ENDOW Brings Communities Together
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
There is a lot of exciting activity happening in Wyoming, including the launch of Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming (ENDOW). With a renewed focus on creating an economically diverse state, businesses, community organizations, economic developers, politicians and citizens are binding together to identify ways that we can grow as the state, capitalize on the things that make Wyoming great, and better leverage our assets. This is what the ENDOW initiative is all about - coming together to identify, create, and implement solutions.
The ENDOW initiative captures the essence of the Wyoming spirit. This is the attitude of getting things done, regardless of the challenges. Historically, this is an attitude that has served the citizens of Wyoming well.
Research and information
Communities and business leaders throughout the state have participated in the initiative thus far by providing valuable information. Compiling reports on things like local attractions and community resources, educational opportunities and job possibilities have made it possible to get a high-level overview of what is taking place within Wyoming. Recommendations can be created, using that information as a starting point.
One aspect of research has been identifying what efforts are currently taking place within communities, so that we can build off of them. Everyone who participated has played an important role in getting this initiative off the ground.
What is needed in Wyoming
In addition to determining what assets we already have, it has been important to determine what is needed in Wyoming to achieve future success. Through community and business feedback, the committee has been able to identify some of those missing components so that we can begin to close those gaps.
A plan for execution
There are three main phases for the ENDOW initiative. The first has been heavy on research and primary engagement with the overall community. Doing things like inventorying community assets has been part of this process and something that has not been done before on a statewide level.
Next, it will be time to move on to the implementation phase and planning for how to achieve goals. The Wyoming Business Council is at the table and has been from the beginning.
When asked about ENDOW and how this plan is different, Christine Bekes, Director of Powell Economic Partnership and a WEDA Board Member said, “What is different with ENDOW is that there has not been any preconceived plans. The goal is to diversify Wyoming's economy for the benefit of all our citizens. How that is achieved, is in flux and work in progress.”
This is largely because this initiative is sponsored by the governor but heavily led by the community. Rather than coming from the top down, this initiative involves everyone. As such, your opinions are valuable.
Building upon existing efforts
It is important for economic developers and communities to know that the ENDOW initiative is not trying to compete or detract from local efforts. Instead, this is an opportunity to build on existing efforts and make them better with the help of state organizations and funding sources.
Read the report
The best way to familiarize yourself with the ENDOW initiative is to read the full report. Otherwise, stay tuned for information, opportunities to participate and success stories as we share them on our blog.