CU Boulder’s Business Research Division: Leeds Business Confidence Index Report

Leeds Business Confidence Index Report, which is prepared by CU Boulder’s Business Research Division at the Leeds School of Business, captures Colorado business leaders’ expectations for the national economy, state economy, industry sales, profits, hiring plans and capital expenditures. A total of 284 qualified panelists responded to the survey.

The Leeds Business Confidence Index (LBCI) fell ahead of the fourth quarter of 2017, reflecting lower expectations for both the end of the year and the first quarter of 2018 despite all individual components of the index remaining in positive territory. The overall index came in at 56.5 for Q4 2017 and 55.3 for Q1 2018 (Note: an index value of 50 equals neutral).

For the second consecutive quarter, the LBCI’s overall outlook remained positive even as expectations cooled for individual indicators. The index fell 3.2 points from last quarter, but still remained higher than last year’s figure, gaining 3.5 points from Q4 2016. Panelists’ expectations were weakest for the national economy, but were buoyed by stronger expectations for the state, industry sales and industry profits.

“We are seeing a larger decline in optimism about the national economy than we are about the state economy,” said Richard Wobbekind, Executive Director of the Business Research Division.  “The state economy is still considered healthy and a larger percentage of respondents believes it is expanding rather than contracting.”

The LBCI reflected modest declines in expectations across a number of economic indicators. Sales and profit expectations ranked among the highest of the six survey components, but both still slipped ahead of Q4 2017. Capital expenditures and hiring also fell as growth expectations slowed.

Colorado’s job market remained a bright spot as the state continued to exhibit strong employment growth. Jobs increased 1.8 percent year-over-year in August 2017, the 14th-fastest rate in the country. Meanwhile, the state unemployment rate continues to outperform the nation as a whole, coming in at just 2.5 percent.

Colorado’s low unemployment rate, however, could make it difficult for employers to fill vacant or new positions, leading more than one-quarter of survey respondents to name it their top economic concern. Housing was the second most frequently mentioned issue, specifically high real estate prices and a lack of affordable housing that could discourage potential employees from relocating to Colorado.

For more information and to read the full report, visit the Business Research Division.

Contact:
Richard Wobbekind, Leeds School, 303-492-1147
richard.wobbekind@colorado.edu
Brian Lewandowski, Leeds School, 303-492-3307
brian.lewandowski@colorado.edu
Trent Knoss, CU Boulder media relations, 303-735-0528
trent.knoss@colorado.edu

Follow us @CUBoulderNews

Estes Park Economic Development Corporation Receives Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council

The Estes Park Economic Development Corporation won a Silver Excellence in Economic Development Award for its General Purpose Website, a project in the category of General Purpose Website of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

The honor was presented at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 19, during the IEDC Annual Conference, which was held Sept. 17 – 20, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

“On behalf of the IEDC board of directors and Excellence in Economic Development Awards Advisory Committee, congratulations to the Estes Park Economic Development Corporation. Not only did they work to provide a necessary service to their community; but also, their participation in the awards program sheds light on their stellar projects which other communities can now use as a benchmark,” said Michael Langley, FM, the CEO of GREATER MSP, Minneapolis–St. Paul, MN, and 2017 IEDC Board Chair.

The website communicates the community’s economic development priorities, reflecting a regional strategy that was based on extensive stakeholder interviews and 790 e-survey responses. The survey research represents about 7 percent of Estes Valley’s population. More existing and potential businesses are reaching out for assistance looking to do business in the Estes Valley.

Since inception of a marketing plan and social media content calendar 12 months ago, they have seen 75% growth in Twitter followers to 269 followers. Facebook has 53% growth in page likes to 368 likes, a 120% increase in page views and a 425% increase in post likes.

The Website enhances the credibility of our e-newsletters and the open rate for the newsletters is 46.08% while the industry average open rate is 1.2%. Newsletter Signups on the website has seen 57% growth month over month.

“This website would not have been possible without the support and input from our Board of Directors, Stakeholders and community” said Adam Shake, Estes Park EDC Director of Communications and Business Development. “We would especially like to thank Town of Estes Park Public Information Officer Kate Rusch, Town of Estes Park Police Operations Captain Eric Rose and Larimer County Workforce Center Business Training Coordinator Mike Kohler for their individual contributions to the website.”

