Regional Economic Development Forum – “Collaboration = Success”

Lone Tree, CO – February 9, 2017 – Economic Development Council of Colorado (EDCC) hosted its Regional Economic Development Forum, the first in a series of forums held around the state in 2017, at the Lone Tree Arts Center, Lone Tree, CO.

Inspired by Region 3, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties, this one-day forum focused on issues that affect many communities around the state. “Collaboration = Success” – the economic power of partnerships between economic developers, workforce developers, chambers of commerce, business leaders and educators was stressed throughout an interesting and engaging day-long forum which provided attendees tools and resources to take back and implement in their own communities.

It began with an overview of the region’s economy, followed by panel discussions held around Transit Oriented Development (TOD) centers and the economic impact of place making through arts, culture, and recreational tourism. Two higher education leaders talked about how education is a vital component of a balanced economic development approach, centered on preparing tomorrow’s workforce. The Forum was attended by over 140 economic development professionals, policy leaders, and area businesses.

Patrick Holwell, workforce economist with Arapahoe/Douglas Works, led the day’s forum with a regional economic report which discussed the power of cooperation and focused economic development in the context of a tightening labor market, rapid economic growth, the need for expansion of transportation systems and affordable housing. He also stressed the need to cooperatively work with post-secondary educators to address critical skill gaps experienced by local businesses. “To remain competitive in a tight labor market, business leaders must work with others in the community to maintain a high quality of life and a business friendly environment that keeps existing business, attracts new business, and grows jobs,” Holwell said, “A continued focus on regional partnerships, working together to anticipate and address regional needs, will keep this region competitive and successful.”

Lauren Masias, public information officer and director of Community Engagement for Denver South EDP, led a high-powered business panel that included Peter Coakley, senior vice president with Opus Development, Jenny Engle, senior director with Fidelity Investments, and Jeff Holwell, Economic Development Director for the City of Lone Tree. The panel discussed how transportation and transit oriented development play a key role in attracting new business and highly skilled millennial workers to the region. “Direct walkable access to light rail is a game changer in development today. It is a significant economic generator,” Coakley said. Fidelity’s choice to open an office in Greenwood Village was based on talent. “We have hired a lot of millennials and transportation was a huge consideration when locating here,” Engle said. “With rising home prices, those employees looking to buy a home will have to look further out of the region. This will increase their commute times which could negatively impact Fidelity’s ability to hire and ultimately grow.”

The place making presentation focused on how vitally important the arts and culture are to any vibrant economy. According to Colorado Business Committee for the Arts Economic Activity Study, arts and culture brought in $1.8 billion in 2015 and had a $512.8 million economic impact. The outdoor industry brought $4.2 billion statewide. The panel was moderated by Ed Sealover, report with Denver Business Journal, and presentations from Cynthia Madden Leitner, Museum of Outdoor Arts, Elaine Mariner, Town of Parker and PACE Center, and Ty Seufer, Castle Rock Zip Line Tours, demonstrated this impact in their communities through arts, culture, and the recreational tourism. These presentations are available online at

Stephanie Copeland, executive director for Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) was the forum’s key note presentation. She discussed the office’s focus for the next two years with stress on helping rural areas as well as greater metro Denver and the Northern Front Range. OEDIT will help entrepreneurs connect with the assistance they need from Small Business Development Centers to help nurture and grow small business across Colorado.

Wrapping up the forum, we heard from Robert Olislagers, airport director for Centennial Airport, on the tremendous economic impact and regional advantage provided to Arapahoe and Douglas counties by Centennial Airport, which generates $1.39 billion in economic impact in the region.

Event supporters included:
Gold Sponsor, Denver South EDP | Venue Sponsor, City of Lone Tree | Platinum Sponsor, Douglas County | Regional Partner Sponsors, Arapahoe/Douglas Works and Arapahoe/Douglas Workforce Board, Castle Rock EDC, Aurora EDC, City of Centennial, Northwest Douglas County | Media Sponsor, Denver Business Journal


Two EDCC Members Among DCI’s 40 Under 40 Winners

EDCC is proud to announce two of our own to win this year’s 40 Under 40!

