Gordon to Use $27 Million in Relief Money to Expand Higher Education Programs | Regional News

Gordon to Use $27 Million in Relief Money to Expand Higher Education Programs |  Regional News

Gordon announces new direction for higher education in line with state’s ‘overall economic vision’ “This investment will utilize our higher education institutions to help chart a path to a healthy future for Wyoming,” Gordon continued. “By working together we can create more opportunities for people to live and work in our state, and ensure our workforce has the skills they need for the jobs and industries of today and into the future.” The institutions will use the money to develop “collaborative programs” in entrepreneurship, energy, digital infrastructure, technology, tourism and hospitality, according to the statement.

Strengthening options in health care, agriculture and manufacturing education is also on the WIP’s agenda, the office said. Previously called the Wyoming Innovation Network, it will focus on growing technology and entrepreneurship programs with the ultimate goal of diversifying Wyoming’s workforce and attracting new businesses.

“I believe there is urgency in launching the first phase of this initiative as a means to help Wyoming’s economy grow and thrive as we move out of the COVID pandemic,” Gordon said in a statement. “The projects this funding supports build on successes we have already seen to develop needed workforce and to engage the entrepreneurs of Wyoming so they can innovate and grow businesses and technologies.” Some of that $27 million will be used to sponsor the first year of the Wyoming Innovation Partnership (WIP), the office said in a statement. The initiative, unveiled in January, is a collaboration between the University of Wyoming and the state’s community colleges.

Plans for the program include: a school of computing at the University of Wyoming;a degree in software development, spearheaded by the Northern Wyoming Community College District;courses on financial and banking technology and blockchains. The money will also be used to kick-start a statewide computing education program, the governor’s office said.

The partnership has plans to start a Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, for example. As part of this, the University of Wyoming will launch eight new business incubators. They already have satellite programs at the Laramie, Casper and Sheridan community colleges, but intend to expand to Cheyenne, Gillette, Powell, Riverton, Rock Springs, Torrington, Evanston and Rawlins. After it gets off the ground, the partnership hopes to sustain itself through outside sources of funding, including corporate partnerships.

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