Jon Nicholas, Estes Park EDC President and CEO stated that “I am grateful that this website was built completely in-house. While many organizations rely on outside consultants and website designers, Adam Shake brought the technical expertise and ability to build a website on a Squarespace platform that incorporates responsive design and offers high quality information and business services to our Estes Valley businesses on a variety of devices.”

“The awards process is a thorough, non-biased and multi-layered process. These are extraordinary accomplishments for all winners, and an overall great effort by all participants. We look forward to next year’s awards competition,” Langley said.

EDCC & OEDIT Receives Excellence in Economic Development Award

Economic Development Council of Colorado & Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade Receives Excellence in Economic Development Award from
the International Economic Development Council

 

WASHINGTON, DC (Sept. 19, 2017) The Economic Development Council of Colorado (EDCC) and Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) won a Silver Excellence in Economic Development Award for its “How Colorado Came Together to Market Economic Development” campaign, a project in the category of Innovation in Economic Development Week (EDW) of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

The honor was presented at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 19, during the IEDC Annual Conference, which was held Sept. 17 – 20, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

“On behalf of the IEDC board of directors and Excellence in Economic Development Awards Advisory Committee, congratulations to the Economic Development Council of Colorado and Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Not only did they work to provide a necessary service to their community; but also, their participation in the awards program sheds light on their stellar projects which other communities can now use as a benchmark.”  – Michael Langley, FM, CEO of GREATER MSP, Minneapolis–St. Paul, MN, and 2017 IEDC Board Chair

The mission for both OEDIT and EDCC is to increase awareness and economic prosperity for Colorado. The two teamed up this year to promote EDW. OEDIT created an Economic Development Toolkit that was specific to Colorado to help economic development organizations with their campaign promotions.
Campaign elements also included a press release from Colorado’s Governor pronouncing Economic Development Week in both a video and Proclamation, a blog from the director of OEDIT on LinkedIn, and a social media campaign populated by economic development organizations from around the state.
The goal of this promotion was to market and educate the importance of economic development organizations across the state. This opportunity brought together the economic development community, gave them a platform to share their economic development success stories and best practices, and to elevate their work within their communities.

“The awards process is a thorough, non-biased and multi-layered process. These are extraordinary accomplishments for all winners, and an overall great effort by all participants. We look forward to next year’s awards competition,” Langley said.

 

About the International Economic Development Council

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 5,000 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities, by creating, retaining and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, IEDC’s members are engaged in the full range of economic development experience. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in a wide variety of settings including local, state, provincial and federal governments, public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities and a variety of other institutions. Among many activities which benefit the economy, IEDC’s members create high-quality jobs and develop vibrant communities. www.iedcONLINE.org.

Excellence in Economic Development awarded to EDCC & OEDIT

WASHINGTON, DC (Sept. 19, 2017) – The Economic Development Council of Colorado (EDCC) and Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) won a Silver Award for Excellence in Economic Development Award for its “How Colorado Came Together to Market Economic Development” campaign, a project in the category of Innovation in Economic Development Week (EDW) of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

The honor was presented at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 19, during the IEDC Annual Conference, which was held Sept. 17 – 20, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

“On behalf of the IEDC board of directors and Excellence in Economic Development Awards Advisory Committee, congratulations to the Economic Development Council of Colorado and Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Not only did they work to provide a necessary service to their community; but also, their participation in the awards program sheds light on their stellar projects which other communities can now use as a benchmark.”  – Michael Langley, FM, CEO of GREATER MSP, Minneapolis–St. Paul, MN, and 2017 IEDC Board Chair

The mission for both OEDIT and EDCC is to increase awareness and economic prosperity for Colorado. The two teamed up this year to promote EDW. OEDIT created an Economic Development Toolkit that was specific to Colorado to help economic development organizations with their campaign promotions.

Campaign elements also included a press release from Colorado’s Governor pronouncing Economic Development Week in both a video and Proclamation, a blog from the director of OEDIT on LinkedIn, and a social media campaign populated by economic development organizations from around the state.

