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Day 2 Recap

Wednesday, November 15

Lauren Benford

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Wyoming Business Alliance Vice Chair Lauren Benford of Reiman Corp. welcomed attendees to the second day of the 40th Annual Governor's Business Forum and talked about the importance of taking action.

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University of Wyoming College of Business Assistant Dean Dr. Anne Alexander gave an overview of the first-ever Wyoming economic forecast. She started by looking at the economic past. Wyoming's booms have been very pronounced. In the past 40 years, the busts have become more pronounced. Looking at the future, she said inflation is starting to moderate and the Federal Reserve is still considering adjusting interest rates. The housing market is very volatile and the national economic outlook is looking moderately good. The growth may start to slow next year and begin to moderate.


Dr. Alexander spoke more specifically about Wyoming. She said that in the last decade employment in the natural resources and mining industries has fallen, and there has been a rise in tourism and hospitality, while construction has stayed stable. The natural resource and mining industries are expected to rebound to their pre-pandemic rates in 2024. She remarked that Wyoming's income has outpaced the mountain region (except Colorado) and should continue to do so into 2024. The population is expected to slightly increase in 2024 driven by residents over 65 years of age and all other ages are expected to decline. In recent years technology, R&D, business formation, science and engineering graduates, patents awarded, and venture capital dispersed have all increased. The State has unfortunately seen significant out-migration; about 70% of UW graduates. Wyoming housing has become relatively unaffordable for individuals. Physical and technological connectivity continue to be barriers to Wyoming's economic growth. House Minerals Chair Don Burkhart moderated this panel by asking the panelists a series of thoughtful questions.

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As a perennial crowd-favorite of the Governor’s Business Forum moderated by Bob Jensen of Holland & Hart, this panel was made up of some of Wyoming’s Legislative Leaders, members of the Joint Appropriations Committee, and the Governor’s Senior Staff. They previewed the upcoming 2024 Budget Session.

Governor's Closing Remarks

Governor Gordon thanked everyone for attending the Forum and remarked on what an accomplishment it is for this event to have 40 years of staying power. He said looking forward, it's clear Wyoming will take ideas into action by continuing efforts to address mental health, educating our workforce, property tax reform, and producing clean energy while preserving our legacy energy forms and diversifying Wyoming's economy.

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