Phase II - Drive

The Drive phase is meant to further define key problem areas impacting Wyoming's resilience and vitality and impeding Wyoming's growth in the future. During this phase, the state needs to answer the question, "What do we need to do now in order for Wyoming to thrive?" This phase is meant to focus limited resources (time, personnel, money) on Wyoming's big problems, true needs, and significant opportunities so that solutions can be fleshed out to enable Wyoming to surpass where it was when the pandemic began and to thrive in the future. If the intention is to invest wisely, the state has to spend time fully defining the problems it wants to solve.

Many ideas for solutions were submitted in response to the initial requests for input. However, it is necessary to spend more time understanding the problems and opportunities, so solutions are not offered in this document. Solutions identified during the Drive phase could recommend use of American Rescue Plan Act funds/Recovery Funds, other federal funds, other funds, or state general funds. In 2021, some Recovery Funds funds may be expended to facilitate planning and study.

Drive - Areas for further planning and study

The areas selected for further study and planning during the Drive phase are listed below

Goal: Retain and attract working families and young adults to permanently live and raise families in Wyoming with focused efforts to improve availability of: appropriate/ desired jobs and careers; appropriate training/ education; stable, quality child care; housing; necessary services; and desired recreation and leisure activities.

Goal: Strengthen Wyoming's economy and revenue streams by 1) activating new economic sectors and creating new jobs; 2) identifying ways to add value to Wyoming's current businesses and core industries, including expanding the energy, agriculture, and tourism sectors with new growth in carbon capture, hydrogen, rare earth minerals, agriculture technology, tourism-driven manufacturing, technology, and workforce recruitment; and 3) designing and deploying targeted programs, services and/ or investment tools to empower businesses to thrive through rapidly shifting economic and market conditions.

Goal: Create better alignment among workforce, economic development, and educational opportunities to achieve balance between available workforce and available employment opportunities; and support opportunities to upskill and/ or retrain Wyoming workers so they will remain in the state.

Goal: Connect Wyoming for the future by strategically using federal funds for Connect Wyoming, a program administered by the Wyoming Business Council to improve access to and meet the increased need for reliable high-speed internet service.

Goal: Encourage the work of the Governor's Health Care Task force in ascertaining the most significant problems Wyoming citizens, especially children, adolescents, and the elderly, face with access to health care, mental health care, and substance abuse treatment services and support the recommendations of the Health Care Task Force with regard to the best solutions.

Goal: Expand outdoor recreation and enhance wildlife populations.

Goal: Promote and enhance Wyoming food supply, distribution, and markets.

Goal: Identify and complete necessary and beneficial infrastructure projects.

Goal: Assist state agencies with recruitment and retention of employees.

Goal: Fund projects necessary for continued efficiency and modernization of state government.

Goal: Identify other opportunities to support cities, counties, and tribal governments as they determine how to survive, drive, and thrive.

Drive Goals / Approach

The governor has worked with his cabinet members and policy staff to determine next steps for planning and study of each of the Drive goals. The governor has asked the Strike Team to continue to assist him and his policy team in reaching out to key informants and stakeholders and evaluating recommendations made toward the end of the study/planning period. While some public engagement has already occurred, it is expected that stakeholders and key informants will be engaged throughout the remainder of the Drive phase. Recommendations to the governor for many of the Drive goals are expected in the fall. However, some areas are so complex and robust, the study/planning period may last well into next year.

Solutions identified through this process may or may not be eligible for funds from the American Rescue Plan Act Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund. When solutions are recommended - at the conclusion of the Drive phase- eligibility for funding will be determined.