Colorado Springs has a long history of honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, including the annual Memorial Day Wreath Laying at the Pikes Peak National Cemetery.
We’re also paying tribute to our strong veteran and military community this year, and the military roots that were established more than 70 years ago and drive our economy today. Together, Colorado’s defense industry and veteran community is producing $36.6 billion in economic impact and continues to be a source of opportunity for future growth that spans from aerospace and defense to academia.
A city where veterans thrive
Not only does Colorado Springs support active-duty military members, but we also strive to help our 53,000+ veterans succeed in their post-service careers. According to WalletHub, Colorado Springs is the No. 3 Best Places for Veterans to Live, a testament to our employment opportunities, a strong economy, unmatched quality of life, and more. Military Times also recognized Colorado Springs as the Best Place for Vets to Live in their 2018 rankings report.
Our Military Affairs Council (MAC) formed in 1951, supports veterans in building relationships with local businesses and community members. With the help of organizations like MAC, Boots to Business, and Boots to Suits, Colorado Springs has cultivated an environment that is invested in the long-term success of its veterans and their careers.
An epicenter for military operations
As an essential ingredient of our state’s success, military affairs and operations have a rich history in Colorado Springs. In fact, Colorado Springs is home to five military installations: the United States Air Force Academy, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Fort Carson Army Post, Peterson Air Force Base, and Schriever Air Force Base.
Our region’s top-tier education institutions contribute to our military community’s success. The University of Colorado Colorado Springs is the driving university in the Space Education Consortium and the United States Air Force Academy is home to the nation’s No. 2 aerospace engineering undergraduate program. The Pikes Peak Community College’s Military and Veterans Program is just another example of how Colorado Springs’ goes the extra distance to support our military and veterans. The program accelerates the military to the civilian workforce transition by evaluating military joint-service transcripts for college credit.
Creating jobs and economic impact
In addition to strong military operations, our aerospace and defense sectors are 250+ companies strong, which collectively play a unique role in elevating our military operations and key national defense commands. Our roster of strong companies includes industry leaders like Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and Kratos Defense.
In fact, 7.5% of all jobs in Colorado are attributed to the defense sector in Colorado Springs, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue’s 2016 Annual Report. Together, space, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, and manufacturing operations, along with the partnership between defense and commercial firms, strengthen Colorado’s economy. Additionally,