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Colorado Springs could get 300 to 400 new jobs by March, official says

By: Ned B. hunter ned.hunter@gazette.com
July 2, 2013 Updated: July 2, 2013 at 4:03 pm
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No one has signed on the dotted line yet, but an executive with the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance is optimstic that a business recruiting trip he made to California earlier this year could yield 300 to 400 new jobs in the Springs within the next nine months.

David White, chief business development officer for the RBA, said Tuesday that two San Francisco Bay area companies that had delayed earlier projects in Colorado Springs are now considering "resurrecting" them. White said the companies are involved in internet technology and sports. He declined to name the firms, but said they could bring 150 to 200 combined jobs to city.

A third company that does research, development and engineering in the IT field already is expanding its Springs office, White said. He said the expansion could add another 50 to 100 jobs. White again declined to name the firm

"We like to let the companies make their own announcements," he said.

White and Jack Rink, chief executive officer for the Pueblo Economic Development Corp., visited the Bay area on a four-day trip last month. The two met with corporate owners and executives in the area, visited Silicon Valley and attended a medical device conference to sell business leaders on Colorado's lower taxes and less restrictive business environment - an atmosphere that could lead to larger profits.

While Rink said no company committed to moving its headquarters from the Golden State, the trip allowed him and White to reinforce Colorado's better business climate.

Rink said the trip also proved why it is difficult to get companies to leave the Silicon valley area and relocate.

"There is such a unique support for entrepreneurs through the investment community there, and the higher education institutions are cranking out high-level individuals," he said. "And then finally, there is a great support structure for high tech start-up industry."

Still, Rink felt companies would eventually move to the Springs/Pueblo area as a result of the trip.

"I believe we will get some new companies as a result, not from just this trip alone, but our overall California efforts," he said. "It is just impossible to predict when that will happen."

White said he and Rink spoke with representatives from Johnson & Johnson, Covidien and others at the medical device conference. The two men also spoke with several site selectors - third-party people who are paid to help companies find places to build headquarters, expand existing plants and offices, or relocate businesses.

Rink said he and White spoke to companies that had fewer than 10 employees to those with hundreds of workers. Aside from the ones that boosted White's hopes, there's no telling if and when any of the companies the two courted will come to the Spings/Pueblo area.

"It is hard to determine, because projects take a long time, especially relocations because they have to move people," White said.

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Contact Ned Hunter: 636-0275.

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