Opportunity Zones

Grand Junction is home to seven federally designed Opportunity Zones, making it lucrative for investment for companies seeking to relocate or expand. These zones are primarily located near the heart of Downtown Grand Junction.  

These Colorado opportunity zones are designated areas that offer tax incentives to investors who invest in businesses and projects. Investors that reinvest their capital gains into these areas can receive significant tax breaks and deferrals.  

These locations provide businesses with access to a growing economy in a city with access to major transportation routes including Interstate 70 and Union Pacific Railroad to easily connect with customers and suppliers across the nation.  

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. This property features seven shovel-ready sites.  


Rural Jump Start Program 

New and expanding businesses may be eligible for a “tax holiday” and cash grants for up to eight years including up to $20,000 as a newly established business and up to $2,500 per new hire. GJEP has assisted 26 businesses with their acceptance into the program. 

Job Growth Tax Incentive 

This performance-based program is for businesses pursuing job creation projects that would otherwise not occur in Colorado. Businesses creating at least 20 net new jobs within a credit period may be eligible for a state income tax credit equal to 50% of FICA paid. 

Strategic Fund  

Eligible businesses can receive cash incentives for the creation of net new full-time jobs in Colorado that are maintained for at least one year. 

Enterprise Zone 

Businesses can receive tax credits for specific (pre-certified) business operations, including hiring, providing health insurance, job training, obtaining a new business facility, and purchasing new equipment, if they locate or expand in a designated “enterprise zone.” 

Workforce Development & Labor Market – Talent Grows Here

Between Grand Junction, the Town of Palisade to the east, and the City of Fruita to the west, our community offers a workforce that is over 79,000 strong.  Mesa County offers the only ACT accredited workforce in the state of Colorado. 

The region’s unique quality of life provides the perfect place to raise your family, adventure, and work. With various outdoor activities and an abundance of sunny days, Grand Junction has drawn nationwide interest.  

From preschool through grad school, local educational institutions employ a maverick spirit to groom talent from a young age. Our education system ensures a steady stream of homegrown professionals that work hard in the present to shape a bright future for the region.  

Colorado Mesa University

Home of Colorado Mesa University (CMU) and Western Colorado Community College, the Grand Junction area offers educational opportunities that support the future of our workforce and community.   

Colorado Mesa University – In Grand Junction, Colorado

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, CMU is not only the fifth fastest-growing university in the country but also the home of 11,000+ students pursuing 225+ academic programs.

Located on 90 acres in downtown Grand Junction, CMU is a comprehensive regional public higher education institution offering liberal arts, professional, and technical programs at the master’s, bachelor’s, associate and certificate levels.

Mesa County Workforce Center  

The Mesa County Workforce Center is a resource for businesses and job seekers, offering no-cost services for career guidance and development, such as, workshops, recruitment assistance, and business services.   

Educational Opportunities

The Workforce Center collaborates with GJEP, as well as local education establishments, businesses, and other resources dedicated to economic development in order to grow and diversify the economy.   

A collaboration between our Workforce Center and our Department of Human Services— the only one like it in the country— means that we get more people back to work successfully than any other community.  

ACT Certified Work Ready Community  

Mesa County is the only community in the State of Colorado that is ACT Work Ready Certified. Our community utilizes the National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) to objectively map the skill level of our workforce. The NCRC is an evidence-based, nationally recognized, work-ready assessment. The NCRC directly correlates with the over 22,000 jobs in the ACT job database. Matching foundational skill levels with the NCRC test score. 

  • Mesa County: Has 75% of its test takers achieve silver level score or higher. 
  • Mesa County: Has 26% of its test takers achieve gold level score or higher. 
  • The workforce in Mesa County has the essential skills to do at a minimum 69% of the over 22,000 jobs profiled in the ACT Job Database