The goal of this promotion was to market and educate the importance of economic development organizations across the state. This opportunity brought together the economic development community, gave them a platform to share their economic development success stories and best practices, and to elevate their work within their communities.

“The awards process is a thorough, non-biased and multi-layered process. These are extraordinary accomplishments for all winners, and an overall great effort by all participants. We look forward to next year’s awards competition,” Langley said.

About the International Economic Development Council
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 5,000 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities, by creating, retaining and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, IEDC’s members are engaged in the full range of economic development experience. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in a wide variety of settings including local, state, provincial and federal governments, public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities and a variety of other institutions. Among many activities which benefit the economy, IEDC’s members create high-quality jobs and develop vibrant communities. www.iedcONLINE.org.

CO-LABS Announces Winners of 2017 Governor’s Award for High-Impact Research

Ninth Annual Event Honors Colorado’s Top Scientists and Engineers for Projects Having a Significant Impact on Society

CO-LABS has announced the four winners of the 2016 Governor’s Award for High-Impact Research. Now in its 9th year, the event gathers scientists, researchers, entrepreneurs, business leaders and government officials to celebrate the exceptional and groundbreaking work of scientists and engineers from Colorado’s federally-funded research labs and institutions.

​“The projects in this year’s CO-LABS High-Impact Awards spotlight what makes Colorado a leader in innovation It’s terrific to see research advance its partnerships with the private sector. The range of crucial and profound discoveries coming from these labs are a national asset,” said Governor John Hickenlooper.  “I congratulate the scientific teams for their groundbreaking work and am excited to see the mark they will leave on our state and society as a whole.”

The winners will be formally recognized and celebrated Thursday, October 5, 2016 from 5:30pm-9:00pm at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Boulevard in Denver, Colorado. See more details on each project and REGISTER today.

2017 WINNERS: 

  • JILA and Dr. Tom Perkins’ New twists in the molecules of life
  • NIST  – Seeing More with a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)
  • NOAA/CU-Boulder/UCAR –  GPS Reflections: Innovative Techniques
  • CIRA – GOES-16 the New Generation of Geostationary Weather Satellite

Also for 2017 there are three Honorable Mentions:

  • USDA ARS – Sugar Beet research with High Impact in Colorado, the USA and the World
  • CIRES – Snow Research Improves Avalanche Safety, Water Resource Management
  • NOAA ESRL– Science on a Sphere and SOS Explorer visualization systems

See the full research and project details for each at www.co-labs.org.

“We are thrilled and truly honored to be recognized with the Governor’s Award for High Impact Research.  The vision of Drs. Keller, Geiss and Rice, to envision new and innovative ways to use a scanning electron microscope, coupled with their hard work at developing and validating the techniques, led to this impactful achievement, which has already resulted in broad scientific accomplishment and commercial success, said Dr. Jim Feteke, Chief of the Applied Chemicals and Materials Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). “Thanks so much to the CO-LABS Board of Directors and the Award Selection Committee for selecting our scientists for this prestigious honor.”

“Colorado has one of the highest per capita concentrations of federal science, research and engineering facilities in the nation, with renowned scientists whose research has global impact in a range of fields including agriculture, climate and weather, earth science, materials science, natural resource management, renewable energy, space physics and telecommunications,” said CO-LABS Executive Director Dan Powers. “This prestigious event provides a unique opportunity to connect with leading scientists, lab directors, business leaders and policymakers in an informal and celebratory setting, as we highlight the labs’ role in innovation and their significant contribution to the state economy.”

Started in 2009 by then-Governor Bill Ritter, this recognition effort starts with CO-LABS convening a special committee of academic researchers, technology transfer experts and science and engineering professionals to review nominations from the more than 30 federally-funded labs and research institutes in Colorado. Through a thoughtful and thorough process this group selects projects that have had a significant global, national or state impact resulting from a scientific breakthrough, change in public policy or development of a new technology.

