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What are the economic impacts if U.S. Space Command permanently stays in Colorado Springs?

Posted at 9:25 PM, Aug 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-30 01:26:52-04

Colorado Springs already has a strong military presence and it's a huge part of the city's economy.

So what kind of boost could it expect if the U.S. Space Command becomes a permanent fixture?

Local economists and city leaders shared that there's the potential for more than a thousand new jobs, anywhere from $500 million to $1 billion in military construction, and really, the opportunity to improve an already impressive military reputation for Colorado Springs around the country.

"If we do end up indeed having Space Command here that will be another feather in our cap," said Tatiana Bailey.

As an economist and director of the UCCS Economic Forum, Bailey knows just how important military operations are to Colorado Springs.

"In terms of contribution to GNP it is the third largest sector."

When it comes to jobs she said, "If you look at it for the most recent data available, 2017-2018, just direct employment in those military installations is about 55,000 employees."

Reggie Ash, chief defense development officer for Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC, said even more could be added if the U.S. Space Command makes Colorado Springs its permanent home.

Ash said, "It means there will be a new headquarters that has somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,500 jobs associated with it."

Bailey said, "Many of those jobs will be higher skill, higher pay which would be a huge benefit for us in our local economy."

Beyond that, there's the potential for a lot of private contracts to be made and benefits to the hundreds of defense and aerospace companies already in Colorado Springs.

Ash said, "They would have close access to the headquarters, the decision makers, the people generating the requirements that need to be filled through contracts."

But maybe the most pivotal element of a permanent U.S. Space Command, Ash said, is that "It solidifies Colorado Springs as the epicenter of national security space engagements."

Ash said the chamber has done a lot of advocacy work to keep Space Command in Colorado Springs including sending a whole state congressional letter sent to The Pentagon.

A decision about the permanent location of Space Command is expected in October.