By Tim Mandese, Cowboy State Daily
Wyoming business leaders and U.S. aerospace and defense companies met in Casper this week to explore the chances of increasing Wyoming’s access to the aerospace and defense market.
The Casper Area Economic Development Association, Forward Casper and its sister group Forward Sheridan organized the Wyoming Aerospace and Defense Industry Supply Chain Conference held Monday and Tuesday at the Casper Events Center.
The A&D supply chain consists of those companies that support and supply the aerospace industry and defense contractors. According to event organizers, the goal of the event was to raise the awareness of industry dynamics, opportunities and challenges. The conference introduced Wyoming and its businesses to A&D prime companies such as Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Perspecta, among others from around the country.
“It’s a huge growing industry. It’s not in a retraction mode, it’s in a growth mode, and they need to know what resources and opportunities we have in Wyoming,” said Jay Stender, chief executive officer for Forward Sheridan.
Another important mission of the organizers was to educate those in attendance on what the Cowboy State has to offer.
“There’s no place better for people to be than here (Wyoming) and we just want to get our story out,” said U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, who opened the conference with a welcoming address.
During her speech, Cheney told those attending that the defense industry was more important than ever to the country’s safety and security. In an interview with the Cowboy State Daily, the congresswoman also said she is committed to helping to bring more aerospace and defense business to the state.
“One of the really important roles we have at the federal level is helping to make sure that in our local communities that organizations like CAEDA here, like Sheridan Forward, and Casper Forward, that everyone is aware of the federal programs that exist, and we can help bring people together…,” she said.