Colorado is a great place to grow a business. Colorado has a superb quality of life and unparalleled opportunities for recreation in addition to a highly-educated and competitive workforce. These are key attributes for retaining and growing existing Colorado companies as well as recruiting new companies. Through a more analytical understanding of and focus on our core industry clusters, as well as increased coordination within the economic development community, Colorado is poised for economic growth. It is also important to focus on aligning infrastructure improvements (transportation, energy, telecommunications and resource management) with economic development priorities to ensure economic vitality in communities from every corner of Colorado.
Upon taking office on January 11, 2011, Governor John Hickenlooper signed Executive Order D 2011-003, directing a new statewide economic development strategy based on local and regional collaboration. Instead of a “top-down” strategic plan developed exclusively by “experts” the Governor directed that a plan be developed with a “bottom-up” approach. The final outcome of this effort is a statewide blueprint for economic development.
Across the state, people talk about the importance of energy development. There is broad support for renewable energy and cleantech around the state, as well as recognition of the continued importance of fossil fuels, and the need to bring innovation to traditional fuels. Agriculture appeared in a variety of contexts, as part of our heritage, but also including high-tech ranching and farming practices, urban food systems and local food security.
Supporting these companies and their workforce is an important goal in Colorado’s growth and retention strategy.
Excerpts taken from the “Colorado Blueprint – a bottom-up approach to economic development” October 18, 2011