Western Receives $2.6 Million Wyoming Innovation Partnership Grant

Western Receives $2.6 Million Wyoming Innovation Partnership Grant

ROCK SPRINGS — Western Wyoming Community College has been awarded over $2.6 million dollars through round 2 of the Wyoming Innovation Partnership (WIP) grant. 

According to a press release from the Governor’s office, Governor Mark Gordon launched WIP in 2021 to modernize and focus Wyoming’s efforts to develop a resilient workforce and economy. The effort aims to better align Wyoming’s economic development agenda by increasing collaborations between state entities and ultimately local partners. The partnership involves the University of Wyoming, the state’s community colleges, Wyoming Business Council, and Department of Workforce Services with an emphasis on developing innovative solutions that support and enhance Wyoming’s economy, workforce, and sources of revenue. 

“These funds will help us to expand and continue our efforts to build a well-trained workforce of the future in high-wage and high-growth fields,” Governor Gordon said. “This is good news for our citizens, communities and businesses, which will all benefit from this critical effort to align education and workforce development.” 

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Western’s grant projects include development of a degree and certificate program in Substation Technician and Cybersecurity. As well as continuing a partnership with other community colleges throughout the state to share course curriculum across the state, an expansion of the Electrical and Instrumentation program in Evanston, and a collaborative grant project with University of Wyoming on Blue Hydrogen where Western will be developing a workforce development plan for this career sector.   

These grant projects will help align Southwest Wyoming for the future.

“The development of the Substation Technician and Cybersecurity program is in direct response to industry needs,” Kim Dale, President of Western Wyoming Community College said “Many of our local industry partners including Genesis Alkali, All West Communications, Rocky Mountain Power, Union Wireless, Solvay, Black Hills Energy, ExxonMobil, TaTa Chemicals, Simplot, many statewide rural electricity providers, along with local and national union representatives, shared their input on what the workforce needs are, and Western responded.” 

In preparation of the nuclear facility coming into Southwest Wyoming as well as the growth of our trona mines, Western is expanding the Electrical and Instrumentation (E & I) program in Evanston. 

“We’re thrilled about this valuable and needed program coming to our Evanston Outreach location. It’s a testament to the hard work of the Western staff and really demonstrates their dedication to providing opportunities for students and employers throughout Southwest Wyoming,” Mike Williams, Executive Director at the Uinta Board of Cooperative Educational Services No. 1 said. “We couldn’t be more optimistic about the direction and strength of our partnership during this time of exciting possibilities and potential growth.” 

All of these programs will provide students with a quality, affordable education, with real-world knowledge and skills. 

To learn more about Western’s programs, contact Amy Murphy, Dean of Outreach and Workforce Development, at amurphy@westernwyoming.edu