As we noted last week, we have officially launched the public phase of Northern Colorado Prospers 2.0 – a five-year catalytic initiative for regional economic growth and a $4 million campaign to fund its implementation.

In my first six months as CEO, I’ve had the great opportunity to talk with more than 80 key employers in Northern Colorado.  In those conversations I’ve been able to share the work we’ve accomplished on behalf of the regional business community and where we are headed the next five years.

The Northern Colorado Prospers 2.0 initiative builds upon the success of Northern Colorado Prospers in the last few years and focuses on four specific goals:

  • GOAL 1: Reignite and Rebuild our Economy
  • GOAL 2: Attract, Retain and Align Talent
  • GOAL 3: Finish Widening North I-25 and Improve Key Regional Feeder Roads
  • GOAL 4: Advance Business-Friendly Environment

Thanks to the collaborative efforts of our Campaign Co-Chairs Carrie Baumgart (CEO, Markley Motors), Shawn Osthoff (President, Bank of Colorado), Nicole Staudinger (President, FirstBank), and Kevin Unger (CEO, UCHealth) and other business leaders, we are pleased to announce that Northern Colorado Prospers 2.0 has already secured $2.978 million in five-year pledges – an impressive 74 percent of our campaign goal of $4 million.  We are grateful for the support of our early investors and look forward to new investors joining us in the coming weeks.

In addition to the conversation about regional issues, each of my employer conversations have started with the question – how’s business?  I’m happy to report that many of our business partners were able to pivot and realign their work, resulting in a strong 2020 and a potentially successful 2021.  Based on the conversations, limits to our area recovery can be boiled down to two things:  talent and supply chain.

While the supply chain issue seems to be the result of a perfect storm (closure of international suppliers due to COVID, transportation challenges all along the chain and just-in-time philosophies that couldn’t have predicted this extended challenge), your Chamber is keenly focused on the talent conundrum.  We continue to work with partners across the area to create and to share resources and opportunities to help you find the talent you need. serves as a hub for prospective employees and employers alike.

And we are encouraging employers to take advantage of the many resources offered by Larimer County Economic and Workforce Development.  They can help your business promote your job in Connecting Colorado, customize a virtual hiring event that targets qualified candidates, open the door to regional job fairs, assist with wage analysis, assist with trailing spouse needs through Hire Me, Connect My Partner and so much more.

As well, the US Chamber has launched an initiative to address the national worker shortage crisis.  Their call at the national level for key policy change can only help us here locally.  You can learn more about the US Chamber work here.

We have much more work to do to help you find and keep the talent you need, but invite you to join us in this important effort.  We can make a difference in Northern Colorado.