Cutting-Edge Colorado

Advanced industries are thriving in the Centennial State with a skilled workforce and targeted incentives to support continued growth.

By Roneshia Thomas
From the January/February 2023 issue

Colorado is home to 14 major industry sectors, including seven STEM-related advanced industries. The Centennial State has a focus on bringing in more advanced industries, such as biosciences, advanced manufacturing, technology and information, and energy and natural resources. To assist these industries in thriving in Colorado, the state offers the Advanced Industries Investment Tax Credit. This credit incentivizes businesses that invest in Colorado’s advanced industries sectors with state income tax credits. Relocation can earn businesses a tax credit of 25% of their investment, or 30% if that investment is in a Colorado enterprise zone or rural county.

Las Colonias Park is 130 acres and sits adjacent to downtown Grand Junction along the banks of the Colorado River. (Photo: Grand Junction Economic Partnership)


Alongside the Advanced Industries Investment Tax Credit is the Advanced Industries Proof of Concept Grant, which provides funding to help Colorado research institutions speed up applied research in advanced industries and commercialize products and services with the private sector. Projects can receive up to $150,000 in grant money. This grant award maximum can be lifted for joint proposals or projects that impact more than one advanced industry.

In addition to the income tax credit and incentives for advanced industries, Colorado offers a workforce that is highly educated and allows employers to create, grow, and compete in a global economy. Due to the number of research facilities accessible in the state the skilled workforce is one that thinks outside of the box and is collaborative with the state government to create an innovative environment. To promote job growth in advanced industries, Colorado offers a that allows businesses that are expanding or relocating to be awarded cash payments that create and maintain new permanent jobs in the state for at least a year.

“Innovations in advanced industries have enormous potential to change the world we live in, yet the market typically underinvests in early-stage technologies. At the same time, partnerships between the private and public sector can be integral to furthering new ideas,” said Rama Haris, Advanced Industries Senior Manager at Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEIDT). “With these grant programs, we aim to fill a funding gap left by the market and foster the types of partnerships that will help Colorado’s Advanced Industries continue to lead their fields.”

In 2022, Business Facilities ranked the state as having one of the Top 10 Best Business Climates. The Centennial State is also ranked 4th in CNBC’s 2022 ranking of top states for business.

The ‘Chapel on the Rock’ in Allenspark, CO. (Photo: Adobe Stock)


Grand Junction, Colorado: Discover the New West

Colorado’s Grand Junction area embraces western work ethic and new-age innovation. The Grand Junction area offers a robust labor force, attractive and affordable property, ease of access, and the resources need to thrive.

This is the largest metropolitan area in western Colorado, with the amenities and infrastructure companies need to operate globally. Situated halfway between Denver and Salt Lake City, the Grand Junction area is easily accessible by air, rail, highway, and WiFi. With direct access to I-70 and the airport, Grand Junction is poised for fast and cost-effective transportation and distribution.

With a diverse and stable economic foundation, Grand Junction’s key industries include aerospace and advanced manufacturing, agribusiness, energy and renewables, health care, outdoor recreation, and technology.

Grand Junction offers a nation-leading labor supply with the only ACT Certified Work Ready Community in Colorado. Additionally, the presence of Colorado Mesa University, the fifth fastest-growing university in the country, and Western Colorado Community College allows businesses to tap into a consistent pipeline of locally groomed talent.

Grand Junction is home to seven Colorado Opportunity Zones, including most of central Grand Junction, the new downtown river district, and near Powderhorn Mountain Resort on the Grand Mesa. These opportunity zones encourage long-term private investment within designated areas by giving investors tax incentives for investing in real estate projects and operating businesses within the area.

Among the opportunity zones is the Riverfront at Las Colonias. The area includes a 140-acre mixed-use park along the Colorado River in Downtown Grand Junction with attractive amenities close by, including a 5,000-seat amphitheater, a botanical garden, a river park with two standing waves, a boat ramp, multiple ponds — and soon, a zipline across the Colorado River.

At the Riverfront at Las Colonias, 15 acres within the park is designated as a commercial business park. The Riverfront at Las Colonias is geared toward outdoor recreation and innovative tech businesses, with several shovel-ready sites available for lease. This opportunity zone is home to several outdoor recreation-based companies already, including Bonsai Design and Rocky Mounts.

Thanks to low real estate costs, year-round temperate weather, and immediate access to the outdoors, the area provides both low costs of living and doing business plus a high quality of life. This results in happy, productive employees who stay in their jobs longer, allowing businesses to enjoy long-term growth and success.

In Grand Junction, CO, cutting-edge industries thrive and fortune favors the bold. For more information, visit

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