Economic development 
on the Western Slope

Even before he officially became a candidate for the state’s top office in 2010, Gov. John Hickenlooper had made economic development and job growth keystones of his vision for Colorado.

So it’s no surprise that he will be in Grand Junction today, speaking to the Grand Junction Economic Partnership about those very subjects.

Welcome to Grand Junction, Governor. We’re glad you’re here discussing such important issues. But while you’re at it, could you send a little more economic development and job growth this way?

Not that folks in Mesa County are sitting on their hands, waiting for state officials to do the heavy lifting when it comes to economic development here. Not by a long shot.

As an article in Monday’s Daily Sentinel made clear, GJEP is continually looking for new means to attract businesses and jobs to this area.

The latest idea is to try to bring an industrial process — anodizing of certain metal parts, especially those used in the aircraft industry.

If that can be accomplished through a bidding procedure GJEP has undertaken, it would save money for existing companies that need such a process for their parts, and it might also attract other businesses here that could take advantage of the process.

We hope GJEP is successful with this endeavor. It would provide a wonderful, gradual boost to the economy that could be every bit as imporant as a single grand event along the lines of attracting a business with 100 new jobs to the area.

Gov. Hickenlooper can point to his share of successes with economic development for this state, including grand events like persuading Arrow Electronics to move its global headquarters to the Front Range last year.

However, nearly all of the governor’s economic development successes have been along the Interstate 25 corridor on the Front Range.

Those of us who live in Mesa County would like to see more emphasis from the governor’s office on growing the economies in outlying parts of the state, even as we tug very hard on our own bootstraps.


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