Rising to the Occasion: How Colorado Springs Builds & Retains Talent
As employers work to fill an estimated 11.5 million vacant jobs across the U.S., the companies with the most hiring success are the ones that prioritize the needs of talent. And while studying talent trends can help companies learn how to grow and retain staff, it is just one piece of the recruitment puzzle. Location matters and the wider a business cast its net, the more fish they are bound to catch.
Colorado Springs is a reliable city for talent across aerospace, defense, cybersecurity, and healthcare, adding jobs beyond what was lost in the early months of the pandemic. The Pikes Peak region outpaces the state recovery levels by almost 10%, with 16% growth in population over the past decade according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Approximately 3,800 millennials live in downtown Colorado Springs — 16% more than the average for an area of the same size.
With so much growth, the Chamber & EDC and other regional institutions are working to position the business community for sustained, long-term success through talent and community-building investments.
Colorado Springs Talent Attraction Programs
Having the perfect mixture of affordable living expenses, available jobs, and good quality of life is important — but it’s even more important to let talent know about it. Find Your COS (pronounced “cause”) is a collection of Colorado Springs talent initiatives led by the Chamber & EDC that recruits, connects & engages with a talented workforce. These initiatives are bringing talent in, connecting them with the community, and supporting workforce pipelines for the future.
Two pilot programs launched with Find Your COS in March 2022:
- Hello Colorado Springs: Designed to emphasize Colorado Springs’ attractiveness to summer interns, Hello Colorado Springs goes beyond simply matchmaking talent with companies. The program facilitates social and professional engagements outside of work such as Speed Networking at the Space Foundation to a Cog Railway ride up Pikes Peak, and provides intern cohorts with access to affordable, community-oriented housing. This summer, Bluestaq, Microchip Technology and Kratos participated in the program with 36 interns. Registration for 2023 is now open.
- Connect Colorado Springs: This program is designed to connect newcomers to established professionals in the region, helping to acquaint them with the city. From recreation to available childcare options, the concierge system provides insights while building rapport to retain talent.
Also helping to keep talent in Colorado Springs is a new Deal Closing Fund that incentivizes job creation for new and expanding businesses. As a performance-based incentive, qualifying companies are eligible to receive up to $5,000 for the creation and maintenance of new full-time permanent positions.
Sweetening the Deal
Beyond the talent incentive programs and deal-closing funds, Colorado Springs is still an attractive city for talent, with boundless trailheads for hiking and biking, quick commutes to the office, and a vibrant arts & culture scene. The city received the No. 2 ranking on U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Places to Live in the U.S. in 2022-2023” and was one of the top destinations for college grads to move to, according to a study from Axios and The Generation Lab.
From the 375 miles of trails that contribute to Colorado Springs being named the No. 3 most healthy city in the U.S. to the expansion of fiber optic networks, recreation centers, sports facilities and arenas, the Pikes Peak region continues to lure in new talent. Downtown Colorado Springs has $1.7 billion in completed, under construction, or announced new development – an 18% increase over the year prior according to a report released this year. Additionally, a recent LinkedIn study also found that the Colorado Springs workforce espouses the highest level of confidence in job security, personal finances, and career outlook among smaller cities in the U.S.
Companies in Colorado Springs find the talent they need through workforce development initiatives, community investments, and a host of quality-of-life amenities. Read more about the diverse talent in the region, and contact us to see how the Pikes Peak region can help you grow a reliable workforce.