When Joe Laurienti talks about his team designing a rocket engine in a rented attic in the early days of his aerospace company, it brings to mind stories about Silicon Valley’s high-tech companies that started as projects in somebody’s garage. Laurienti’s story about his company, Lafayette-based Ursa Major Technologies, might one day be part of industry lore if Colorado becomes known as “Aerospace Alley.” “It’s a grand vision, but it’s also something that I truly believe is possible,” said retired Maj. Gen. John Barry, president and CEO of the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum. It’s not really a moonshot kind of goal, considering that Colorado’s aerospace economy is already second only to California’s. Colorado has 180 aerospace companies and more than 500 businesses that provide space-related products and services. It has the highest concentration of private aerospace employment in the country: 26,620. And the industry in Colorado supports 190,880 direct and indirect jobs while pumping $15.4 billion into the economy each year. Although the aerospace industry has a long history in Colorado and the state is home to some of the biggest players — Ball Aerospace, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Harris Corp., United Launch Alliance and… Read full this story
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