Gov. Mead authorizes $5 million loan to keep WyoTech open

WBC   5-22-18

Gov. Matt Mead authorized a loan Monday of up to $5 million to DBJJDM Enterprises for the operation of WyoTech Institute in Laramie. 


“The community of Laramie, state legislators, education leaders and others worked with my office to evaluate all options to keep WyoTech operating in our state,” said Wyoming Governor Matt Mead. “The Wyoming Business Council reviewed DBJJDM’s business plan and financial documents. After reviewing the information and recommendation from the Business Council, I accepted the recommendation for a $5 million loan to DBJJDM to operate the WyoTech Institute in Laramie. I appreciate the hard work to keep WyoTech open and providing excellent educational opportunities.” 


Following an announcement by WyoTech’s parent company that it would shut down the campus, founded in Laramie in 1966, the Wyoming Legislature and Gov. Mead empowered the Wyoming Business Council to solicit proposals for the continued operation of WyoTech and appropriated $5 million to help a new owner purchase the school. 


The $5 million loan, along with a large equity investment, will be used to purchase the assets of WyoTech and for ongoing operations. 


Proposals included business plans, assets, an estimate of jobs to be filled and other information as necessary. 


“WyoTech is a fixture in Albany County and Wyoming. The school bolsters Wyoming’s workforce in an industry seeing increasing demand for skilled workers,” said Shawn Reese, CEO of the Business Council. “We’re proud to be helping increase Wyoming’s prosperity by providing the state’s young adults an opportunity for a better education and fulfilling, high-paying jobs.” 


WyoTech is expected to employ 95 workers in the next two years. 


DBJJDM Enterprises is led by Jim Mathis, who attended WyoTech in 1976. He went on to become an instructor and CEO of WyoTech during his 26-year career with the school. 


“WyoTech is a valuable contributor to the Laramie, Albany County and Wyoming economies, and I look forward to restoring this school to its former national reputation,” Mathis said. “I’d like to thank the WyoTech employees,
Educational Credit Management Corporation, Laramie County Community College, the Business Council, state legislators, Gov. Mead and many others too numerous to mention for working together and finding a way to keep WyoTech from being shut down.” 


Laramie County Community College also submitted a proposal to operate the facility. The school’s efforts helped open a pathway for the preservation of WyoTech. 


“Since the original announcement of WyoTech’s pending closure, LCCC’s goal was to do all we could to minimize the impact this would have on the Laramie community,” said Dr. Joe Schaffer, president of Laramie County Community College. “We see considerable opportunity to partner with the new owners, specifically for delivering pathways to have WyoTech students who finish technical training move on and complete their associate’s degree with us. This type of partnership may also provide opportunities for the numerous students at Laramie High School who are completing automotive technology certifications.”