Despite a slow start to the year, the local economy appears to have stabilized after experiencing its lowest oil prices in 13 years. We see renewed optimism for growth in 2017 with oil prices hovering around $50 per barrel and reports of activity picking up in the energy sector. Not all was bad in 2016 with median home prices holding steady throughout the year; testament to a certain resiliency in the Casper economy we’ve been building in response to the oil crisis of the mid-1980s. Casper appears to have turned the corner showing a stronger and fundamentally sounder economic base.
This time of year we like to reflect on how fortunate we are for our members and community. Without you, your businesses, and your support, we would not be rounding out the year on such an optimistic note. Working together we are able to continue moving the Casper area forward and ensuring that it is a wonderful place to live, work and play.
Continuing our momentum towards a sounder economic base, we have identified five priorities for CAEDA/Forward Casper in 2017:
- Leverage our existing business base
- Recruit complementary and targeted businesses
- Innovate and create new high growth entrepreneurial businesses
- Re-Skill and Align our workforce
- Promote Quality of Life Initiatives
Unlike the Christmas wish lists that boys and girls in your life may have created, we have a sound plan on how to achieve these, and to give them value and meaning we have assigned key metrics to keep us on track.
- Implement minimum of 3 projects that builds out existing businesses
- Recruit X companies that complement our existing industries
- Impact the start-up of minimum of 3 high growth entrepreneurial businesses
- Influence the creation of a minimum of 50 primary jobs
- Grow our Forward Casper Membership from 75 to 150 businesses
- Engage and complete a minimum of 5 community stakeholder projects
You may have noticed that in the second metric, we have not assigned a value for how many companies we are aiming to recruit. That is intentional and brings us to our next key piece to move not only us but the Casper area forward, our board. We have six new board members joining the team in 2017, five that are investing in CAEDA/Forward Casper at the highest level, earning a board seat. It is a high priority to address this recruitment metric in the beginning of the year with our new composition of board members. Our new board members are:
- Stuart Tanner, Automation Electronics
- Tony Cercy, Cercy Investments
- Kermit Wille, First Interstate Bank
- Edie Holmes, McMurry Family of Companies
- Jim Ruble, Sinclair Casper Refinery
- Shane Porter, WLC Engineering
All incumbents that ran for the board were re-elected. Those incumbents are:
- James Coberly, Mountain West Technology
- Andy Losasso, Wyoming Department of Workforce Service
- Mike Stepp, Donells Candies
- Tad True, True Companies
We are excited as we move into 2017! We are confident in our holistic and integrated action plan and strong board CAEDA/Forward Casper Board Leadership. When we succeed, the Casper area does too, as we are all in this together.
We wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Your CAEDA Staff