No company, organization or individual exemplifies the regionalization of the Northern Colorado economy more than Hewlett-Packard Co.
With plants in Fort Collins, Greeley and Loveland, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company has become the driving force behind the rapid economic expansion experienced in Larimer and Weld counties during the past several decades, an expansion that began with the opening of the Loveland plant in 1960.
Just take a look at the numbers: H-P employs about 6,500 workers in Northern Colorado, with 9,000 employees statewide. Statewide payroll exceeded $546.9 million last year, with an additional $30.8 million passed on to employees through profit sharing. The company paid state taxes of $12 million last year.
Much of Northern Colorado’s high-tech industry can be traced back to the arrival of H-P back in 1960, with companies either spinning off from H-P, starting up because of it or locating locally to do business with it.
The company’s products are varied. In Fort Collins, H-P designs and markets technical work stations with graphics used by scientists and engineers; designs, manufactures and markets software to manage networks, systems and applications; and designs and manufactures integrated circuits used in H-P products.
In Greeley, H-P produces flat-bed scanners, optical juke boxes, digital linear tape auto loaders and libraries, photo image capture and portable capture appliance devices.
In Loveland, the company manufactures and markets a complete line of backup systems and accessories for stand-alone and networked personal computers; produces voltmeters, digital multimeters, automatic board test systems, and test and measurement systems; and operates call-in response centers for PC questions.
The company’s winning of the first Bravo! Entrepreneur Regional Spirit Award is due more to its community-mindedness, however. H-P in Fort Collins contributed $583,000 to the Fort Collins Area United Way campaign in 1997; H-P matches employee contributions.
Additionally, the company donated $461,000 in various grants to Colorado State University in Fort Collins, taking the total since 1985 to $13.2 million. Another $428,678 went to the Poudre School District, and $85,640 was donated to support health, human-services, environmental and arts programs in Fort Collins.
Payroll in Fort Collins totals $140.9 million, and H-P employees there and at other plants share millions of dollars in profit sharing each year.
The Loveland plant, which employs 2,580, contributed $416,000 to United Way this year, with another $100,000 going to the Thompson School District. Other contributions were made as well. H-P Loveland also has 250 workers involved as volunteers in local schools and other community organizations. H-P Loveland boasts an annual payroll of about $70 million.
In Greeley, H-P employs about 1,000 workers and administers a payroll of $30 million a year. Over the past year, the plant has donated more than $218,000 to Weld County nonprofit organizations and schools and has committed to future donations of $120,000 for hands-on science programs in Weld County.
The Greeley plant’s United Way contributions from 1994 to 1997 total $385,680, with another $140,000 committed through Oct. 15 of this year. The plant has 52 employee volunteers in Larimer County, donating 204 hours per week, and 55 volunteers in Weld County donating 170 hours per week.
H-P plants in Fort Collins, Greeley and Loveland also work with more than 1,500 Colorado vendors, including many in Northern Colorado.