15 Rural Colorado Communities Chosen for Second Round of Blueprint 2.0 Initiatives Designed to Boost Economies

Stephanie Copeland, executive director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) along with local economic development professionals from around the state, gathered in Meeker on July 31, to announce the recipients of the second round of the Colorado Blueprint 2.0 initiatives.

“Blueprint 2.0 is a great example of how Colorado is going above and beyond existing resources to support the needs of our rural regions,” said Lt. Governor Donna Lynne. “We congratulate today’s recipients and look forward to seeing how these regions leverage the new services and resources to help strengthen their economies and communities.”

Blueprint 2.0 leverages state partnerships and specialized resources to address the unique economic development goals of rural Colorado. Launched in 2015, Blueprint 2.0 is a bottom-up effort to turn regional feedback on local economic needs into a statewide set of initiatives to advance the economies of rural communities.

“OEDIT is committed to building rural economies through a variety of innovative programs and initiatives,” said Copeland. “We are excited to announce the communities that will benefit from the second round of Blueprint 2.0 initiatives and look forward to working with communities across the state.”

Recipients of the second round of Colorado Blueprint 2.0 include:

  • A Data-Driven Approach to Economic Development: Steamboat Springs
  • Brand Building for Communities: Logan County, Moffat County and Custer County
  • Community Placemaking: Hayden and Kiowa
  • Coworking 101: Sterling, Delta, and Rio Blanco County
  • Creativity Lab: Grand Junction and Grand Lake
  • Film and Major Production: Georgetown and Victor
  • Grow Your Outdoor Recreation Industry: Trinidad and Silverton
  • Tourism Promotion and Development: Leadville and Rio Blanco County

The second round of Blueprint 2.0 offered six new initiatives based on participant feedback and economic opportunities. Each initiative includes services not previously provided by the State, and leverages state resources and partnerships with organizations outside of the state of Colorado to provide technical assistance to regions who expressed an interest in pursuing the initiatives.

“We are excited to be helping communities address everything from placemaking and branding to housing and economic development,” said health and wellness champion and senior regional manager for regional development Meridith Marshall. “We had great success with the first round of Blueprint 2.0, and we are looking forward to the second round of initiatives and what they will do for Colorado.”

Many communities applied for Colorado Blueprint 2.0 initiatives, and during the application process, communities and regions were asked to demonstrate collaboration, strong local leadership and solid support for the initiative they chose to pursue. Initiatives will be deployed between now and March 2018.

In 2016, OEDIT led 27 initiatives, of 10 different offerings, in 10 of Colorado’s 14 regions during the first round of the Blueprint 2.0 initiatives. The original Blueprint, conceived during Governor John Hickenlooper’s first term, was an overarching economic development strategy for the State.

 

USDA Colorado Rural Development Program Activity

Business & Cooperative Programs (BCP)

Business & Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan Program:

Visitors to Silverthorne, Colorado will soon have another affordable option in lodging. The Pad Hostels, LLC recently was awarded a $4.5 million Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan from USDA.  The funding will allow for the construction of a 116 bed hostel in Silverthorne.  The hostel will be a unique addition to the community as it will partially be built out of shipping containers. Once complete, it will feature 12 dormitories, 10 private rooms, and 12 extended stay rooms.

Limon, Colorado will also be getting a new hotel. A $6.725 million B&I Loan was awarded to Oasis Hospitality, LLC for the construction of a 83 room La Quinta Inn and Suites.  The hotel will feature an indoor pool, fitness room, lobby workstation, market pantry, and a guest laundry. The project will create 25 jobs.

For more information on the Business & Industry Guaranteed Loan Program click here.

Community Programs

Community Facilities (CF) Program:

Construction is continuing at a rapid pace for the new Habitat for Humanity of the Roaring Fork Valley ReStore in Glenwood Springs, CO (pictured above). Once complete, the new building will allow the entity to consolidate three rental buildings into one location that they own.  The new location will also facilitate increased donations of construction materials and household items, divert more materials from the local landfills, and provide stable full-time jobs to community members who would otherwise have trouble finding full-time sustainable work in a tourism area.  The building will also include features to minimize its long-term life-cycle costs such as using energy efficient LED lighting and a Photovoltaic Solar Array.

