July 09, 2018
The following article is from the Casper Star Tribune
WyoTech's sale was finalized last week, with Jim Mathis stepping in as the new owner.
Mathis said he is incredibly thankful to the community for all the support in helping the technical college stay open.
"If they (hadn't) come out in support, I don't think we would be here today," Mathis said.
Most of the work happened before Mathis was even involved, he said. It wasn't until he was approached by a group of business owners that he considered purchasing WyoTech.
Laramie County Community College President Joe Schaffer was one of the people that helped make it possible, Mathis said. Schaffer and WyoTech Campus Director Caleb Perriton kept the college around long enough so Mathis could purchase it, he said.
"If they hadn't done that, I guarantee that we would be closed," Mathis said.
Purchasing WyoTech was personal to Mathis, as he not only graduated from there, but had worked a faculty member, eventually becoming its president.
"I have a passion for WyoTech and I believe in what it does for students," Mathis said. "It has great training, but it is more than that."
"It sets up students with some confidence and where they can truly make a decent living for themselves."
WyoTech still faces a tough future as it must now grow its student and faculty population. There are only 12 students, three teachers and one program coordinator at WyoTech today. Mathis said it will take some time, as they mostly acquire students as they come out of high school.
"As we start growing, we will keep adding back," Mathis said. "I've got several instructors slated for October and January to come back. We hope to build our personnel as we get more enrollments."
In November, Zenith Education announced that it was going to close the WyoTech Laramie campus. But after an outpouring of community support, potential buyers stepped up. Initially, Laramie County Community College was going to purchase the technical college, transitioning it to the public sector before Mathis put forward an offer. The school received support from Gov. Matt Mead, the Laramie City Council and the Wyoming Legislature to remain open.