An extensive, data-driven study of Laramie County’s workforce confirmed many local residents’ suspicions – jobs are here, but workers aren’t.
The study was conducted by an out-of-state consulting company. Its goal was to determine whether the county’s workforce is adequate for future growth.
Using the most recent data available, the study found that 22 percent of local workers in 2011 lived outside the county. That number nearly doubled from 12 percent in 2006.
“People can talk back and forth all day long in the community about what they perceive and what they hear,” Tony DeLisi, who managed the project for Texas-based Avalanche Consulting, said during an event Wednesday evening at Laramie County Community College to unveil the results of the study.
“But without a real foundation in commonly acknowledged and recognized data, as well as those conversations with the community, it’s hard to move forward and really understand what steps can be taken to address these issues going forward.”
Avalanche Consulting bills itself as a group of national economic development strategists and marketing experts. The firm analyzed local industry trends and compared the skills local employers need to the educational output at LCCC and the University of Wyoming. It also conducted numerous focus groups and interviews to develop an evidence-based picture of how the county can better address workforce development through education, recruitment and lifestyle improvement.
“We’re very pleased with the thoroughness with which they got to know the community and yet the objectivity that they brought to this,” Cheyenne LEADS CEO Randy Bruns said after the unveiling. LEADS is the economic development corporation for Cheyenne and Laramie County.