Habitat for Humanity utilizes sales from the store to support its homeownership programs in the local community. Construction is tentatively slated to be completed in the Fall of 2017.

For more information on the Community Facilities Program in Colorado, click here.

Water and Environmental Programs

Providing financial assistance to help very small, financially distressed rural communities extend and improve water and waste treatment facilities that serve local households and businesses is our goal. Good practices can save tax dollars, improve the natural environment, and help manufacturers and businesses to locate or expand operations throughout rural Colorado.  Funding is available for communities of 10,000 or less.

For more information on our Water and Waste Water Programs in Colorado, click here.

Single-Family Housing

Rural Development’s Direct and Guaranteed Loan Programs provide rural residents an opportunity to make a house become a home. Our Direct Loan Program provides a path to homeownership for low- and very-low-income families living in rural areas who would not qualify for conventional home mortgages.   Our Guaranteed Loan Program gives local lenders the opportunity to make home loans to eligible low and moderate income families living in rural areas. Providing affordable homeownership opportunities promotes prosperity, gives stability to families, and attracts new employees for expanding businesses. This, in turn, creates thriving communities and improves the quality of life in rural Colorado.

So far this year,1140 rural homeowners have found that special place to call home through Colorado Rural Development.   Remember, whether you choose a direct or guaranteed loan, USDA’s programs offer buyers a low, fixed interest rate, with no mortgage insurance or no down payment. For more information on our programs click here.

Last Housing Forum Scheduled This Month 

Don’t miss your chance to attend the final Housing Forum Colorado 2017 in Buena Vista on July 26th. The forums are sponsored by the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA).  This is an opportunity for lenders, Realtors and other housing professionals to hear the latest program updates from Rural Development, Federal Housing Administration, Veterans Administration, CHFA, and Colorado Housing Assistance Corp.  Real Estate Professionals can receive continuing education credits.  For more information and to register visit http://www.chfainfo.com/hfc.

Multi-Family Housing (MFH)

Finding a place to rent that feels like home

USDA Rural Development provides financing for affordable multi-family rental housing in rural areas for very low to moderate income, elderly and disabled individuals and families all across Colorado.  We have financed 116 properties designated for either senior or family living.  Rural Development does not manage these properties, however, anyone interested in finding an affordable rental unit in a rural area in Colorado should click here to find properties in a county near them.

Funding Availability:

Rural Development publishes Notices of Solicitation of Applications (NOSAs) or Notices of Funding Availability (NOFA) in the Federal Register.  NOSAs and NOFAs provide program information organized in a consistent way to easily and quickly find information regarding Rural Development Opportunities.  For more information on current notices click here.

Currently the following application windows are open:

Community Facilities Program Technical Assistance and Training Grants – Applications due July 24, 2017

More information on this program can be found by clicking here.

Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) Grant -Applications due July 25th

For more information click here.

USDA Seeks Applications to Help Socially Disadvantaged Ag Producers and Rural Business Owners – Applications due August 1, 2017

For more information on how to apply for this program click here.

FlexJobs and LCEDC Partner to bring new career opportunities to Logan County

The Logan County Economic Development Corp (LCEDC) is partnering with FlexJobs to help expand the career opportunities available to Logan County citizens. FlexJobs is a unique company designed to help job seekers looking for telecommuting or location neutral positions. There are thousands of jobs available from all around the world that can be completely performed from the comfort of your own home right here in Logan County, Colorado.

“We want to create new ways for our local citizens to elevate their career options, while having the ability to remain in the community,” Said LCEDC Executive Director, Trae Miller. “I am personally aware of several local citizens that are highly skilled and educated, but struggle to find the type of positions that fit their experience level in our local job market. By working with FlexJobs we can help plug locals into new opportunities to continue to support our local economic base with good paying jobs.”

FlexJobs is a job seeker site that subscribers pay to join for access to thousands of available positions in  disciplines in medical & health to sales to education to customer service to science. The cost to join the site is $14.95/Month or $49.95 for a year. However, the partnership with LCEDC and FlexJobs allows Logan County citizens to get 50% off a subscription. To get the discounted rate you must live in Logan County and contact LCEDC for the discount code at 970-521-7196 or Director@Sterling-Logan.com.

