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Buzz & Bulletin

Veterans are the Commanding Force behind Business in Colorado Springs

Veteran communities exist in every city throughout the U.S., but Colorado Springs holds something unique. The city is home to five military installations, two Air Force Bases, and more than 80,000 veterans. There are also five colleges in the area that have been certified by the National Security Agency.

All of this coalesces into a city that is one of the best in the nation for veterans. But beyond the great opportunities as a place to live, Colorado Springs is a great place to work.

Serving Those Who Have Served

Colorado Springs provides a home for our veterans and military retirees, as well as the infrastructure needed to support them through the Veterans Administration and other Department of Defense facilities and programs. In addition, the Chamber & EDC’s 135-member Military Affairs Council has been amplifying veteran voices through relationships with installations, government, and business leaders since 1941.

Veterans bring a variety of easily transferable skills to Colorado Springs’ NSA-certified colleges. The U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs offers 32 majors with an 8:1 student to faculty ratio, and their aerospace engineering program is the No. 1 undergraduate program in the country. Colorado Technical University and Pikes Peak Community College (PPCC) offer stellar engineering curriculums, the former of which has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report and Military Times for high quality programs for veterans. PPCC’s Military Arts Connection (MAC) also makes art enrichment experiences available to veterans, service members and their families through an online resource.

Upon graduation, students from these colleges and others are welcomed by a community of over 250 businesses known for their veteran-first hiring policies like Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Parsons, and Boeing. These companies manage a range of activities from advanced technologies in national defense, global positioning systems, cybersecurity, and satellite communications.

Several businesses in Colorado Springs serve not only the military community, but also a thriving and growing commercial aerospace industry. The sector is second only to tourism, composing 44% of the economy a workforce 100,000 strong.

Owned and Operated by Veterans

The Pikes Peak Region is a launch pad for veteran entrepreneurs. Todd Baldwin, a veteran U.S. Army artillery officer for the 101st Airborne Division in Iraq, founded Red Leg Brewing Company with his wife in 2012. In mid-2021 Red Leg expanded into a new 15,000 square feet facility — a building three times as big as its previous location. Partnering businesses have also opened on the 2.5-acre campus, including a deli, a burger restaurant, a taco restaurant, and a cookie and ice cream shop. Flexible space is available for additional businesses.

Caliola Engineering was a finalist in 2021 Colorado Companies to Watch for innovation and job creation. As a 100% woman owned small business, Caliola provides encryption services, communications planning, satellite communications, and mesh network technologies.

Veteran-owned and operated since 2018, Hike for Life is a social impact business that looks to educate the community through curated guided hikes on how to steward natural resources within the Pikes Peak region. The company was awarded 2020 Veteran Small Business of the Year.

This Veterans Day and every day, we honor our military service members in Colorado Springs. If you’re a veteran looking to further your career and improve your quality of life, Colorado Springs offers a host of businesses and institutions that cater to those who have served. Contact us to learn more.

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