How about a little creativity to boost our local economy?

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Back in June 2006, I brought up that at any given time there is as much as $1 billion in Department of Defense contracts at the request for proposal stage. I also mentioned that Colorado is one of the few states without a Procurement Technical Assistance Center, and that a PTAC was being formed. Well, it never happened, but could be happening again, and we need it.

Becky Peterson, the director of operations and logistics for the Association of PTAC’s based in Tennessee, related that in 2007, the Tennessee PTAC was responsible for 554 contract awards valued at $706,639,577, and the PTAC created or retained 14,133 jobs. “Colorado Springs has so much more potential than the whole state of Tennessee because we only have two minor military installations here in Tennessee,” she said.

National PTAC results for 2007 are equally impressive. There were 99,250 contract awards for $14.188 billion dollars and 334,000 jobs created or retained.

Do you need another reason to vote yes on 1A Jobs Now? I don’t think so, but just in case, the state has agreed to match funds from Colorado Springs to fund a PTAC.

Passing 1A and being able to keep $3 million toward growing jobs for our residents and marketing Colorado Springs to the rest of the world makes total sense to me. Though I am quite certain that raising $200,000 a year locally to be matched by the state to fund a PTAC would be an easy sell, 1A money would be at the ready to ensure we get the PTAC up and running.

Earlier this week, I was out at the Air Force Academy on a Colorado Thirty Group tour. The Colorado Thirty Group is composed of business and civic leaders throughout the state that have an interest in our defense assets and their missions, and appreciate the importance of the military to the state’s economy. It seemed every time you turned around, you bumped into a construction worker. These are DoD contracts, hopefully using local companies and hiring local people.

I have heard stories of guys who can’t swing a hammer getting a DoD contract and becoming over-night millionaires. Vote yes on 1A Jobs Now to help save our economy and get a PTAC up and running as soon as possible.

A recent Wall Street Journal article titled “Local economies seek own revival,” written by Stephanie Simon and Leslie Eaton, discussed what some local communities are doing.Lancaster, Calif., is covering vehicle registration fees for anyone who is buying a new car or motorcycle. Hmmm, good concept for the dealers, bad concept for an already busted City Hall.

How about the city seeding a $3 million “angel investment fund” for local start-ups like New York City did? Again, great idea but, oops, the city has no money and I don’t think it cares too much about local start-ups anyway. If the city cared more about starting a community venture fund, there would have been earlier discussions.

How about spending government surplus funds to create local jobs, oh that’s right we don’t have any. Voting yes on 1A Jobs Now is the right thing to do, so do it and get more Springs residents to work.

Congrats Brett Axton

Axton was inducted into Fort Carson’s Good Neighbor Program on Wednesday night. He is the recipient of the 2008 award. This was the 31st anniversary of the award. Past recipients include Don Addy 2007, Lou Mellini 2006 and Marvin Boyd 2005.

Lon Matejczyk is publisher of the Colorado Springs Business Journal. He can be reached at Lon.Matejczyk@csbj.com or 329-5202.