“FlexJobs is proud to be partnering with Logan County Economic Development to help engage its citizens in the remote workforce,” said Founder and CEO of FlexJobs, Sara Sutton Fell. “We believe the employment opportunities that remote work can bring to rural areas in Colorado and around the country can have significant, long-lasting economic potential.”

In addition to working with FlexJobs on the special discount, LCEDC is partnering with them to hold an online webinar on telecommuting opportunities and how to best prepare for those job offerings to ensure you are competitive for the positions. FlexJobs’ Senior Career Specialist, Brie Reynolds, will be presenting more about the concept on August 17th.

Kentec Communications Inc (KCI) is also working with LCEDC on the telecommuting initiative to offer a special Telecommuter Package and rate. The package is designed to support telecommuting workers with a high speed 50 Mbps internet connection and 1 phone line for only $58.98/Month for the first 12 months and free install valued at $75. According to CEO of KCI, Chip Powell, “KCI truly believes in this initiative to help locals find new ways to earn a good living in this community. This is a great place to live and often people are forced to leave for jobs that simply aren’t available here. If we can help people by offering a lower cost package to try telecommuting careers we want to do that to help this county grow and get stronger economically.” To get the special ‘Telecommuter Package’ through KCI, telecommuters must provide their FlexJobs subscription number and position they are applying for.

Telecommuting is a growing trend across the country and across multiple sectors. As Millennials have a stronger presence in the corporate and working world, traditional methodologies are changing. They value flexibility and social responsibility and both of those are addressed through telecommuting. This change can be a game changer for Rural America in places like Sterling, CO. Having these opportunities can open the community to a new kind of growth that we have never seen before. In a Denver Post article, 2015 data was quoted showing that in Colorado 6.9% of residents telecommute full time. That outpaced the national average by 2.6 percentage points according to FlexJobs’ analysis of U.S. Census data.

LCEDC is thrilled to help bring these unique job offerings to Logan County and help the community look into the opportunities that fit individual needs and skill sets. From entry level to executive positions, there are options for all job seekers.

Sterling, the largest City in Logan County, is the region’s commercial hub for over 60,000 area residents.

FlexJobs and LCEDC Partner to bring new career opportunities to Logan County

The Logan County Economic Development Corp (LCEDC) is partnering with FlexJobs to help expand the career opportunities available to Logan County citizens. FlexJobs is a unique company designed to help job seekers looking for telecommuting or location neutral positions. There are thousands of jobs available from all around the world that can be completely performed from the comfort of your own home right here in Logan County, Colorado!

“We want to create new ways for our local citizens to elevate their career options, while having the ability to remain in the community,” Said LCEDC Executive Director, Trae Miller. “I am personally aware of several local citizens that are highly skilled and educated, but struggle to find the type of positions that fit their experience level in our local job market. By working with FlexJobs we can help plug locals into new opportunities to continue to support our local economic base with good paying jobs.”

FlexJobs is a job seeker site that subscribers pay to join for access to thousands of available positions in disciplines in medical & health to sales to education to customer service to science. The cost to join the site is $14.95/Month or $49.95 for a year. However, the partnership with LCEDC and FlexJobs allows Logan County citizens to get 50% off a subscription. To get the discounted rate you must live in Logan County and contact LCEDC for the discount code at 970-521-7196 or Director@Sterling-Logan.com.

“FlexJobs is proud to be partnering with Logan County Economic Development to help engage its citizens in the remote workforce,” said Founder and CEO of FlexJobs, Sara Sutton Fell. “We believe the employment opportunities that remote work can bring to rural areas in Colorado and around the country can have significant, long-lasting economic potential.”

In addition to working with FlexJobs on the special discount, LCEDC is partnering with them to hold an online webinar on telecommuting opportunities and how to best prepare for those job offerings to ensure you are competitive for the positions. FlexJobs’ Senior Career Specialist, Brie Reynolds, will be presenting more about the concept on August 17th.