DCI’s 40 Under 40 winners are a carefully selected group of young leaders within the economic development field that aren’t afraid to disrupt industry standards and always raise the bar for achieving community prosperity

2017 40 Under 40 Winners

Meridith Marshall, Health and Wellness Champion & Senior Regional Economic Development Manager for the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade


Jake Rishavy, Vice President of Innovation and Technology, Denver South Economic Development Partnership

Follow #econdev throughout the year to learn of their coveted career advice!

Longmont, CO – J.M. Smucker Company Announces Additional Manufacturing Facility

The J. M. Smucker Company Announces Plans to Build Additional Smucker’s® Uncrustables® Sandwiches Manufacturing Facility in Longmont, Colorado

The J. M. Smucker Company (NYSE: SJM) today announced plans to build an additional Smucker’s® Uncrustables® sandwiches manufacturing facility to be located in Longmont, Colorado, near Denver. Construction of the facility will start in spring 2017 with production expected to begin in calendar year 2019.

The new facility will help meet growing demand for Smucker’s Uncrustables sandwiches, which are pre-made frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that consumers simply thaw and serve. The Smucker’s Uncrustables sandwiches brand has grown from approximately $10 million in annual sales in 2000 to a $200 million business today and ended fiscal 2016 with its 17th consecutive quarter of double digit growth in U.S. retail sales.

The new Longmont facility will complement the Company’s Smucker’s Uncrustables sandwiches manufacturing facility in Scottsville, Kentucky, which will continue to produce up to two million sandwiches per day.

“The Smucker’s Uncrustables brand is one of our fastest growing brands, as consumers seek nutritious snacks and meal solutions for the whole family,” said Mark Smucker, President and Chief Executive Officer of The J. M. Smucker Company. “This new plant to be built at the foot of the Rockies will ensure we can continue to meet increasing demand across the country. We are thrilled to build our first manufacturing facility in Colorado and greatly appreciate the support we have received for this exciting project from officials representing Longmont, Weld County, and the state of Colorado. We look forward to being part of the growing, greater Denver community.

With a total potential investment of $340 million, the Longmont facility will be constructed in two phases over multiple years. Phase one includes up to an initial $200 million investment to construct and operate the new facility, with an opportunity to invest an additional $140 million for phase two expansion, dependent on product demand. The facility will have approximately 250 employees when phase one is complete and up to 500 employees in total with the completion of phase two.

“We are pleased Smucker has chosen Colorado for this additional manufacturing investment,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “This news helps demonstrate that Colorado, with its innovative ecosystem, skilled workforce, and exceptional business climate, is a state where industry can grow and thrive. We look forward to welcoming Smucker to our state.”

“We think Smucker is a great fit for Longmont, as the company and our community share a proud heritage in the production and manufacture of quality consumer food products,” stated Longmont Mayor Dennis Coombs. “This state-of-the-art facility will provide quality jobs for our residents, and the company has a proven track record as an outstanding corporate citizen.”

“The Smucker project is a huge win for Longmont, Weld County, and all of Northern Colorado,” said Julie Cozad, Chairperson of the Weld County Commissioners. “This project further diversifies our thriving economy and showcases what an amazing food manufacturing national hub Northern Colorado has become. We welcome Smucker to our growing corporate community.”

“This project is a great example of local, county, and state governments working together to proactively accomplish a significant economic development project,” noted Hans Jespersen, Board Chairman of Upstate Colorado Economic Development.

Mayor Coombs also noted, “Competition for this new facility was strong, and I couldn’t be prouder of our recruitment effort, led by the Longmont Economic Development Partnership in close coordination with city departments.”

Construction of the Smucker’s Uncrustables sandwiches manufacturing facility in Longmont is contingent on the approval of tax and business incentives and the closing of the transaction to purchase the real property where the facility will be located.