FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (February 25, 2019 | Grand Junction, CO) – The City of Grand Junction jumped up 56 places overall in the “Best Performing Cities 2018” report released last month by the Milken Institute – from #187 to #131. That is one of the largest gains among 201 ranked small cities. Additionally, Grand Junction ranked:
• #28 in job growth in 2016-2017 – and #63 in the 12-month period from August 2017-August 2018
• #22 in high-tech GDP growth in 2016-2017. Previously, from 2012-2016, Grand Junction ranked #176 in high-tech GDP growth.
“Best Performing Cities” is an annual ranking that looks at economic growth in large and small metropolitan statistical areas. The report considers job creation, wage gains and technological developments to evaluate relative growth, noting that advancements in the tech industry are directly related to the most successful regions. The report is released by the Milken Institute, a world-renowned nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that conducts data-driven research to support global, economic expansion and job creation.
“We’re thrilled to see such massive gains for Grand Junction,” said Robin Brown, executive director of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership (GJEP). “We still have a ways to go but this proves that our efforts are working and we are headed in the right direction.”
In addition to job growth and high-tech GDP growth, the ranking considers wage growth, high-tech GDP concentration and diversity of industries. Grand Junction ranked in the bottom quadrant in these additional components but Brown expects current efforts will help improve the city’s standing.
“In five years, I see us breaking into the top 25,” said Brown.
GJEP recently hired a business development manager who will focus on growing tech and advanced industries across Mesa County. A master plan is underway to develop the local tech industry and Grand Junction will be hosting the first-ever TechStars Startup Week West Slope this upcoming June.