Kentec Communications Inc (KCI) is also working with LCEDC on the telecommuting initiative to offer a special Telecommuter Package and rate. The package is designed to support telecommuting workers with a high speed 50 Mbps internet connection and 1 phone line for only $58.98/Month for the first 12 months and free install valued at $75. According to CEO of KCI, Chip Powell, “KCI truly believes in this initiative to help locals find new ways to earn a good living in this community. This is a great place to live and often people are forced to leave for jobs that simply aren’t available here. If we can help people by offering a lower cost package to try telecommuting careers we want to do that to help this county grow and get stronger economically.” To get the special ‘Telecommuter Package’ through KCI, telecommuters must provide their FlexJobs subscription number and position they are applying for.

Telecommuting is a growing trend across the country and across multiple sectors. As Millennials have a stronger presence in the corporate and working world, traditional methodologies are changing. They value flexibility and social responsibility and both of those are addressed through telecommuting. This change can be a game changer for Rural America in places like Sterling, CO. Having these opportunities can open the community to a new kind of growth that provides options that we have never seen before. In a Denver Post article, 2015 data was quoted showing that in Colorado 6.9% of residents telecommute full time. That outpaced the national average by 2.6 percentage points according to FlexJobs’ analysis of U.S. Census data.

LCEDC is thrilled to help bring these unique job offerings to Logan County and help the community look into the opportunities that fit individual needs and skill sets. From entry level to executive positions, there are options for all job seekers!

Sterling, the largest City in Logan County, is the region’s commercial hub for over 60,000 area residents.

Amazon to open new fulfillment center in Thornton

City of Thornton announced on June 12, 2017 that Amazon, the electronic commerce and cloud computing company, is building a new fulfillment center in Thornton.

The footprint of the new building Amazon is working with Trammell Crow Company to build is 855,000 square feet, but the building will have three floors making it a 2.4 million square foot fulfillment and robotics center on about 80 acres at the Northeast corner of Interstate 25 and 144th Avenue.  Construction is set to begin in early June of this year with an anticipated opening date of August, 2018.  The facility will be different than the other fulfillment centers in Colorado because it will be an Amazon Sort Facility, meaning it will only handle product that is 18 inches and smaller and includes a large amount of robotics.  The facility is anticipated to employ over 1,500 full-time people with an increase for seasonal workers around the holidays.

“We are excited to continue growing in Colorado with the new Amazon Robotics fulfillment center in Thornton,” said Akash Chauhan, Amazon’s Vice President of North American Operations. “This facility will utilize Amazon Robotics, vision systems, and more than 20 years’ worth of software and mechanical innovations. We are grateful for the support we have received from state and local leaders who have helped make this project possible.”

The 2.4 million square foot facility will be the largest industrial building in Colorado.  Given the short timeframe of just 14 months for development of such a large scale and innovative facility, the project required an “all hands on deck” approach from the development team in Thornton. Thornton’s business-friendly development process made this project possible in the timeframe allowed.  This includes the recently implemented Economic Significance program, which allows for administrative development review for projects in the North I-25 corridor.

“The city of Thornton is extremely excited Amazon chose to locate this state-of-the art facility in Thornton.  Amazon’s commitment to the communities where their fulfillment centers are located is impressive” said Thornton Mayor Heidi Williams. “They will be the largest employer in Thornton and represent the cutting edge of innovation in the e-commerce market.  This highlights what a great location Thornton is for Fortune 500 companies and will continue to advance Thornton’s employment center in the Northern part of the city”.

“The city of Thornton understands economic development and has the attitude and processes necessary to attract job growth,” stated Bill Mosher, Senior Managing Director of Trammell Crow Company’s Denver Business Unit. Mosher added, “Our original interest in this site was based on excellent access and strong demographics related to employment and growth. For a company of Amazon’s stature to select Thornton and this site, it is a testimonial of the future of the north I-25 corridor.”

“We are pleased to continue working with Amazon as it grows and creates jobs in Colorado,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “Our talented workforce will have the opportunity to learn new, valuable skills with Amazon and work alongside innovative technology. We look forward to the great jobs with competitive wages and comprehensive benefits that Amazon will bring to the state.”