Huntsville, Ala., may have beat out Colorado Springs as the permanent home of the U.S. Space Command, but that doesn’t mean Colorado Springs had dropped off the radar screen of aerospace firms looking to work closely with the U.S. military’s newest branch.
A government contractor based in Colorado Springs is looking to add 585 new jobs in either El Paso County; Ogden, Utah; or College Park, Md. The hiring wave follows a $280 million contract the company received a year ago from the General Services Administration to create a library of space object data for the U.S. Space Force.
“The driving factors behind the location decision are access to talent, cost of living and proximity to tech and innovation,” Michelle Hadwiger, the state’s deputy director of economic development, told the Colorado Economic Development Commission on Thursday morning.
The commission approved nearly $5.6 million in job growth incentive tax credits over an eight-year period to help sway the decision of the company, which used the codename Project Bourbon. The proposed jobs, which would come on top of the 65 the company already has in Colorado, will include engineers, operations staff and operations managers and pay an average annual wage of $188,208, which is 280% of the average annual wage in El Paso County.
Another large award of $5.2 million in job growth incentive tax credits went to a communications company under the name Project Altitude. It is considering locating 300 full-time jobs paying an average annual wage of $114,411 to either metro Denver or Atlanta. Thirty of those jobs are location-neutral, meaning they can be done remotely in a rural part of the state. That qualified the company for a cash award from the state’s Strategic Fund worth up to $114,411.
Project Altitude employs 6,000 people, including around 600 in Colorado.
An Australian financial technology company, using the codename Project Jungle, received approval for a job growth credit of up to $940,391 linked to the creation of 105 net new jobs in Denver. The positions include sales, software developers, software analysts and system engineers and carry an average annual wage of $100,810.
The company provides a customer fulfillment platform to banks and financial service firms and is looking at Denver, San Francisco or Charlotte, N.C., for a support branch to assist U.S. customers and provide sales support. If the company chooses Colorado, it would be the latest in a string of rapidly-growing firms from Australia and New Zealand that have set up their U.S. base in the state.
The commission approved $1.2 million in job growth tax credits to a biotech subsidiary of a Fortune 500 company with more than 30,000 employees. Project Orchid currently has a lab in the state that employs 65 people and it is looking to add another 62 workers over the next two years in either Boulder or Louisville. Indianapolis and the Minneapolis area are also in the running for the lab.
The company will primarily employ chemists and biologists at an average annual wage of $135,484 and it plans to make an investment of $8.1 million in a 40,000 square-foot-facility, according to its request with the state.
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