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  • Writer's pictureGreater Cheyenne Chamber

Your Chamber Leaders Champion Your Community Needs

Business leaders examined key community issues in a meeting with a D.C. staffer from the office of Senator John Barrasso (WY) on Monday morning to follow up on topics discussed during the Chamber D.C. Fly-in.

Your Cheyenne Chamber represented you, your businesses, and your community by addressing the challenges facing our region, including EUL military housing, the Sentinel Missile Program, workforce, immigration, construction permitting, Front Range Rail, and bipartisan collaboration in Washington D.C.

Workforce and Immigration

“Only one potential employee is available for every two job openings in our nation,” according to reports presented by Jack Howard, Senior VP of Strategic Advocacy at the US Chamber.

Among the most heavily affected industries in Cheyenne are construction companies that desperately need skilled workers. Without improved visa processes, Cheyenne and the surrounding region will be unable to meet rising workforce demands.

“Wyoming’s businesses are struggling to fill job positions in all sectors, from licensed professionals to skilled trades. Despite ongoing efforts to grow within and recruit new talent, our industries require additional workforce sources to keep up with community needs. Political gridlock inhibits policy that would encourage workforce migration and is a direct blow to our workforce needs and ability to perform critical work,” said Cailey Reiman, third generation business owner and Cheyenne Chamber Board Member who was in attendance during Monday’s meeting.

Businesses were encouraged to seek H2B visas for incoming workforce, though business leaders reminded those present that this process must be streamlined and have an improved success rate in order to be viable as an option to bring in sufficient workforce.

Construction Permitting

Our broken permitting system freezes projects that build the infrastructure needed for the future. Projects to address critical needs for transportation, energy, water, broadband, and other priorities find themselves mired in regulatory and legal delays caused by an antiquated permitting process, threatening the U.S. economy and the business community.

Senator Barrasso introduced the SPUR Act in early May. This bill would improve the permitting process, and was a key topic of discussion during Monday's meeting. However, obstacles within Congress are slowing passage of this essential legislation. Your Cheyenne Chamber agreed to continue to work with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Chamber Partners from around the nation to raise awareness of this legislation.

EUL Military Housing

The EUL Military Housing Project continues to move forward. This project is designed to offer a low-cost housing alternative for local men and women in uniform. Currently, many of these folks traipse off to the northern front range for a place to live; which is truly a disservice to those who serve in our military, and truly a financial loss for our community.

Housing, in general, is a significant issue for our community. Your Chamber continues to believe that our ongoing housing issue is one of the most important economic development priorities we can tackle if we want Cheyenne and Laramie County to have a successful financial future.

“Our community has been advocating with the Air Force and communicating to them that we want to build the housing our airmen need, but bureaucratic delays are steadily sapping interest in this development. This development has been part of the Chamber Mission since 2014, and it is time for a decision to be made,” explained Dale Steenbergen, President and CEO of the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce.