COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Springs is experiencing dramatic population and economic growth in the Pikes Peak region. According to the Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC, there have been 15 companies announcing expansion or investment projects in the last 20 months.
Those industries range from semiconductor chip manufacturing to solar panel creation, along with expansions in aerospace work, cybersecurity coverage, and defense contracting. That will require a steady, skilled, and educated workforce.
"We've had some big wins here for this community, but we're going to have a challenge of developing the pipeline of the workforce with those that are qualified to take those high-salary positions," said President of the Colorado Springs Hispanic Chamber Joe Aldaz. "We need to look at how we're going to grow an ecosystem of talented employees in Colorado Springs".
The Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC, along with labor market analyzer Lightcast, say in the second quarter of 2023, there were 11,283 unique job postings in the city. In contrast, there are currently an estimated 10, 627 unemployed workers in our area, not enough to fill the gap.
"We're still maintaining a 3% unemployment rate in Colorado Springs," said Vice President of Economic Development for the Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC Theresa Metcalf. “It continues to be a national issue with talent development”.
Some programs like Hello Colorado Springs aim to entice young professionals to stay in the area once they've gotten their start here. That program offers affordable Summer housing through Colorado College while connecting interns with each other through social events around town.
“In the Colorado Springs area, we’re growing somewhere between, we’re over 600 people on our way to 700 people," said Senior VP of Kratos Space Federal Frank Backes.
Kratos is a cybersecurity aerospace company in Colorado Springs that has been seeing steady growth and hasn't been facing hiring issues. The company originally worked with the EDC to spearhead the Hello COS program, and says it's worked to their benefit.
Along with ongoing conversations with higher education institutions, K-12 STEM programs in local schools across the area, and the desirability of Colorado Springs, the Chamber and EDC are confident in the future workforce.
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