Aerospace Alley launched to promote industry in Colorado

DENVER — Aerospace industry companies, trade groups and educational institutions have joined to launch Aerospace Alley, an initiative aimed at promoting the industry across Colorado, a state that’s second only to California in terms of the size of the aerospace economy.

“For nearly 70 years, the combination of Air Force presence, open space, high altitude, and space-related science has made Colorado an increasing hub for the nation’s aerospace economy. But because of a long history of developing rocket engines, space defense tools, and GPS satellites, and because we have not served as a physical rocket launch site due to our inland geography, little is spoken about aerospace here in Colorado,” John Barry, co-founder of the Aerospace Alley initiative and president and CEO of Wings Over the Rockies, said in a prepared statement. “That is all about to change, though, thanks to the increasing commercialization of space and the sheer amount of training and talent our state brings to the aerospace industry.”

One of the goals of the initiative is to help recruit and train talent in Colorado to fill demand for highly skilled positions in the industry, according to an Aerospace Alley news release.

“From K-12 STEM programs, to post-secondary aerospace programs, state educational institutions such as the University of Colorado at Boulder, the Colorado SKIES Academy in Denver, and Spartan College in Broomfield, a technical college focused on this industry, we are readying more astronauts, aviation technicians, pilots, engineers and scientists here in our state to feed the industry’s ongoing drive for innovation,” Spartan College president Nicholas Brown said in the release.

Aerospace Alley organizers will hold a virtual kickoff event and fundraiser Thursday evening. For more information, visit www.coaerospacealley.com.