Press Release
September 7, 2023

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2 Million to Expand Construction Industry Workforce Development in Converse County, Wyoming

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2 million grant to Converse County, Wyoming, to expand the workforce training lab at Eastern Wyoming College in Douglas.

This grant will support construction of a building addition to house new classrooms, administrative space, and a wood technology lab to provide workforce training and job reskilling in a region impacted by changes in the energy economy. This EDA investment will be matched with $1.7 million in local funds and is expected to create or retain 44 jobs, and generate $200,000 in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“President Biden’s Investing in American agenda ensures that our communities have the resources they need to create jobs and grow their economies,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment will provide new skills and re-training for workers in the building and construction industries as the region diversifies its economy.”

“EDA is pleased to partner with Converse County to support place-based growth and development for the energy community,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “The expanded workforce training lab at Eastern Wyoming College will help prepare students to fill high-demand, skilled positions in the construction industry, supporting a strong, resilient regional economy.”

This project is funded under the Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC) initiative, through which EDA awards funds on a competitive basis to assist communities severely impacted by the declining use of coal. ACC projects 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 invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.


  • Assistance to Coal Communities