Everest could bring more than 500 jobs

Everest College, a private, higher-education company with campuses nationwide, could employ 500 or more people at the former Intel plant in Colorado Springs.

News surfaced Wednesday that the college had leased 70,000 square feet on the Corporate Ridge Office and Technology Center campus.

Competition for the education provider’s new online division headquarters was intense. As many as 20 locations were considered before Colorado Springs was selected.

The news was welcomed by community leaders.

“Colorado Springs needed a win. This is an exciting first step, said Chamber of Commerce President and CEO David Csintyan. “This news shows that there’s healthy, future-oriented movement going on. Businesses are beginning to make decisions about the future.”

The Pikes Peak region’s growing higher education cluster may have played a role in the company’s choice.

“If you look at our world-class Pikes Peak Community College system, our outstanding 4-year public university at UCCS, a top Ivy-League level 4-year Colorado College and the United States Air Force Academy and other private schools, we were already attractive. Everest’s new division will add to an already impressive footprint,” he said.

“But best of all, it’s jobs – and I’m glad to see the first tenant is an educational institution.”

Pikes Peak Workforce Center spokeswoman Jeanne Cotter was equally upbeat about local hiring opportunities.

“We haven’t heard from the company yet, but we certainly hope they contact us. We’d be happy to work with them,” she said.