Springs off to strong job creation, retention start in 2011

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Job creation and retention efforts in Colorado Springs appear to be off to a strong start in 2011.

Last week the Space Foundation announced it will move into a 45,000-square-foot building that will keep the organization in the city for at least another 15 years, and Minn.-based computer storage device manufacturer Xiotech Corp. announced plans to move its headquarters to the Springs.

Today the Colorado Springs Regional Economic Development Corp., and Calif.-based church communications company Outreach Inc. announced plans to relocate the company’s headquarters to Colorado Springs.

While the news doesn’t begin to compensate for the heavy job losses the city has seen in recent years, it signals a positive trend and a strong start to the year.

The space foundation has 35 employees in Colorado Springs, Xiotech plans to move 20 workers to the area and hire another ten, and Outreach will move 50 employees to the Springs while hiring another 70 over the next two years.

That’s 185 jobs to be retained or added to Colorado Springs over the next two years.

Today’s announcement by Outreach was the largest so far. The 15-year-old company employs 130 workers and will have jobs available in printing, publishing, web development, graphic design and warehouse.

Outreach Founder and President Scott Evans cited the low cost of living, proximity to other ministries, and central shipping locale as reasons that prompted the company to move from San Diego.

Evans also has ties to Colorado. He’s a Longmont native and met his wife while attending Colorado State University.

Outreach will join the over 200 faith-based companies that already operate in Colorado Springs. Evans said the company is looking for a location in the city with 25,000-square-feet of office space and 35,000-square-feet of warehouse space.

EDC Chairman Doug Quimby said that while attracting companies to move their headquarters to Colorado Springs remains a challenge in this economic environment, it will continue to be the focus for the EDC.