Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers gave the 145th annual "State of the City" address at the Broadmoor Thursday.
Mayor Suthers called on state leaders to expand a section Interstate 25 between Denver and Colorado Springs. He also acknowledged the pain caused by two shootings that happened in the city last fall.
Another topic was jobs.
Suthers highlighted that unemployment is down, and El Paso County added 9,000 jobs in 2015. But he said the next step is improving education in order to give Colorado Springs residents the skills and knowledge for those jobs.
"Our high schools and higher education institutions must work with our business community to ensure we have more local students equipped to join our workforce," he said. "Effective workforce development must be a very high priority going forward."
Other priorities in the speech included expanding services for people experiencing homelessness, investments in healthcare facilities, and continued alliance with the military. Suthers also said construction on the United States Olympic Museum is set to begin this fall.
Manitou Springs Mayor Nicole Nicoletta was present for Suthers' remarks. She said she was encouraged by the cities' similar goals.
"I found it inspiring that one of the top priorities for this next year is to focus on affordable housing and the needs of the homeless," she said. "We're doing that as well in Manitou Springs and so to know that regionally we're all talking about the same things is very exciting to me."
Also present was Karen Palus, director of the city's Parks and Recreation department. She said thanks to voters, they've been able to make significant improvements to the city's trail systems this year.
"I think the state of our parks is good," she says. "We've got great projects, great community support."
Mary Coleman directs the Board of Education for Colorado Springs School District 11. She listened to the speech with other board members. She said she's happy to see community leaders getting on the same page about the city, and she expects more young people like her to stick around.
"As a young professional, I think we see a lot of movement in our community at retention of young professionals," she said, "and a lot of positive cultural things going on in Colorado Springs."
Listen to Suthers' full speech here:
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