Wyoming Young People: A Bold, Positive Vision for the Future

By: Matthias Ripp

The ENDOW: ENGAGE Summit held last Saturday at the Marian Rochelle Gateway Center in Laramie showcased the dedication, commitment and passion that Wyoming young people have for the state. More than 200 Wyoming people, ages 16 to 35, from across Wyoming came together with Wyoming Governor Matthew Mead, Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow and members of the ENDOW Executive Council for a day of planning, expression and action.

“It is the leadership of ENGAGE that will make a difference in our shared future,” said Governor Mead. “It’s about time that we listen and incorporate the vision of Wyoming’s youth and young work force into policy-making.  That is why I am pleased to announce that I plan to fill the vacancy on the ENDOW Executive Council with a Wyoming person who is in the ENGAGE age demographic.”

“It is Wyoming’s young people who will build and sustain the future. I am excited to have their voices and their vision at the table as ENDOW lays out a 20-year roadmap to diversify Wyoming’s economy,“ Mead continued.

“The ENGAGE participants are painting a picture for us of what it will take to make Wyoming’s economy flourish across industries and in communities large and small. They are bold, insightful and ready to get to work. I’m thrilled that they are at the table with us,” said ENDOW co-Chair Greg Hill. “I know that every one of the people at the ENGAGE Summit shares the same love of and commitment to our state that I share. I am eager to see the ENGAGE recommendations and look forward to incorporating them into ENDOW. This is just the beginning of the conversation with ENGAGE, but we are off to a great start!”

“I think of Wyoming as the land of opportunity but we cannot hold on to that moniker while exporting 60 percent of our most precious natural resource: our young people,” Mead said. “We have to take the bull by the horns and build a future where, if you love Wyoming, you can stay here and find every opportunity for success. ENGAGE’s leadership puts Wyoming in a position to make good on its promise to support diverse private sector opportunities long into the future.”

ENDOW, which stands for Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming, co-hosted the Summit on June 9, in Laramie. ENGAGE is a volunteer-led effort organized by more than 20 young Wyoming leaders and Wyoming expats, with support from ENDOW and the Office of Wyoming Governor Matt Mead. ENGAGE, which stands for Empowering the Next Generations to Grow and Advance the Economy, is invested in capturing the candid input of Wyoming’s next generations and building a dynamic communications channel between Wyoming’s public sector and the people who will define Wyoming’s future.

The ENGAGE Council is continuing its work by organizing feedback gathered from participants through 40 Solution Sessions and more than 70 online survey responses on the following topics: Advanced Manufacturing; Agriculture; Natural Resources; Tourism and Outdoor Resources; Community Health and Quality of Life; Technology and Financial Services; Healthcare; Workforce and Education; Entrepreneurial Ecosystem; and, Arts and Culture. Using the insights and ideas gained through participant feedback, ENGAGE is developing recommendations that will be presented to the ENDOW Executive Council at their next meeting on June 28th in Rock Springs.

Last Saturday, Governor Mead announced his intention to appoint someone to the Executive Council from the ENGAGE demographic. Governor Mead hopes to have the new Executive Council member in place by the July ENDOW meeting. Applications are open and the Governor plans to make an appoint within 30 days. Interested individuals can apply at http://governor.wyo.gov/boards-and-commissions.

The ENGAGE Council also plans to continue its work and shape policy for the next generations by bringing the bold ideas of Wyoming’s young workers and students to the table. Individuals interested in serving on the ENGAGE Council are encouraged to apply at the following address:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSctvJpYlBLL1gQYMeb6Ke7X3IAf-mc6noCLqrxyb9kYXI4hTw/viewform.