BY FREDA MIKLINGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER
At its first partnership meeting of 2020, Denver South Economic Development Partnership reminded the 100 government officials and business executives who came to listen of the continuing huge impact of aviation and aerospace on our state. Tom Brook, president and CEO, introduced the program.
Joe Rice, a well-known former state legislator, Glendale mayor, and Iraq war veteran, is government relations director of Lockheed Martin Space. He pointed out that Colorado is the number one state in per capita jobs in aerospace, with 52,860 primary space jobs and over 500 space-related companies, half of which are small businesses. He also pointed to Colorado’s NASA prime contracts that exceed $1 billion in value.
Today, Rice shared, only Russia and China are capable of human space flight, but Lockheed is working to change that with the Artemis program. The second phase, Artemis 2, is hoped to produce the first crewed flight by an American company as early as 2024.
Why go to Mars? Rice explained that the research that goes into the effort produces improvements in many other areas. He gave the example that mammogram technology came from the research that created the Hubbell Telescope.
Michael Fronapfel, director of planning and development at Centennial Airport came to explain the importance and economic impact of Centennial Airport, the second busiest general aviation airport in the United States.
In 2019 Centennial had 355,000 operations, including those of five separate very active flight schools. It also houses 125 individual businesses and 800 based aircraft. He presented data that showed that the total business revenue generated from economic activity related to Centennial Airport in 2018 was $2.1 billion.
One Centennial Airport-based company, Bye Aerospace, is developing the eFlyer, an electrically-powered aircraft that creates much less noise than traditional planes. Another, Boom Aerospace, is working on the XB-1 Overture that will fly 55 passengers at Mach 2.2 speed, making the trip from Los Angeles to Tokyo in seven hours and New York to London in 3.5 hours.
Other speakers from United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Oakman Aerospace, both based in south metro Denver, focused on the challenges of attracting and retaining high-quality employees.
ULA, which describes itself as a United States Department of Defense-funded business, employs 2,700 people in Colorado and at launch sites at Cape Canaveral, FL and Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA, plus manufacturing facilities in Alabama and Texas and government relations personnel in Washington, D.C. After conducting an employer brand audit, ULA “moved to a new recruitment process outsourcing provider in late 2019, who is accomplished at sourcing passive candidates.” In other words, if you have talent, they will come knocking on your door, regardless of where you may be working.
2018 All Rights Reserved. Villager Publishing |