Wyoming National Laboratories, a worldwide leading cybersecurity company, would like to move its headquarters from California to Cody by the summer of 2021.

After three years of operations, WNL expects to add 58 jobs in Cody with higher than average wages.

To help make that possible, Forward Cody is seeking a $2.14 million grant from the Wyoming Business Council Business Ready Community Grant and Loan Program. Funding is offered to counties, municipalities and joint powers boards through the WBC.

Forward Cody is asking the City of Cody to sponsor the grant application. As sponsor, the city serves as a pass-through agent, accepting grant money, then reimbursing Forward Cody for actual expenses. As building owner, Forward Cody will lease the facility to WNL with an option to buy.

Money will go toward building a $4.28 million, 10,800-square-foot facility on 5 acres of leased land in the Yellowstone Regional Airport Business Park owned by the City of Cody and operated by the YRA Joint Powers Board.

Along with the WBC grant request, Forward Cody intends to seek a $2.14 million federal grant through the Economic Development Administration program.

WNL owners will pay the cost to relocate from their current site plus new office and laboratory set-up expenses, including the cost of new equipment.

The city council is seeking public input before deciding whether to pass a resolution supporting the WBC application. People wishing to share their opinions about the city accepting state and federal government funding to help private businesses may speak during a public hearing in City Hall on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Written comments may be submitted to City Hall by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Wyoming National Laboratories is an outgrowth of the USDN cybersecurity company. Tony Castillo, one of the world’s leading experts in cybersecurity, has partnered with Dr. Crispin Cowan to design security protections for more than two decades.

Castillo’s inventions are used to protect nearly all computers worldwide. The technology protects smart devices from the risk of cyberattack.

The company, which will begin with eight employees at its Cody testing facility, plans to expand to 14 in the first year. By years two and three, employee numbers are expected to grow to 44 and ultimately 58 positions, according to James Klessens, Forward Cody president.

He said WNL has been working with Northwest College on curriculum to train students in a computer science certificate program or an associate degree in computer sciences degree.

By the third year, payroll is an estimated $4.72 million, or an average of $66,435 per employee. Benefits average 50% for all employees.

“The jobs created by the WNL company pay appreciably higher than average wages in the community,” Klessens wrote in the WBC application.

Klessens said the company chose the airport site because of its convenient access for customers arriving by airplane and because of its scenic view.

Forward Cody will own and maintain the project under a contingency and development agreement with the City of Cody.

If the City of Cody passes the resolution, and if the WBC and State Land and Investment Board award the funding, the anticipated date to award a construction bid is March 2021 with completion the following October, according to the application.

(12) comments

YeOldeDude

Did anybody bother to google either Tony Castillo or Crispin Cowan? Perhaps just google who the leading experts in Cybersecurity are? This is a scam.

Gunrunner Auctions

Absolutely opposed to having our tax money used to bring a CA company to Cody through this Forward Coty. The Forward Cody track record is horrible. They do not properly vet these companies - rather in their glee to score a mark the leader of Forward Cody and their Board overlook the obvious. For some reason they do not consult experts in the field, nor do they realistically project the number of employees (that is always an inflated number to get the grant/loan by the companies) or accurately predict the sponsored company's future. I knew there must be another company waiting in the wings because Forward Cody failed to make ONE MENTION of the status of Gunwerks (looks like we'll hear more about that next year....).

Forward Cody needs a new Board and a new leader.

If this CA company has over a $4 million projected payroll then that means they are a MAJOR player and don't need a $2.8 million grant/loan. Let them build their own building or not come.

That's OUR tax money Forward Cody is playing with. Three strikes and they're already out.... The model is flawed. Forward Cody is like a young foolish bird dog who in its glee to hunt will go out and hunt for anyone who is in the field.

CodyBob

So this company, WYOMING National Laboratories, has been operating for 3 years, all in California? In all that time they have only grown to EIGHT employees but plan to hire more than 50 in the next three years? The CEO wants to build a brand new building that Forward Cosy will own and lease. That building MUST be built at the airport because of "the scenic view" and the fact that people will be flying into Cody (on one of the two flights per day? The Cody Labs building (another Forwars Cody white elephant) 8 minutes away isnt a possibility? I dont know who comes up with ridiculous schemes like these to spend taxpayer money but they dont know a thing about business! This whole deal stinks like a scam!

CoAnimus

....here we go again....RUH ROE!!!

Whatsup

How much money is the city going to give this group

Devildog307

How many of these people will come from CA and want to turn it into what it was like in CA? If they are truly wanting to move to WY then move here and be a part of WY. Don’t change it to where you came from. I left where I came for a reason. I don’t want to see WY turn into the socialist state where I grew up.

Booneyrat

Perhaps you should have stayed where you came from and cleaned up the "socialist mess".

Fox Blue River

Nonsense like this devildog comment are why many of us under 50 years old can't wait to leave this state. It's actually extremists like you with your Confederate flags on your truck that the normal people don't want here.

dodenhoffjp

Enough is enough! How can any taxpayer in Cody, Park County or the State of Wyoming trust Forward Cody to vet companies for this money after the Cody Labs & Gunworks debacles? Wyoming already has a world class business development program with no business and personal state income or capital gains taxs, no business inventory tax, low property taxes, cheap energy & land and a very reasonable sales tax structure.

todayistheday

Does all of this grant money come from our taxes ? Will they be giving a tax break to this company, and then in return, raise taxes on we tax paying citizens ?

Whatsup

Dumb dumb dumb LETS GO CODYgive away more money to business that will pull out and leave IAM planning to open a lemonade stand and was checking I. would employabout 20 people and need money from the city when I make enough profit become a millionaire then I'll pull out a Cody are there any buyers

Whatsup

no tax break for us people here in this city all we got to do is continue to pay more taxes and more taxes and more taxes so what I think we need to do is just fire get rid of everybody all our city officials

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