By Mike Fitzgerald, President, and CEO, Denver South EDP
Last year was an epic year of growth along the Denver south corridor. We continue to create one of the best global business environments to inspire ongoing public / private collaboration for the continuous improvement of the Denver south economic region. Denver south also continues to be a dynamic business corridor with more than 200,000 employees (and growing each day), more than 45 million square feet of office space, and six of the nine Fortune 500 companies that are located in Colorado.
Denver south and Colorado boast one of the nation’s best workforces, second most educated, and a diverse concentration of high knowledge industries, such as aerospace, engineering services, financial services, telecom, cleantech, IT and healthcare.
Over the last year, we have seen diverse growth in the type of companies that the region is attracting, including eight business announcements and an increase of more than 3,300 anticipated jobs for the region. Our educational resources along the corridor continue to grow with the addition of program offerings at the Liniger Building at CU South Denver and CSU South Metro Denver.
We know 2016 will continue to bring light to the efforts of economic development by continuously improving communities and businesses along the Denver south corridor. The extension of the light rail to DIA and the upcoming southeast light rail extension to RidgeGate puts us in the unique position of having easy access to communities and companies all along the Front Range.
Denver’s growing reputation for being a top U.S. destination and a global city is one of our biggest assets moving into 2016. Denver is now viewed by many as “mid-continent” in the United States, offering equidistant air travel from both coasts and borders, with access to Asia, Europe, Canada and Latin America. DIA is one of the busiest international airports in the world, offering international flights to more than 20 destinations including London, Munich, and Tokyo. Centennial airport is one of the busiest general aviation airports in the United States and serves as one of the main attractions of the area for business leaders.
Great businesses thrive by investing in people. Some of the most educated and high-tech pros work and live in Denver south. Companies seeking top talent see our region as one of the talent hot spots in the U.S.A.
Denver south’s employment centralizes around professional and business services, financial activities and wholesale/retail trade industries, a collective representation of more than 56 percent of total employment for the region and 8 percent for metro Denver. For the metro Denver financial and information sectors, more than one-third is in Denver south.
We look forward to a very successful 2016, as TheCorridor.biz continues to showcase the many diverse projects and growth along the south I-25 corridor and the continued high-quality development of the Denver south economic region.
Mike Fitzgerald joined the Denver South Economic Development Partnership as president and CEO on July 1, 2010. He has led similar public/private organizations in Montana, Washington, Florida, and Hawaii. Throughout his economic development career, Fitzgerald has worked with public and private organizations, created economic development strategies for states, communities, and companies. He also directed trade and investment in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, South America, Canada, and Mexico. Fitzgerald has helped build teams and coalitions that have created thousands of jobs, and created and recruited hundreds of businesses that have generated billions of dollars of new investment.