Eric Barlow q3

One of the longest standing frustrations Wyoming has faced is how to diversify our economy, and it remains. The current mineral revenue “bust” has again refocused our attention on this challenge.

In Campbell County, we have abundant energy resources for which there are numerous efforts to find more efficient and novel uses. Much of this work is through private-public partnerships with a research component and they need to continue.

In recent years, technology has found a niche in Wyoming as inexpensive power has spawned data centers and inviting policy has welcomed the blockchain industry. There is more to do here.

There are other recruitment and economic development efforts that can make a difference if carefully guided. However, we must not believe government is the key to our future economy. Government does have a role, but mostly we need to ensure it is not in the way and find ways to leverage Wyoming’s strengths.

This is where the Legislature can likely have the greatest impact.

This includes right-sizing regulations so they aren’t an impediment for entrepreneurs. We have these forwarding-thinking folks right here in Gillette, let’s help them.

Additionally, we should continue to strengthen our educational system so entrepreneurs and investors can draw on a well-suited workforce who themselves will become the next generation of entrepreneurs, business owners and civic leaders.

And finally, we must ensure a quality of life that working families want and their children will stay for.

This is a community effort.

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