On Tuesday, July 21 Powder River Basin Resource Council will conclude its webinar series, Reclaiming & Growing Wyoming’s Future, providing education, tools, and resources available for a planned transition to a new, diversified Wyoming economy. Each session features different panelists with specific areas of expertise in transitioning resource-dependent communities.
In this final webinar, Funding Wyoming’s Economic Transition, speakers Ben Alexander, senior program advisor with the Resources Legacy Fund; Chris Markuson, Director of Colorado and State Economic Transition Policy for the BlueGreen Alliance, and Cindy Winland, senior fellow for the Just Transition Fund will explore different methods of funding the transition to a new economy. Dale Steenbergen, CEO of the Greater Cheyenne Chamber will moderate the session.
The webinar is free but requires advance registration, and attendance is capped at 150. Registration is available at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4868091438633415183. The July 21 session will start at 10 am and conclude by noon, featuring a panel discussion followed by a question-and-answer period.
Anyone with an interest in understanding how Wyoming’s communities can transition from dependency on resource extraction to a healthy, diverse economy can watch all of the recorded webinars on Powder River’s website, https://www.powderriverbasin.org/what-we-do/coal/.
July 21 Webinar Speaker Bios:
Ben Alexander is responsible for providing coordination, research, strategic direction, and leadership for programs at the Resources Legacy Fund. Before RLF, he served as chief program officer at the LOR Foundation, was co-founder and co-director of Headwaters Economics, and was a director at the Sonoran Institute. He will give an overview of recent changes in Intermountain West economies. He will speak specifically about challenges in narrowly-focused energy economies and cover lessons from diversifying energy economies as well as a context-sensitive framework to build community resilience and new competitive advantage as communities work to rebuild their economies in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chris Markuson is the Director of Colorado and State Economic Transition Policy for the BlueGreen Alliance. He is known as an innovator in economic and community development and public policy. His work has led to significant growth in community GDP, household incomes and tax revenue for his municipality. His forward-thinking leadership is grounded in principles of community collaboration, sustainability, and human-centered economic development that cultivates healthy community and land-use practices. Through his work, Pueblo County is now recognized as a national policy leader in the cannabis industry and as an emerging international leader in the renewable industry sector.
Cindy Winland provides consulting services to the Just Transition Fund, focusing on technical assistance and planning in communities impacted by the transition away from coal assets. Her work is primarily in power plant communities in the Midwest and Western states as well as in tribal communities. She develops strategies to address the financial, employment, social, and environmental impacts when a power plant closes. She works closely with utilities on public engagement and site reuse as part of the closure process. She will be speaking about the funding and technical assistance services that the Just Transition Fund offers to communities and NGOs who are working on transitioning their community when coal plants and mines close.