Open Spaces
5:24 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Wyoming Construction Workers Are In Short Supply

The future site of the new Tongue River Elementary.
Credit Miles Bryan

Last week we told you about how the cost of building a new high school in Rawlins is running millions of dollars more than was expected. Costs are up because construction companies can’t find enough workers in Wyoming. And it isn’t easy to bring them in from out of state.

Jeremy Smith is the Business Manager for Sheridan’s School District One in Ranchester. I met him on a beautiful morning in Northern Wyoming, and he’s excited to show me the new Tongue River Elementary school--or at least the the rolling pasture where the school should be.

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10:55 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Climb Wyoming Will End Sweetwater Co. Program

Credit Climb Wyoming

Climb Wyoming says it will discontinue its Sweetwater County program due to a decrease in public funding and other considerations.  The non-profit organization trains and places single mothers into career-track jobs. 

Climb Wyoming’s Shannon Brooks Hamby said that the Sweetwater County Operation will shut down on October first despite the fact that the program was very successful. 

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9:32 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Wyoming Construction Contractors Struggle To Fill Rolls

Credit Robert Verzo via Flickr

Construction contractors in Wyoming are struggling to find enough workers.

Wyoming Construction Coalition President Josh Carnahan says energy development -- particularly oil -- is fueling a rapid rise in construction jobs around the state.

“It impacts prices because we need to recruit employees to come in and do the work,” Carnahan says. The only way on a short term to attract employees is pay them a little higher and offer them a little better benefits.”

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4:13 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Unemployment Up Slightly

The Wyoming unemployment rate rose slightly last month.   

The Department of Workforce Services says the rate was 3.8 % in May a point-one percent increase from April.  But the Department says that is due to young people leaving school and entering the workforce. 

The unemployment rate dropped nearly a full percentage point from May of last year where it stood at 4.6%. 

The lowest unemployment rate was in Converse County at 2.8%, the highest unemployment rate was in Teton County at 5.7%. 

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Open Spaces
5:08 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Amid Boom, Regulators Struggle With Staffing

The newly discovered abundance of domestic oil and gas is creating a shortage of something else: the petroleum engineers who regulate drilling activities. Government petroleum engineers approve companies’ drilling plans and inspect wells after they’re completed to make sure they’re not at risk of contaminating water or blowing out, but as Wyoming Public Radio’s Stephanie Joyce reports, there just aren’t enough petroleum engineers to go around.  

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Open Spaces
4:14 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Women Still Face Barriers For Oilfield Jobs

Melodie with Rig Elevators.
Credit Melodie Edwards

Some of the best paying jobs in Wyoming are in the oil and gas industry, but only ten percent are held by women.  Energy companies are trying to attract more women to fill open positions.  But women who do want to enter the field for the higher-paying jobs face a lot of barriers. Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards reports.

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7:54 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Conservative Group Predicts Strong Economic Growth For Wyoming

Wyoming is one of the easiest places in the country to make money. That’s according to a report by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative advocacy nonprofit.

The report ranks states based on things like labor and tax policies. Report author Jonathan Williams says those factors can help predict job creation and other forms of economic growth.

“We find that … states that value competitiveness, lower taxes, and reasonable regulations are the states that are growing today,” Williams said.

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7:04 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Unemployment Is Down, But So Is Job Growth

Wyoming’s statewide unemployment rate fell very slightly from four-point-four percent in December to four-point-three percent in January.  The Wyoming Department of workforce services says most of the state saw improvement from the same time during previous year.  But Economist David Bullard says it was not all good, noting that job growth was slow.

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4:57 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

WY Entrepreneurs Bring In $22.6 In Loans For Their Businesses

Small businesses that received help from the University of Wyoming-based Small Business Development Center brought $22.6 million into the state in 2013.The SBDC provides small business owners and people wanting to start a business with free services, including planning expansions, putting together loan requests, and marketing. State Director of the SBDC, Jill Kline, says 2013 was a good year.

“It does vary from year to year, [2013] is a little bit of an exception. We did have some larger loans that individuals received, but they all are from small businesses,” says Kline. 

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5:01 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Coal Mining Jobs Continue To Drop

Employment in Wyoming's coal mining sector has fallen 6 percent in the past year. The latest data from June 2013 shows there were 425 less jobs than in June 2012.

Coal production has slumped nationwide, and taken jobs along with it, but Wyoming is faring better than other coal producing regions. Nationwide the sector has lost significantly more jobs as mines closed or reduced their capacity.

Wyoming Department of Workforce Services senior economist David Bullard, says so far, there haven't been many layoffs in the state.

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5:15 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Wyoming’s job growth is slow but steady

Wyoming’s unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest point since January 2009 when the economic downturn began to affect the state.  It’s now at 4.4 percent.  This time last year, it was 5 percent.  The national unemployment rate is 7 percent. 

Senior Economist at the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, David Bullard, says that although this month’s progress is good news, job growth could still be improved.   “The job growth has been very slow, well under one percent,” he says.  “That presents a challenge to the state’s economy.”

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Open Spaces
4:34 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

UW Pharmacy School prepares graduates to be gainfully employed in an unsteady economy

Sarah Pence (’12) graduated from the University of Wyoming School of Pharmacy. Walgreens hired her immediately.
Credit Rebecca Martinez

In this time of job insecurity and a changing medical landscape, the University of Wyoming’s School of Pharmacy Education is graduating dozens of doctoral students who – for the most part – can count on a securing a good-paying job once they get their degree, if not before. Wyoming Public Radio’s Rebecca Martinez reports.

(phone rings, “Thank you for calling Walgreens…”)

REBECCA MARTINEZ: Sarah Pence is a pharmacist at Walgreens in Laramie. She says her store fills hundreds of medications on a daily basis, and there’s a lot she loves about her job.

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7:56 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Long awaited Job Corps facility breaks ground Friday

An effort that began almost 8 years ago will lead to a long awaited groundbreaking on Friday. The 41 million dollar Wind River Job Corps will train disadvantaged students in energy production and will also help them enhance their academic and social skills. 

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6:50 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

UW Trustees request $13M for pay raises

David Bostrom is the President of UW's Board of Trustees

The University of Wyoming’s Board of Trustees decided Friday to ask the state for $13.3 million to cover merit-based raises for faculty and staff.

Former University President Tom Buchanan tried unsuccessfully to secure raises in the past, and Board President David Bostrom says UW is now seeing an “exodus” of high-performing employees.

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5:18 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Wind River Job Corps pre-bid conference hopes to attract local contractors

On Wednesday, the Riverton City Council Chambers will host a pre-bid conference for the Wind River Job Corps project.  Project administrators want to work with as many local contractors as possible.

The completed Job Corps complex will bring much needed training opportunities to Fremont County, as well as create over 100 permanent jobs.

Sandy Barton is the executive director of Fremont County’s Board of Educational Services. She says this meeting will give local contractors the chance to ask project managers questions about what kind of opportunities will be available.

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4:44 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Dan Furphy new president and CEO of Laramie economic development organizations

The Laramie Area Chamber of Commerce and the Laramie Economic Development Corporation are merging aspects of their operations. They have picked Laramie-native Dan Furphy as the new president and CEO of the two organizations. Furphy is a banker who has served as board member for both groups in the past. He says he wants to attract data centers to Laramie to create jobs and he plans to continue to work with the University of Wyoming.    

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5:45 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Wyoming's Unemployment rate continues to drop

The unemployment rate in Wyoming continues to decrease.

The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reports that November’s workless rate was 5-point-one percent, the lowest it’s been since spring of 2009.

Numbers have gone down little by little since the 5-point-seven percent unemployment rate reported at this time last year and Wyoming continues to stay significantly lower than the national average of 7-point-7 percent.

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3:52 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Dept. of Labor seeking contractors for Wind River Job Corps

The U.S. Department of Labor is finally starting the process of looking for contractors to build the Wind River Job Corps in Riverton. The site, which will provide vocational training for disadvantaged live-in students, has been slow going. Director of the Fremont County Board of Cooperative Education Services, Sandy Barton, says this is great news for the center.   

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6:25 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Wyoming's Unemployment Rises Slightly

Statewide unemployment rose slightly in August.

The Wyoming Department of Workforce services says it was 5-point-7 percent, rising a tenth of a percent from the month before, but is lower than the same month last year. It remains well below the national average jobless rate of 8-point-1 percent.

Senior Economist David Bullard says Wyoming’s economy weakened during the summer.

"Bullard Natural gas prices have remained fairly low, and we’ve heard media reports of coal mines cutting back production, laying off some workers.”

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6:38 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Wyoming ranks first in the nation for women owned firms

A new report says that businesses owned by women are doing better in Wyoming than in any other state.

The study by the group Womenable considered the growth in the number of women-owned firms, how many people those firms employ, and the revenue they generate. CEO Julie Weeks says Wyoming’s ranking makes sense, despite the dominance of the energy industry.

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6:36 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Wyoming unemployment rate holds steady

Wyoming has the eighth lowest unemployment rate in the country and it’s down seven-tenths of a percent from last April.  The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services says the state unemployment rate in April was at five-point-three percent, the same as March.   State Senior Economist David Bullard says in April there were just 37 fewer employed people in the month than March, but he says for the most part that is positive.

5:17 am
Thu May 3, 2012

Workforce services says jobs are available

    The Director of the Wyoming division of workforce services says there are jobs for graduates of the University of Wyoming, but the challenge is connecting the graduate to the job.  U-W students graduate this weekend.   Joan Evans says that in particular there are a number of  science, technology, engineering and math opportunities for graduates.

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Open Spaces
3:58 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

Job prospects brighten for college grads

Seniors at the University of Wyoming will be graduating next week, and while the job market is still tight around the country, prospects for finding employment have improved significantly this year. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden Reports.

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Open Spaces
3:54 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

Workforce Services Director says a wide range of jobs open in Wyoming


The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services has been hosting a number of job fairs across the state presumably because there are jobs to be had.  Joan Evans is the Department Director, she tells Bob Beck there are jobs for just about every type of worker, but it might require job training or relocation.

7:16 am
Mon January 2, 2012

Oil and gas jobs up in 2011

Oil and gas jobs in Wyoming rose sharply in 2011, according to the state Economic Analysis Division.

There were more than 18,000 drilling, mining and support jobs in Wyoming as of November. That’s almost 3,000 more than a year before.

State Senior Economist Jim Robinson says these jobs are a subsector of the mining industry, and this growth is a sign of a thriving energy industry.

5:47 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

Wyoming unemployment picture remains steady

 The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services says that the state’s unemployment in October was at five-point-seven percent, well below national figures of nine percent.   David Bullard is a Senior Economist with the department.

“The unemployment rate came down a tenth of percent from September to October.  But it has really been in the narrow range of five point seven to five point nine in the past few months, so little change.  But it is lower than a year ago.”