COUNTY— The Sweetwater County Economic Development Coalition is considering an area in Sweetwater County to build an industrial complex to diversify Wyoming’s economy.
“Sweetwater County is looking at an area east of Rock Springs, between Highway 430, Simplot, the airport, and south of Interstate 80,” Director of the Rock Springs Department of Public Service Amy Allen said.
“The recent activity by the cities and county have been prompted by the Governor’s recent ENDOW initiative.”
ENDOW Council’s 20-Year Diversification Strategy
In May, the Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming (ENDOW) Executive Council were tasked with finding barriers to overcome to diversify Wyoming’s economy.
The ENDOW Council prepared a Socioeconomic Assessment of Wyoming, requested by Governor Matt Mead.
The report is a blueprint for economic diversification in Wyoming. It provides an analysis of Wyoming’s economy, sector-by-sector.
The report provides information for recommendations to be made for the state’s 20-year economic diversification strategy.
Areas the Strategy Highlights to Improve Upon
The 20-year economic diversification strategy aims to work on areas that could help diversify the economy such as:
- Promoting Wyoming successes
- Attract and grow entrepreneurs
- Provide better access to healthcare and housing
- Growing and stabilizing Wyoming’s workforce
- Better understand the role each industrial sectors play in Wyoming’s economy
- Improve education
- Find solutions to air services
- Improve internet access.
Current Economic Circumstances
To achieve their goals, Wyoming must be prepared to address current economic circumstances, including low growth, lack of diversification, and troubling population trends like outmigration and aging.
Wyoming must also prepare for future challenges presented by a changing global economy and technological advancements.
Wyoming’s economy, being so dependent upon the Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction sector, needs diversification because as the cost to produce renewables become on par with fossil fuel extraction, Wyoming’s economy will see more and more of a downfall.
The report looks at the state’s demographic trends, fiscal sustainability, and the fifteen industrial sectors to figure out what can be improved upon to diversify the economy over the next 20 years.
Sweetwater is Ideal Location for Industrial Complex
According to Allen, the industrial complex has been in the making over several years. Sweetwater County provides an ideal area for the industrial complex to be built.
“We are close to Interstate 80, have the UP railroad mainline, and airport service,” Allen said. “Building an industrial complex in Sweetwater County will diversify the state and local economy and bring jobs to the area.”
Industrial Complex Will Boost Existing Industries
The industrial complex would boost the county’s existing industries such as trona mining and recreation, and would also bring in several other industries.
These industries include windmill manufacturing, refurbishment and repair, heavy equipment repair, and solar panel manufacturing.
Allen said it will bring in, “industries that complement our trona and existing industries.”
Allen: “Starting From the Bottom Up”
The industrial complex is still in its infancy, so land acquisition, utility infrastructure, and business recruitment are still needed. The complex will take several years to be built and complete.
“Basically we are starting from the bottom up,” Allen said.
Sweetwater County has teamed up with the University of Wyoming College of Business to develop studies and planning of the proposed industrial complex.
“The cities of Rock Springs and Green River, along with Sweetwater County, will be intimately involved in all aspects of the industrial complex development,” Allen said.