Office of International Affairs to close

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The Colorado Springs Office of International Affairs will close in December, executive director George Boutin said today.

Boutin

Boutin

The office’s objective is to assist local businesses with international trade and exporting.

Boutin said that as city budget money dried up, so did funding for the office, which is supported mostly by city money.

“At a time when you’re looking at having to cut police or fire positions, you have to look realistically at what needs to go,” he said.

The Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce is looking into opening a similar office next year, but Boutin said he declined an offer to lead it.

“Oh no. I’m already retired once and now I’ll be retired twice,” he said. “I’m going to visit family in Pennsylvania. I’m going skiiing.”

The office will close sometime after a Dec. 9 meeting with trade officers from the U.S. Export Assistance Center in Denver. The meeting is scheduled to start at 7:30 a.m. at the Pikes Peak Work Force Center, 2306 East Pikes Peak Ave.

7 Responses to Office of International Affairs to close

  1. Another success for the EDC! Goodness gracious; we can’t even get National companies to locate here!

    RJF
    November 13, 2009 at 11:54 am

  2. RIF Not sure what you expect from EDC but would be glad to get with you and others to explain what we do – Which for many reasons is not international trade. Am writing this as I return from a prospect recruiting tip in LA. We annouinced 19 companies and over 2,500 new primary jobs over the past year – one of our best years since the 90’s. All this with a 25% staff reduction. Could use your help as we work very hard to attract, retain and grow jobs for our community. By the way, we get 3% of our funding from the City as a small non profit.

    Mike Kazmierski
    November 13, 2009 at 12:59 pm

  3. International Trade! We don’t have a strong EDC in place to manage the recruiting of new businesses to Colorado Springs. We should recruit a strong candidate with years of experience with Economic Development to turn Colorado Springs around. Out with the old and in with the new.

    PlayInSnow
    November 13, 2009 at 1:57 pm

  4. RJF and PlayInSnow: I don’t think you understand what the International Trade Office was all about. Their purpose was not to attract foreign businesses to move to Colorado Springs. Their goal was to effectively connect local companies to INTERNATIONAL companies. My employer does business nationally, but in Europe and Asia as well. Thanks to the International Affairs Office and George Boutin, my employer was able to make excellent NEW business contacts and, as a result, SELL/ EXPORT our products to Canada and the UK. I’m impressed with Mr. Kazmierski’s ability to remain calm and diplomatic, though faced with angry words from an apparently uninformed public.

    Ellen
    November 13, 2009 at 2:54 pm

  5. Yes, the EDC did recruit ACS to Colorado Springs – for nearly minimum wage jobs…more people on the government cheese roll…..Mike/Ellen where are the other 1900 jobs the EDC takes credit for in 2009? Once Gov Ritter banned the sale of land in/around Pinon Canyon the DOD (rightfully so) will find another willing state to help out with training land. By the way, did anyone know the Army was going to station a Brigade at Pinon Canyon – yes, 3000-5000 soliders LIVING in the economy…..would have generated more money than cattle and OH YEAH tax dollars. spendable tax dollars.

    Did Mike take credit or issue shame for allowing HP to relocate several hundred jobs out of C/S to NM and AR? OR is he so focused on recruiting in that he forgot about our EXISTING employers….

    One day C/S government and associated organizations will grow up and realize the pickle we’re in and unless we get proactive, our town will dwindle down a bit more into the bottom pit of recessionism….I’m very thankful that Hefley, Campell and others have worked so hard to keep our military in Colorado Springs. IF not for them, what industry would C/S have to build from?????

    Ken G
    November 13, 2009 at 3:57 pm

  6. The Officer of International Affairs will be sorely missing. George was an absolute jewel in what he did. Now, if you want to have help in developing international business relationships, you’ll have to go to Denver. Oh well…people never realize just what they have until it’s gone. Sometimes not even then.

    hgerhard
    November 13, 2009 at 9:06 pm

  7. Thanks Ellen for clarifying for the very uninformed. Playinthesnow and RJF should just bury their heads in the snow. Their types need to either get involved, get informed and knowlegable on issues or just go away. These are the type of people that cause pain to the community.

    Captain
    November 13, 2009 at 10:02 pm