Colorado is the second largest aerospace economy in the nation (by employment). As a national hub for space innovation Colorado’s industry represents the full spectrum of space activities, from research and development, design, and manufacturing of guided missiles, space vehicles, satellites and other communications equipment, to navigation and detection, imaging, and earth observation instruments—and the technology and software that integrates it all.
Many of the nation’s major aerospace contractors base important operations in Colorado, including Ball Aerospace, Boeing, ITT Exelis, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Sierra Nevada Corporation, and United Launch Alliance. In 2010, NASA awarded contracts totaling more the $1.5 billion to Colorado aerospace companies, the 4th highest in the nation.
The Colorado Space Coalition is a group of indsutry stakeholders working to make Colorado a center of excellence for aerospace. The Coalition brings together diverse leaders from across the state -including space companies, military leaders, academic organizations, research centers, and workforce and economic development groups – in order to promote Colorado’s significant space assets and advance legislation vital to industry growth and success.
A forward thinking business strategy to support the Aerospace Industry in Colorado was crafted through a partnership between the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) and the Brookings Institution, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation. Governor Hickenlooper stated that “this report affords us the opportunity to capitalize on the strengths of Colorado’s Aerospace sector and develop strategies to collaboratively address the challenges facing the industry”.
* Source: Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc (EMSI) benchmarked to Quarterly Census of Employment and Wage (QCEW) data collected and organized by Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s Labor Market Information (LMI).