According to the Wyoming Department of Administration & Information, total taxable sales in Wyoming grew 17.9 percent to $3.9 billion in the first quarter of 2018, based on sales and use tax collections.
"Increases occurred in most economic industries, with the largest boost in mining (including oil & gas extraction),
which accounted for over one-third of the total increase. The mining sector experienced a year-over-year expansion of 45.1 percent due to increased sales of equipment, supplies, and services from new energy exploration and production activity (Wyoming does not impose sales tax on the production of minerals)."
The sales tax figures for this quarter are still 45.3% less than the first quarter of 2014, which was before the overall energy production downturn. Because more than 1/6 of collections come from mining, changes in sales and use tax collections have greatly fluctuated due to changes in mineral activities. Construction was an industry that experienced a decline, however.
"Manufacturing, wholesale trade, and machinery & equipment leasing, and other services sectors, which are closely related to mineral extraction, each increased around 20.0 percent. The public administration sector, which reflects automobile sales, showed an increase of 7.1 percent over the year. The retail trade industry, the largest in terms of sales tax contribution, grew 15.5 percent. Across the state, 21 out of 23 counties experienced increases in taxable sales, led by Converse County (64.2%). Two other counties, Sublette and Platte, demonstrated over 30.0 percent expansions, respectively. Counties with large numbers of mineral activities generally experienced faster growth due to increased drilling. "
You can read the entire report for the first quarter of 2018 by clicking here.
The Wyoming Workers’ Compensation Division is proposing changes that will affect the Division’s rules, regulations and fee schedule. These proposals include modifications to the Wyoming Workers’ Compensation Rules, Regulations and Fee Schedules.The Department proposes to update Chapter 13 (Presumption of Disability for Certain Diseases), due to a new statute change.
This chapter addresses the authority and hearing requirements for firefighters applying for workers’ compensation benefits. In 2017, the Wyoming Legislature passed a new statute that provides specifics regarding firefighters seeking disability or compensation for job-related injuries or diseases.
The Workers Comp rule states that hearings for firefighters applying for workers' compensation benefits will proceed under the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act. The statute that passed last year was very specific and detailed in the sorts of diseases that firefighters in Wyoming are covered for, and the procedures with which they can seek compensation, therefore the Workforce rules are very brief.
Nonetheless, the Department is seeking the public's input on these changes. The public comment period will end at close of business on August 15, 2018.
Via traditional mail, send comments to:
Wyoming Workers’ Compensation Division
1510 East Pershing Boulevard
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Or via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The proposed rules may be downloaded, free of charge, by clicking here.
Mike Wandler, president of L&H Industrial, has a lot he can say about his family business. The company has grown from a six-man welding shop in Gillette, Wyoming to a global manufacturer of heavy industrial equipment with over 500 employees worldwide. Changing the direction of L&H from servicing just oil fields to manufacturing machinery is what catapulted the company in to international notoriety.
When NASA realized it needed to bring its shuttle transport system out of the 1960s, it was Wandler, L&H, and a subcontractor called Vencore that they turned to.
"The task that NASA tasked Vencore and us with is to increase the carrying capacity of that machine by six million pounds," Wandler told Forward Sheridan about the project last year.
The NASA Crawler Transporter is the biggest land vehicle on Earth, capable of hauling 20 million pounds of rocket to the launchpad. L&H's design increases carrying capacity by 30 percent, relying on the strength of the undercarriages they can build almost entirely in-house.
In his upcoming presentation brought to you by the Rockpile Museum and the Campbell County Public Library, Wandler will discuss L&H’s current work in the fields of mining, oil and gas, and railroads, and what the future might hold for these industries in Wyoming. This program is held in conjunction with the traveling Smithsonian exhibit, The Way We Worked, which is currently open at the Rockpile Museum.
"Past, Present, and Future" will take place July 12th at 7 p.m. at the Campbell County Public Library. You can see the full series event list here.
This year's class of the Gillette Area Leadership Institute graduated at the Gillette College Tech Center on June 13. Guest speaker Jillian Balow, the Wyoming Department of Education's Superintendent, addressed the graduates and encouraged them to always be looking for opportunities to lead.
"It's not always glamorous to be a leader," she said. "It's about being a part of something much bigger than ourselves, every single day."
Balow graduated high school from Campbell County, and was a teacher here and in Hulett for ten years before being elected to the State Superintendent position in 2014. She spoke about the importance of local government, and how it's critical for those who want to be community leaders to talk to their school board, city councilors and county commissioners about the decisions that may affect their future.
"It's really important that you're connected to those folks," she said. "Come to the table with some kind of solution to offer up, because we truly care about hearing from you, and you do make an impact."
Balow is one of five statewide elected positions (along with the Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, and Auditor), and stated that even though she's an educator, she sits on many different sorts of boards, like the State Loan and Investment Board, which is part of the Wyoming Business Council.
"I know more about water towers and sewer systems than I ever thought I would need to know as an educator. But what makes a difference is when we hear from you all in the community."
She stressed that it's very important that all five state elected positions be accessible to Wyoming residents, because hearing what is important to you is a responsibility she feels they have to have, in order to make our communities stronger.
"Don't ever discredit yourself or your worth in sharing what you're passionate about."
If you're interested in applying for the next G.A.L.I. class (which starts in September,) applications are available on our website and are due to be returned to the Chamber by July 16.
You can see more photos from today's graduation on our Facebook page.
The Q2 MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index (Index) released May 30 recorded an overall score of 68.7, up 2.4 points from the Q1 score of 66.3, driven in part by the strongest local economic outlook on record, a firmer hiring environment, and a stronger backdrop for investing. Two out of every three small business owners are optimistic about their company and the small business environment in the United States, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Metlife.
