Grand Junction Economic Partnership Releases 2023 Economic Impact Report

Grand Junction, Colorado (March 26, 2024) —

The Grand Junction Economic Partnership (GJEP) has released its 2023 Annual Report detailing the organization’s economic impact, activity over the past year, and strategic goals. The report provides a look into Mesa County’s economy and insight into the region’s direction for future growth. 

GJEP is a 501(c)3 organization focusing on economic development within Mesa County, including the City of Grand Junction, the City of Fruita, and the Town of Palisade. The organization’s mission is to enhance the region’s economic vitality, creating a strong and diverse economy and an improved quality of life through the attraction, expansion, and retention of primary business. GJEP works closely with economic development partners, including local and state governments, Chambers of Commerce, Mesa County Workforce Center, the Business Incubator Center, and Colorado Mesa University.  

The non-profit organization provides comprehensive business services to companies seeking to relocate or expand in Mesa County, facilitating the creation of new primary jobs. These services include identifying available incentives and programs, site selection support, workforce development support, providing connections to critical stakeholders, and promoting Mesa County’s business assets.  

2023 was the best year on record for the organization. GJEP supported 10 business relocations or expansions into the region, engaged in 16 local assists, and provided ongoing support to previous wins. The report details the economic impact resulting from GJEP’s efforts and the businesses they’ve worked with, amounting to:  

  • 161 new primary jobs created in 2023
  • Average annual wage = $61,085 
  • 403 new primary jobs projected due to efforts in 2023 
  • $18,782,300 in employment impact 
  • $33,487,778 in capital expenditure impact 
  • TOTAL ECONOMIC IMPACT = $52,270,078

GJEP’s Executive Director, Curtis Englehart, shared, “At the beginning of the year, the GJEP staff and board set specific objectives for 2023.  The main goal was to achieve 10 quality relocations and/or expansions by the end of the year.  We are proud to say that we hit our goal of 10 wins, which is a GJEP record!  We are excited to share the economic impact of hitting this goal within this annual report. We were only able to accomplish this with the support of our amazing board, staff, and a community that shares our vision for economic development.” 

In 2023, GJEP supported the application and approval of two companies into the Rural Jump-Start Program through the Economic Development Commission (EDC): Skyhook Solar and Spartan Drill Tools. The Rural Jump-Start is a project born locally in Mesa County and part of a state-wide effort to provide employment opportunities and career growth in rural areas of Colorado. Participating companies can receive significant tax breaks and cash grants for up to 8 years. Mesa County is a state-wide leader in the program; GJEP has supported 28 company approvals, amounting to 112 new primary jobs created and 327 potential jobs.  

“We are pleased to partner with Grand Junction Economic Partnership on programs like Rural Jump-Start, which support business creation and create new jobs for Coloradans. GJEP is an important part of a local economic development ecosystem that is truly engaged and has made a difference for Grand Junction, Mesa County, and the state of Colorado,” said Eve Lieberman, Executive Director of OEDIT.  

The Grand Junction Economic Partnership has worked closely with the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade (OEDIT), aligning with state and local economic development goals. In 2023, GJEP partnered with OEDIT on several trade missions to represent both Mesa County and Colorado at trade shows, including the AVALON aerospace expo in Australia, the SLUSH tech conference in Finland, SelectUSA in Washington DC, and the Colorado Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.  

Additionally, among the 2023 wins highlighted is the announcement of Costco’s expansion into the region, a collaborative effort between the City of Grand Junction, Mesa County, the Grand Junction Economic Partnership, and the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce. GJEP worked closely with Costco’s developers during their expansion into the area, providing labor force and migration data, site selection support, identifying potential incentives, and connecting developers with community stakeholders. During negotiations with the  City of Grand Junction and Mesa County, GJEP advocated for Costco. 

GJEP continues to work with prospective businesses seeking to relocate or expand and engage in targeted marketing efforts promoting the region as a place of opportunity. The report highlights 104 qualified prospects and 18 leads that GJEP is currently working with through identifying if the business is a good fit for Mesa County, available incentives, site selection, workforce development support, and community connections at the state and local levels. Top industries for these prospects include outdoor recreation, technology, aviation/aerospace, manufacturing, and construction.  

 Additionally, the report includes an in-depth snapshot of Mesa County’s economy, including the region’s top primary employers. The report identifies Mesa County School District 51, Intermountain Health St. Mary’s Regional Hospital, Colorado Mesa University, Community Hospital, and Mesa County as among the region’s leading employers.  

The Grand Junction Economic Partnership offers its business development and economic services free of charge. GJEP is primarily funded through the support of its public partners, private investors, and the community at large. To view the Grand Junction Economic Partnership’s full annual report, please visit www.gjep.org/annual-report 

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