As Tech Industry Booms in Colorado Springs, So Does Need for Talent
As the first city to log in to the World Wide Web in 1968, Colorado Springs has a rich history in advancing the information technology industry.
With a highly skilled workforce, sophisticated communications networks, and high quality of life, Colorado Springs serves as home to several large employers, such as FedEx, Hewlett Packard and Oracle, who have located their in-house software development and systems engineering operations in the community. The region is also home to many companies that develop software for industries such as e-business, aerospace and defense, gaming, telecommunications, finance and more.
With 80-plus cybersecurity, 140 IT companies and five high-tech military installations, Colorado Springs is getting noticed for its tech environment. The city ranked second in SmartAsset’s “Top Ten Best American Cities to Work in Tech,” and Monster recently named Colorado Springs a top city where “Tech Workers are Thriving.”
Behind the rankings is one of Colorado Springs’ most sought after resources – its workforce. More than 38 percent of El Paso County adults have earned at least a bachelor’s degree, and the region is home to more than 41,000 university and college students. Local employers rank the quality, dependability and stability of the workforce among the community’s top strengths, along with higher education opportunities – including the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (the system’s fastest-growing campus), Colorado College, Pikes Peak Community College, Colorado Technical University and the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Still, as the tech industry continues to grow in Colorado Springs, so does the need for talent and the tools to recruit highly-skilled workers.
“There is no denying that companies are facing increasingly robust competition for talent in cities like Seattle, San Diego and Washington, D.C., and we are not immune to that competition here in Colorado Springs,” said Susan Kennedy, Technical Recruiter for Boecore.
Hannah Parsons, Chief Economic Development Officer for the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce & EDC, echoed that thought.
“As we visit with business leaders, the one topic that consistently arises is the need for talent recruitment resources. With that information and with a serious focus on talent, we strategized ways to help businesses overcome this challenge,” Parsons said.
One result is ChooseColoradoSprings.com, a website focused on attracting talent to the Pikes Peak Region. Launched earlier this year, the site offers housing and career search engines, information on schools and colleges, and personal stories from people who call Colorado Springs home. The site serves as a resource for businesses looking to recruit talent, as well as for potential candidates interested in relocation.
“Our region’s businesses have told us that the site, although relatively new, has made a tremendous impact. Human resources professionals and recruiters have said that they no longer have to send potential recruits 20 plus pages about the region – they just direct them to ChooseColoradoSprings.com,” Parsons said.
The website is one in a suite of Chamber & EDC workforce development initiatives. With its partners, Chamber & EDC staff is developing an online workforce asset map, which will feature all the city’s education resources and is meant to serve as a resource for employers and job seekers alike. The Chamber & EDC is also working to connect students with employers who offer internships to encourage graduates to stay in the community and contribute to the Colorado Springs workforce.
According to Parsons, “Thanks to Colorado Springs’ low business and living costs, innovative atmosphere, and robust economy, it’s easy for professionals to establish roots and launch a successful career.”