GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado (August 19, 2021) – The Grand Junction Economic Partnership (GJEP) is pleased to announce that the Western Colorado Economic Summit (WCES) returns in person on Thursday, September 30, 2021. The event, which sold out in its last two years, has moved to the Grand Junction Convention Center to accommodate for a larger audience. Registration is now open on

“We are so glad to be back,” said GJEP Deputy Director Steve Jozefczyk. “The Summit has been a stanchion in the community for several years now, providing a forum for learning, networking and grooming ideas for economic development on the western slope.”

The agenda for the event, which will be finalized in the next few weeks, is anticipated to bring back some popular speakers and sessions from previous years, including Colorado State Demographer Elizabeth Garner and Coldwell Banker’s commercial real estate panel. Other sessions in development will cover wide-ranging topics from marijuana policy and the impact of wolf introduction on local industry and recreation, to workforce development, housing needs, healthcare, and COVID-19 funding.

A special panel session on “the future of energy in Colorado” is also in the works. It is expected to provide an insightful and lively discussion about oil and gas, renewables, and how utilities are stacking resources to support energy needs for generations to come.

“A key purpose of the Summit is to bring different factions to the table to foster collaboration and highlight the joint efforts and programs that help our community thrive,” continued Jozefczyk. “We are grateful to the Colorado Clean Energy Coalition and the Western Colorado Oil & Gas Association, both whom approached GJEP about utilizing the Summit to host this conversation.”

The Western Colorado Oil & Gas Association is planning to hold its annual banquet in Grand Junction on the evening of September 30, directly following WCES.

In addition to multiple plenary and breakout sessions throughout the day, the event includes a luncheon with a keynote by John Marshall, newly appointed President of Colorado Mesa University, as well as GJEP’s annual update. During the luncheon, two awards will also be handed out to an individual and a local company that has had a significant impact on economic development in Western Colorado.

Nominations for the Spirit of Economic Development sponsored by Charter Communications (business) and the Joseph C. Prinster Leadership Award (individual) are currently being accepted via email at The deadline to submit a nomination is August 31.

WCES is made possible in large part by its sponsors, including five-time title sponsor Coldwell Banker Commercial Prime Properties/Coldwell Banker Distinctive Properties. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Nicole Allen, GJEP Fundraising & Events Coordinator, for details at 970.245.4332 ext. 6, or email


About the Grand Junction Economic Partnership
The Grand Junction Economic Partnership (GJEP) works to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in the Grand Junction area by supporting high-impact capital investment and job creation. GJEP is a single stop for businesses looking to relocate or expand in the cities of Grand Junction and Fruita, the Town of Palisade and surrounding communities of Colorado’s Grand Valley (Mesa County). Operating as a 501(c)3, GJEP offers free services that connect businesses with realtors, developers, workforce, local leadership and more. Visit for more information.

About WCES
GJEP launched the Western Colorado Economic Summit, WCES, in 2016 as a forum for regional business leaders, policy makers and community leaders to come together to learn about and discuss the key topics impacting the western slope now and in the future. The event also serves as GJEP’s annual meeting and main fundraising event. Visit for more information and registration.