November 2018 Economic Development Update

Written by on November 9, 2018

Energy Capital Economic Development continues to work for the economic betterment of Campbell County. Here are some activities that we’d like to share with you.

Gillette Economy on Upward Trend

The Gillette economy is improving, and Energy Capital Economic Development CEO Phil Christopherson looks for that trend to continue.

“The oil industry is coming back. Companies are hiring both professional and technical employees. Unemployment numbers are down. We have several retail companies coming into town, including Marshalls and Hobby Lobby,” Phil said. ” The real estate market is improving, and we’re seeing an increase in applications for our FUEL Business Incubator from entrepreneurs wanting to start new businesses.”

At the recent Strengthening Wyoming Economies conference in Gillette, Dr. Erik Pages, Entreworks Consulting president, pointed out that coal industry hiring and prices are both up, another positive indicator for Gillette.

While all of this is good news for the Gillette economy, Phil believes the way forward depends heavily on finding new markets for coal and supporting our existing businesses.

“The work going on at the Integrated Test Center to capture and repurpose carbon emissions and the development of the Advanced Carbon Products Innovation Center (ACPIC), which will provide a place for refining coal into commercially viable products, are key to supporting Gillette’s coal industry,” Phil noted. “Both centers will provide new markets for local coal.”

ECED’s Business Retention and Expansion efforts, directed by Mary Melaragno, are also key to improving Gillette’s economy. Mary works with local companies to determine their needs and formulate plans to meet those needs. For example, she has identified several common needs for employees with certain skills and then worked with Gillette College to develop programs to train people in those skills.

“I’m very optimistic about Gillette’s future,” Phil said. “We have a great family-oriented community where people want to live, we have reliable air service and an interstate to make business travel easy, we have a skilled workforce and a local college willing to work with businesses to meet their staffing needs, and we are blessed with very supportive local city and county governments.”

Fraud Topic of November Lunch & Learn

Detective Jeremiah Wagner will talk about how fraud can devastate a business in the blink of an eye at the Nov. 20 Lunch & Learn at the Energy Capital Enterprise Center, 345 Sinclair St., from 11:30 to 1 p.m.

Detective Wagner will tell participants about the types of threats that can come from both inside and outside a business and how to avoid them.

Lunch & Learns are open to the public and are geared toward entrepreneurs and those who would like to start a business. They provide the opportunity to learn about topics important to small businesses as well as to network with other small business owners.

Cost is $10, which includes a light lunch. RSVPs are required. Email or call 686-2603 by Nov. 15 to reserve your spot.

New Sign Installed

We are excited to announce the installation of a new sign in front of the Energy Capital Enterprise Center on Sinclair Street. The sign identifies the building and its tenants, making it easier for the public to find our new office space and the FUEL Business Incubator. Thanks to Sign Boss for working with us on this project.

Halloween Open House Draws a Crowd

Dozens of children and their parents dropped by the Energy Capital Enterprise Center on Halloween to enjoy treats, get their pictures taken with Halloween backgrounds and see the decorated doors created by the building tenants.

Energy Capital ED and Small Business Development Center staff dressed up as Crazy Pet People. Above, SBDC’s Linda Calhoun takes off for a flight through the fun. FUEL Business Incubator director Judith Semple decorated her door to celebrate.

Quarterly Breakfast Explores Drone Photography

Business leaders gathered at the Energy Capital Enterprise Center Oct. 10 for the Quarterly Breakfast, sponsored by Aerial Solutions of Wyoming.

Chris Leatherman, FAA certified drone operator and chief pilot for Aerial Solutions,  visited with attendees about aerial photography and videography services in Campbell County. He showed numerous samples of his work to demonstrate to attendees the scope and quality of his photography.

Phil Christopherson, CEO of Energy Capital Economic Development, updated attendees on economic development activities, including the status of the Advanced Carbon Products Innovation Center, the naming of the FUEL Business Incubator and the grand opening of the Enterprise Center.

The next quarterly breakfast will be in January 2019. If you’d like to sponsor a breakfast, please contact Mary Melaragno,

First Impressions Topic for October Lunch & Learn 

Local entrepreneurs gathered at the Energy Capital Enterprise Center Oct. 16 to learn how to make a better first impression for their businesses.

Dana Miller Eiland, owner of Sign Boss, talked about the importance of first impressions and addressed how to make a good first impression with your building presentation as well as your social media and Internet presence. Phil Christopherson also spoke about economic development and the FUEL Business Incubator.

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