This month, the Wyoming Rural Electric Association and Powder River Energy Corporation are hosting a "Campaign School" on May 12 at the Alan Mickelson Fire Training Center. The event is $20 at the door and is non-partisan. Even if you're not planning on running for office, this seminar will help you learn about fundraising, election rules, and how to get out the vote. You can find the full agenda by clicking here.
The Business Advocacy Committee would also like to remind everyone they can get involved in the political process by becoming a committeeperson for their respective party. The Central Committee of every party registered in Campbell County -- Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, and Constitution -- determines party platform and party positions on national, state and local issues.
While the Campbell County Democrats have already had their county convention, and the Republican and Libertarian parties have already held their state-wide convention, they are all still looking for both committeepersons and election judges to staff this year's election.
Also, if you're interested in running for office, the filing session will be open from May 17th thru June 1st.
Other important dates in the election schedule:
Constitution Party State Convention: May 10-12
Democratic State Convention: June 9
Absentee Voting (Primary Election): Begins July 6
Primary Election: August 21
Candidate filing (School/College/Special District): August 8 - August 28
Minor and Provisional Party candidate filing deadline: August 20
Absentee voting (General Election): Begins September 21
General Election: November 6
If you would like your voice to be heard, please apply.
For more information, visit the Campbell County Elections office at the Campbell County Courthouse, Suite 1602. (You can also download and fill out your vote registration form, if you have not already, to be signed by the Elections Clerk or a public notary.)
It broke ground in 2016 with a lot of fanfare, but the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE finalists who will be using Wyoming's Integrated Test at Dry Fork Station in Gillette won't be moving in until this summer.
The $20 million XPrize contest is asking teams from around the world to use the carbon capture facility to try and research what can be done with Co2 emissions from power plants. It will be the first time these technologies will be tested in the real world.
"This is an opportunity for us to reimagine carbon and it would literally take what is considered a pollutant and transform it into a valuable asset,” said Jerimiah Rieman, Wyoming's Diversification Director.
During yesterday's EPA Listening Session at the Gillette College Tech Center, many local and state officials spoke about the repeal of the Clean Power Plan. Representative Scott Clem, Senators John Barrasso and Mike Enzi, and Governor Matt Mead were all in attendance, along with Gillette Mayor Louise Carter-King.
Below is the full transcript of her statement.
"Thank you for allowing me to speak to you today on such an important topic.
Clean, affordable energy is important to everyone. Coal helps to provide that to millions of people throughout the world. Those that say that coal cannot be burned cleanly continue to ignore the history of coal-fired electricity. Whenever an issue with emissions from coal-fired power plants has been identified, science and engineering have solved the problem. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide were identified as sources of pollution. Today they are no longer an issue.
Now carbon has been identified as an issue. But this time instead of looking at it as a problem, it is being looked at as an opportunity. Research will be done right here in Campbell County to find economically viable uses for the carbon that can be removed from the slipstream of coal-fired power plants. In a few short months, some of the top minds in the world will begin developing real-world solutions to the carbon issue at the Integrated Test Center. Scientific innovations, time and time again, have solved the issue of the day. The issue of carbon emissions is no different.
The Clean Power Plan in its current form would stifle that innovation. Instead of allowing research and innovation, it would create an unnecessary barrier by imposing overreaching and harmful governmental regulations. A major part of the success of the Integrated Test Center will be the potential economic gain from the technologies that they develop. As more regulations are heaped on the coal industry, the return on investments in clean coal technology decreases."
Tyler Miller with Earth Work Solutions was notified last week that the U.S. Small Business Administration has selected him as the Wyoming Small Business Person of the Year for 2018. In a letter to Tyler, Linda McMahon, Administrator of the Small Business Administration, states:
“Your hard work, innovative ideas, and dedication to your employees and community have helped you build an outstanding business that has strengthened your state's economy. The SBA is pleased to celebrate your achievements and recognize your personal role in driving our nation's economic growth.”
He's been invited to attend the annual Small Business Week ceremony in Washington D.C. in April.
MSN's lifestyle section went around the country and found the most "outrageous" pizza in each state. Not surprising to anyone from Campbell County, Pizza Carrello earned the top spot for Wyoming. According to MSN, they're best loved for their "fruity pizzas," but we all know the love extends beyond that. (Because they've got wings now!)
Cruises, Inc. was recently certified by Special Needs at Sea to provide specialized travel planning for vacationers that need a little extra to get them on board.
“Through Special Needs’ courses, I not only learned how to assist individuals with special needs to enjoy travel, but I found some very valuable new ways to serve the needs of all of my clients,” said owner John Urquidez.
And Campbell County Memorial Hospital was recently given an award for overall performance excellence, along with Great Plains Health in North Platte. The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, named after former Secretary of Commerce Malcolm Baldrige, was founded in 1987. The Rocky Mountain Performance Excellence program administers the award for our region.
“We are the first organization of any industry in Wyoming to obtain any level of the Baldrige award,” said CEO Andy Fitzgerald. “I am extremely pleased and proud of the work done by many people to achieve this award, and to have CCMH claim this first milestone in the Baldrige journey.”
Thousands of organizations worldwide use the Baldrige Performance Excellence criteria to continually improve themselves, and better serve their communities. Only nine groups in the Rocky Mountain area have ever received the national level award for peak excellence. Campbell County Health aspires to be the tenth.
“There are four levels before the national award and we have obtained the second level of award,” Fitzgerald says. “Undoubtedly there are numerous opportunities for us to improve on before we start the application process for the next level of our journey.”