Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Tries Innovation, Education To Spur Job Creation
When you think of job creators in Colorado the agriculture and tech sectors might come to mind. However, the state's outdoor recreation industry supports 125,000 workers earning $4.2 billion annually. Its economic impact is over $13 billion.
This election, both Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump have talked extensively about U.S. job security and job creation.
Dan English, CEO and founder of Voormi, a Colorado-based outdoor clothing company, says his company creates jobs in small towns across Colorado. But while being able to test his products along the trails near the company's Pagosa Springs headquarters is desirable, there are still challenges with living in a small community.
"Sometimes the bigger cities obviously are easier from a technology point of view, and connectivity and transportation," but the culture of people who want to work with their hands and live in rural communities helps the company, he said.
Luis Benitez is director of Colorado's Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, which works to provide the resources companies like Voormi need to grow in those communities.
"What we're trying to do is make sure the ecosystem is strong, that the network is connected, and then get out of the way."
Benitez and English spoke to Colorado Matters host Nathan Heffel.