In a speech that called on Wyoming residents to look beyond their own counties, school districts, and political parties and to concentrate on the state first, Gov. Dave Freudenthal, a Democrat, this month encouraged the legislature to take “a hard look at community colleges” because of their importance in building up the workforce.
The newly re-elected governor proposed in November to spend $28 million for four community college capital-construction projects. In his Jan. 10 State of the State speech to a joint session of lawmakers, Gov. Freudenthal said that community colleges should be “the primary delivery entity” for workforce training in Wyoming and said that the money he is proposing would be “tied directly to the question of workforce development.”
He warned against a push by the gas and oil industries for the state to set up technical colleges, calling the idea “illogical, inefficient, and … a burden for others going forward.”
Mr. Freudenthal also drew attention to debates in the 2006 legislative session debates over child care. He cited the importance of child-care facilities to K-12 education and sought to reassure Wyoming residents that the state is “not out to raise people’s kids as a matter of state policy.” Instead, the state aims to “create an environment in which child care can be successfully delivered to the broadest number of citizens in the state,” he said.
“It is good for the families. It is good for the children. And it is good for the economy of this state,” the governor said.
Read a complete transcript of Gov. David Freudenthal’s 2007 State of the State address. Posted by Wyoming’s Office of the Governor.
A version of this article appeared in the January 24, 2007 edition of Education Week