Wyoming Governor Matt Mead spoke with international and national business leaders in Jackson about ways to diversify the state’s economy, and get off the boom and bust rollercoaster.
Mead says there’s no question Wyoming faces challenges. He says about 70% of the state’s revenue comes from the energy sector, which has been hit by the recent downturn.
“It was expressed to us and I think rightfully so there’s some urgency to this,” Mead says. “We can’t just continue to rely upon markets to determine the fate of Wyoming. We have to build our future from within and diversify our economy. And this is the time to do it.”
He says that means investing in technology. The Republican notes the Wyoming Legislature has already made investments in the state’s broadband infrastructure. He says that’s important and points out one participant at the gathering called “data the new oil.”
“Connectivity is important,” he says. “It’s certainly important in a rural state like Montana and Wyoming. But it provides opportunities in telemedicine, telecommunications and the coding opportunities and the software opportunities.”
He adds the gathering is also looking to manufacturing, banking and finance.
Mead’s ENDOW Initiative is a 20 year plan. But he wants the state to strike quickly beginning in year 1.