When national headlines are steeped in one crisis after the other, it is hard to accept the simple truth that life in the Grand Valley is, by most measures, good. COVID-19 numbers remain low, unemployment is down, average annual wage is up, and construction is booming. In my last column in The Daily Sentinel, I wrote about how this recession is not like our previous bust cycles, and we are much better equipped as a community to get back on our feet this time around. There have been lots of news stories in the last month that point to business as (better than) usual - we've selected a few to share in this newsletter.
Grand Junction and Mesa County were recently featured in Innovation & Tech Today's "Best of Tech Zone", which highlights U.S. hot spots for innovation and technology that are managing the COVID-19 pandemic with resilience and ingenuity.
In July, GJEP and Colorado Mesa University partnered on a Valley-wide analysis to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on local industry. We reached out to 500 businesses by phone and email with a 30-question survey. More than half responded, representing 9,836 employees in Mesa County. Your responses showed signs of resilience and a relatively swift recovery -view the results.
We want to say thank you to all the businesses who participated in the survey - and a special thanks to CMU economist Dr. Nate Perry for lending his expertise to the analysis.
Shane Haas, Vice President of FCI Constructors, replaces Ed Forsman who is retiring from FCI. Ed has been a most valuable resource to GJEP and a consistent driver of economic development for the Grand Valley - we thank Ed for his dedicated service and are excited to welcome Shane on board.
Thaddeus Shrader, CEO and Owner of Bonsai Design, replaces Sarah Shrader who is now driving the new Outdoor Recreation Industry program at CMU. Sarah and Thaddeus are both key members of the Grand Valley outdoor recreation industry and the force behind the Riverfront at Las Colonias Park development. We are happy to have made a seamless transition, keeping Bonsai Design on the board.
Dominic Jones, CEO of Certek Heat Machine USA fills an open seat on the board. Dominic and his wife Felicia recently assumed ownership of Certek, which has been expanding and innovating at a rapid pace. We are thrilled to welcome this new perspective to the board.
Over the last several months, GJEP has been working with GROWL Agency on new marketing for our business recruitment efforts. We are excited to finally share the fruits of our labor, which you can see in this newsletter and throughout all our marketing efforts rolling out in the coming weeks.