Colorado Springs in running for 1,000 aerospace and manufacturing jobs

Three companies looking at El Paso County for 1,061 jobs snagged approvals for $13.1 million in state economic development incentives, while Boulder County could see another 500 jobs from the expansion of an existing aerospace company.

The Colorado Economic Development Commission approved the awards on Thursday morning.

Project Bullseye, which is looking to add 620 new aerospace jobs in El Paso County, received the largest award at $7.5 million in Job Growth Incentive Tax Credits. Those credits are awarded over an eight-year period for any jobs created and can offset future state tax obligations.

The jobs, heavy on software and systems engineers, would pay an average annual wage of $160,484, which is 266% of the county’s average. Huntsville, Ala., and Weber County, Utah, are also in the running.

Project Bullseye is most likely Boecore, which aerospace industry veteran Kathy Boe founded in 2000. Boecore currently has 400 employees, including 240 in Colorado Springs, and is expanding rapidly.

“We are trying to become one of the premier mid-tier companies in the space realm,” Boecore executive Tom Dickson told commissioners, adding that the company was pursuing incentives for the first time in its two-decade history.

The commission also awarded $4.9 million in job growth tax credits to Meyer Burger, a Swiss maker of solar cells and solar modules, looking to bring up to 380 jobs to El Paso County. The company, assigned the code name Project Blanc, is looking to locate a U.S. headquarters and a 2-gigawatt solar cell manufacturing plant.

“The technology behind this is the most advanced in the industry, the highest efficiency technology in the market,” Walter Gisler, business development manager with Meyer Burger, told commissioners.

The company sources about 80% of its supplies from local sources at its production facilities in Germany and would like to follow a similar pattern at its new U.S. plant, which could create hundreds of additional jobs in Colorado, Gisler said.

Project managers, operators, facility managers, process engineers and maintenance personnel are among the jobs that could be offered, and they come at an average annual wage of $77,842.

New York, Indiana and Arizona are also in the running.

“OEDIT staff has had confidential discussions with NREL about the technologies developed by the company behind Project Blanc, and NREL has provided positive statements about the inclusion of this type of facility in Colorado,” said Michelle Hadwiger, director of global business development at the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

Project Verge, a cybersecurity company looking to bring 61 jobs to El Paso County received an award for $691,288 in job growth incentive tax credits. Those jobs will pay an average annual wage of $130,253 and will include software developers and analysts. The company currently has one employee in Colorado and 49 total.

Project Tycho, a Broomfield-based aerospace company with 1,200 employees in the state, is looking to add 500 more in Boulder County at an average annual wage of $115,670.

The company, which matches the description of Sierra Space, maker of the Dream Chaser, received approval for $7 million in job growth tax credits. Boulder County is competing with Florida for the expansion.

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