Economic Development

Stacy Nick / KUNC

For Meow Wolf CEO Vince Kadlubek, being a responsible addition to Denver and its arts community was important from the beginning. It was the reason Meow Wolf chose the location that they did, one that was surrounded by Interstate 25, Elitch Gardens, Pepsi Center, Broncos Stadium at Mile High and not much else.

“You can stand at our site and look around and you don’t see any houses (…) and so that felt better to us,” Kadlubek said during the unveiling of the Santa Fe-based arts collaborative’s corporate social responsibility plan for its new Denver venue.

Matt Bloom / KUNC

As he walked through the front door of his new 14,000 square foot lab in Wellington, Emek Blair couldn’t help but remember the Craigslist chair.

In 2015, he and the staff of his nutritional supplement company, Valimenta, were moving into the business’ first office space in Fort Collins. The group was dealing with the onslaught of challenges most startups undergo: Money was tight, space was limited and they needed office supplies.

Works Progress Architecture/Andrew Katz

A new, state-of-the-art indoor music venue is coming to Denver’s rapidly growing River North District, or RiNo. The Mission Ballroom will anchor the new mixed-use North Wynkoop development along Brighton Boulevard.

The new venture is part of a partnership between music promoter AEG Presents Rocky Mountains and real estate developer Westfield Company. The project was announced with a promotional video featuring a virtual tour of the venue, as well as an overview of the plans for North Wynkoop.

alizz islamic bank / Flickr

Colorado has one of the best employment markets in the country. By 2020 more than 70 percent of those jobs will require some type of advanced degree. But right now, there are not enough qualified workers to fill those positions – only 56 percent of residents have postsecondary education.

University of Colorado, Boulder Leeds School of Business

Richard Wobbekind has seen decades of change in Colorado, from huge population booms to agricultural busts. As lead economist on the annual Leeds School of Business economic forecast, he and his team pour over data and statistical models to try and suss out how the state’s economy may change in the New Year.

The comprehensive report covers everything from housing costs to molybdenum mining (Colorado is the top producer in the country), but here is what you need to know for 2017.

Wyoming Wants Wind Energy Factory Jobs. Colorado Has Them

Jul 26, 2016
Leigh Paterson / Inside Energy

Wyoming has lost hundreds of coal mining jobs in 2016. In contrast to coal, the renewables industry is growing nationwide. Generation capacity is projected to jump more than 50 percent by 2040, even in the absence of new environmental regulations. With that growth, there's a need for more components like blades and towers to build wind farms.

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead's long-term energy strategy for the state includes plans to attract this kind of manufacturing. You only have to look to the state's neighbor to the south, Colorado, to find those kind of production jobs.

courtesy Colorado Department of Labor and Employment

Halfway through the year, Colorado employment is holding steady.

According to state labor officials, Colorado added 5,000 jobs in June. The unemployment rate ticked up to 3.7 percent.

"That recent increase is mainly due to people being drawn back into the labor force due to Colorado’s relatively healthy job growth," said Ryan Gedney, an economist with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

The town of Brookfield, Missouri, in the north-central part of the state is a close-knit community. Population: about 4,500. Becky Cleveland, who grew up in town, says the area looks a little different today.

“When I was a kid, like I said, there was four grocery stores,” she says. Today there is just one and a nearby Wal-Mart.

Walking down Main Street past a few vacant storefronts among the businesses, it’s plain to see the town isn’t in its prime any more. Brookfield, though, is more vibrant than many other rural towns, Cleveland says. Rural life used to be centered around the farm, but farms today don’t work like they used to, which has caused a drop in jobs and left some small towns struggling for survival.

Rich Keen / DPRA

Would you live on a former Superfund site? Commerce City is hoping to develop about 1,000 acres of land that was once part of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. The Denver Business Journal reports the development already has a name that harkens back to its WWII past – Victory Crossing – and will include homes, office space and retail.

But is the arsenal, where more than 600 chemicals including mustard and sarin gasses and later pesticides manufactured and tested for decades, safe for people to live on?

U.S. Senators Cory Gardner (R-Colorado), Michael Bennet (D-Colorado) and U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Golden) want to find out. They are among the sponsors of an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for the 2017 fiscal year that would lift restrictions the Environmental Protection Agency put on the property after the Superfund cleanup was completed in 1996.

Luke Runyon / KUNC, Harvest Public Media

Colorado’s fledgling hemp industry just got one step closer to turning some of the state’s amber waves of grain into fields of emerald green.

State agriculture officials, research scientists at Colorado State University and the state’s Seed Growers Association are launching what they say is the first certified industrial hemp seed program in the country.

Here’s what that means: As soon as spring 2017 hemp growers, established and aspiring, will be able to purchase bags of seed with a state seal of approval guaranteeing that the seeds will grow into plants low in psychoactive compounds and be free of pests and weeds.

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