January 20, 2017 – Last week, The Business Times shared this article interviewing local economic development partners about the prospects for the year ahead. GJEP’s Kristi Pollard chimed in – here is an excerpt:

“Kristi Pollard, executive director of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership, expects to build on what she describes as momentum in bringing new businesses and jobs to the Grand Valley. ‘We are so encouraged about 2017.’

While challenges remain — including an economy that’s stubbornly lagged behind other areas of Colorado in fully rebounding from the recession — a number of collaborative efforts are under way to improve conditions. That includes initiatives to accelerate the growth of business startups, establish a foreign trade zone and bring more commercial air service to the Grand Valley.

Curtis Englehart, director of the Mesa County Workforce Center in Grand Junction, says he expects the labor market to continue to improve even as work continues to more accurately quantify the labor force and connect a more direct pipeline between the labor pool and employers filing positions.

Jon Maraschin, executive director of the Business Incubator Center in Grand Junction, says activity has picked up there as entrepreneurs seek assistance in starting and expanding their ventures. ‘It’s hard not to be optimistic.’

Diane Schwenke, president and chief executive officer of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, agrees in making an emphatic choice among better, worse or the same. ‘I think 2017 is going to be much better than 2016.'”

In the article, Kristi highlights two industries – outdoor recreation and high tech – as well as the Jump-Start tax credit program among key catalysts for the economic development momentum in the Grand Valley and predicts we’ll begin to see the fruits of our hard labor popping up this year.

Read the full article here.

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Photo credit: Taylor Franta