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Edelweiss German Restaurant was filled with women - and a couple of men - Tuesday evening looking to learn about the area's economic standing and raise funds for female entrepreneurs.

The picture painted by Tatiana Bailey, director of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs's economic forum, was pleasant for the most part.

The median salary of posted jobs in the Springs last month stands at $63,755, surpassing the state's $60,500 figure, she explained during her presentation.

"That was not the case two years ago before I started working with this data," she said.

That's not the only positive change she announced. This year's first quarter saw the city's median housing cost jump 9 percent from the same quarter last year, averaging at $239,800.

The presentation's focus soon shifted to women in business, where Bailey discussed women in leadership roles.

In the U.S., 16 percent of government employees are women, which Bailey frowned upon.

"It's amazing to me . there are a lot of women in leadership roles in government in Latin America," she said. "So for us to be at 16 percent is not quite good enough."

She was followed by Jessica Gladney, a board member of Women on the Move, who presented the inaugural award for Independent Role Model of the Year to an excited Carrie Simison, publisher of the Colorado Springs Independent.

"I had so many awesome female mentors in town and I would never see myself in that range at all," she said. "I've had the opportunity to connect, over the past 19 years of my life here with . all these women who look around and see what they've done for this community."

The evening wrapped up with Gladney explaining the purpose of the event.

"We are a nonprofit . encouraging women to grow and succeed in business by awarding a $5,000 scholarship to a deserving woman entrepreneur each year and hopefully more than that in years to come," she said.

Funds raised through donations and a silent auction Tuesday night will go toward the scholarship, which will help the recipient with her startup. Applications are open through Aug. 15. More info can be found at The winner will be announced in October.


Contact May Ortega: 636-0275


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