Community college considers taking on WyoTech operations

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CHEYENNE, Wyo.- Laramie County Community College is exploring options to take on some of the operations, possibly all, of a private tech school that is expected to close in June.

WyoTech which is based in Laramie has helped train student in the auto industry for more than 50 years.

LCCC President Dr. Joe Schaffer says it's a significant loss for both the Albany County region as well as the state. The community college is hoping they can minimize that loss.

Schaffer said, "The opportunity to assume some of the programming options of WyoTech is significant, both in terms of student enrollment numbers across the board, but also the impact we can have on building Wyoming’s workforce."

The community college says they have two primary goals they're focusing on which include minimizing the loss of the private school on Albany County and the state as well as expanding the community college in Southeast Wyoming. Schaffer said, "We have plans to expand and grow programming in our footprint in Laramie and the WyoTech facilities and their programming really presents an opportunity that may be too good to pass up.”

The LCCC president said there are some challenges to consider when looking at this transition. He said, "I think probably the biggest challenge with moving this type of operation underneath a public community college model and certainly with LCCC is the additional financial support that it’s going to require." Schaffer has said the state would need to appropriate nearly $8.5 million dollars to support the project.

Schaffer added, "In the future, what that space in the model provides, is the opportunity to add the types of programs that we need to lead to a diversified economy, the thing that’s on every body’s mind."