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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $500,000 to Purchase Equipment Needed to Support Workforce Training Opportunities in Gillette, Wyoming

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $500,000 grant to the Northern Wyoming Community College District of Sheridan, Wyoming, to purchase Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) equipment needed to support workforce training initiatives at Gillette College. This EDA grant will be matched with $500,000 in local investment and is expected to help create more than 130 jobs.

“Through workforce development we are taking imperative steps for a more robust and diverse job market in areas that have largely depended on coal in the past,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Dr. John Fleming. “This project will help to increase the enrollment of students into technical programs and will result in a local workforce that is trained in specific STEM skills to help diversify the region’s economy.”

This project will enable Gillette College to purchase equipment that will add the capacity to provide training to students in advanced academic and technical programs including: engineering, physics, biological sciences, chemistry, industrial electrical, diesel technology, machine tool and general tech. The training will create in a pool of workers trained in STEM to match local business needs. This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming (ENDOW). EDA funds ENDOW to help bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

This project is funded under the Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC) program, through which EDA will award funds on a competitive basis to assist communities severely impacted by the declining use of coal through activities and programs that support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development, and re-employment opportunities.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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