A look at some of Colo. Springs’ top private employers

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Where do Colorado Springs jobs come from?

It’s true that the city relies heavily on its public sector, employers such as Fort Carson and Memorial Hospital, for roughly 40 percent of the city’s workforce.

But it’s the private sector that’s the real backbone of the economy, providing the other 60 percent.

Here’s a look at the city’s top private employers that are not publicly traded. Analysis comes from CSBJ research for its annual Book of Lists.

1. Penrose St. Francis Health System

Employees: 2,621 associates and 782 affiliated doctors

Year established: 1887

Address: 222 N. Nevada Ave.

Penrose-St. Francis Health Services is a full-service, 522-bed acute care facility offering emergency, medical and surgical services at Penrose Hospital and St. Francis Medical Center. Penrose-St. Francis was named one of “America’s 50 Best Hospitals” for four consecutive years by HealthGrades, the only recipient in Colorado. The hospital system sees more than 22,000 inpatients in a year. About 83,000 people visited the emergency room last year and the hospital system provides $114.6 million in uncompensated and charity care.

2. The Navigators

Employees: 1,022

Year established: 1933

Address: 3820 N. 30th St.

The Navigators is an international, interdenominational Christian ministry whose staff includes 70 nationalities, 120 languages and work in several foreign countries. The group started NavPress in 1975 as a publishing ministry. The Navigators publish a paraphrase of the Bible that has sold more than 5 million copies.

3. Ent Federal Credit Union

Employees: 616

Year established: 1957

Address: 7250 Campus Drive

Ent Federal Credit Union was founded with only 30 members and $602 in deposits. Today, it has $3.2 billion in assets and 205,942 members. It was chartered to serve military and civilian personnel assigned to Ent Air Force Base and Peterson Field, now Peterson Air Force Base. The credit union was named after Maj. Gen. Uzal Ent, commander of the Ninth Air Force during World War II. The credit union now is community-chartered, and offers membership to everyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in El Paso, Teller, Pueblo and Denver counties.

4. C & D Securities

Employees: 574

Year established: 1959

Address: 306 N. Delaware Drive

C & D Security Services provides security to government, industrial and commercial clients in 11 states. Their employees range from the night guards at Wal-Mart to the federal government. Troy Thames, executive vice president, says the group mostly focuses on government clients — guarding about 90 buildings on the east coast. Closer to home, they serve as the guards for buildings at Schriever Air Force Base and Peterson Air force Base.

5. Cheyenne Mountain Resort

Employees: 500

Year established: 1985

Address: 3225 Broadmoor Valley Road

Cheyenne Mountain Resort is an AAA, four-diamond resort, in the shadow of Cheyenne Mountain. The hotel has 316 guest rooms and suites, with décor inspired by the Rocky Mountains. The rooms are arranged in eight residential lodges across the property, which also includes an 18-hole golf course, five swimming pools and tennis and racquetball courts.

6. Griffis Blessing

Employees: 216

Year established: 1985

Address: 102 N. Cascade Ave., Suite 550

Griffis Blessing is a real estate services firm representing individual, corporate and institutional real estate owners. The company has offices in Denver and oversees more than 7 million square feet of office, retail and industrial space with about 6,500 apartment units under management.

7. Freedom Financial

Employees: 213

Year established: 1997

Address: 5455 N. Union Blvd.

Roy Clennan is the owner of Freedom Financial Services, which also has offices in California, New Mexico and Texas. The company has provided more than 33,000 mortgages. It’s open seven days a week, and has direct-lending options. It’s currently the largest local originator of FHA loans and is the fifth largest originator of FHA loans in the state. Its volume has grown 104 percent in the last 12 months.

8. Boecore

Employees: 201

Year established: 2000

Address: 90 S. Cascade Ave., suite 500

Boecore is owned by Kathy Boe, who also owns its subsidiary, BPS, a temporary staffing agency for high-tech workers. The company is headquartered in the Springs, with offices in seven other states.

Boecore focuses on engineering and information technology services to the federal government. It provides enterprise network engineering, cyber security work, modeling and simulations as well as space mission engineering to federal clients.

9. Magnum Tool Company

Employees: 135

Year established: 1981

Address: 615 Wooten Road, Suite 150

Magnum Tool Company provides high precision machines to create medical devices ­— such as bone plates and titanium screws — for national and international companies. The company combines complex manufacturing with high-volume precision machines. The company plans an expansion announcement this winter.

10. Bestway Disposal

Employees: 110

Established: 1950

Address: 650 Santa Fe St.

The Kiemel family has owned Bestway Disposal since the 1960s — and started with three trucks and a few hundred customers.

The company has grown steadily over the years — at first providing residential trash services only, and then moving into commercial pick up. Today, they provide roll-off services for construction materials and a single-stream recycling program. The Kiemel’s are building a recycling facility to sort the materials locally and then sell them to manufacturers. The building is estimated to be finished by the end of the year — and the new services will add 20 new jobs to the business.