CWC president seeks ‘targeted support’ for community colleges to enhance workforce development in Wyoming

    Central Wyoming College president Brad Tyndall addressed a legislative committee this month, speaking in support of the Wyoming Community College Commission’s budget request for 2025-2026.

    The No. 1 priority listed in the budget is an exception request for about $214,000 to fund a workforce development and projects coordinator – a position “the state needs,” Tyndall told the Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee during a budget hearing Dec. 15.

    The WCCC “has taken on a number of additional duties” related to “economic diversification and workforce development” in recent years, the budget document states, including the development of the Wyoming Works program, the Wyoming Innovation Partnership initiative, and the Wyoming’s Tomorrow scholarship program.


    “These new initiatives and expanded focus require a dedicated position to maintain a cohesive and consistent approach to the Commission’s component concerns and duties in this area,” the budget states.

    Tyndall likened the new programs to post-World War II initiatives like the GI Bill that “got industry and workers going (and) got adult learners going to bump up the economy.”

    “We’re hungry to be part of that solution, and we believe we are part of that solution,” he said. “We have to take smart, strategic action…. What we’re really talking about is targeted economic growth, (and) we can do more with the right, targeted support.”

    More educational programs will be needed in order to achieve economic growth through workforce development, Tyndall noted, pointing to the bottom of the WCCC’s priority list: a $1 million budget request to support program development.


    “That isn’t enough,” Tyndall said. “It takes a couple million dollars to start up some of these more high-tech (programs), and even a welding program, with all the equipment you need. …

    “Targeted program start-up funds are critical, (and) we need a serious chunk of money.”

    He suggested a $10 million allocation would be more “reasonable.”


    Other priorities

    The WCCC’s No. 2 priority budget request is for $16 million in inflation funding.

    Tyndall said that money would allow community colleges to “shore up our base and basically stop the (financial) hemorrhage” they have experienced over the past decade.

    “Since 2010, we are down $90 million,” Tyndall said. “And part of that was from budget cuts, but a lot of it (is because) we don’t have the inflation-adjusted. … We need it.”


    Tyndall also spoke about the WCCC’s No. 3 budget request, which is for $150,000 to conduct a post-secondary economic impact analysis.

    “It’s not a whole lot of money,” he said, “but when we have done these in times past, we have identified areas we can focus in on, and that data is important. So that seems like kind of a minor thing, but given the fact that we’re trying to make an economic impact, we need that information and data.”

    WCCC chief financial officer Michael Swank said it’s been about 10 years since Wyoming last conducted a post-secondary economic impact analysis.

    The JAC held seven days of budget hearings this month in preparation for the upcoming legislative session, which is scheduled to begin Feb. 12.

    For more information, visit the Wyoming Legislature’s website.


    Related Posts

    Have a news tip or an awesome photo to share?