VAIL • For nearly 20 years, Glen Ellison, a landscape contractor in Eagle, sponsored 35 workers, many from one city in Mexico, to create some of the most spectacular lawns surrounding the high-end homes of the Vail Valley.Ellison started in 1981 with a wheelbarrow, pick, rake, shovel and a Toyota pickup truck. Over the years, he visited many of his workers in their homes in Aguascalientes, a city in central Mexico, meeting children, spouses and parents.He relied on the federal H-2B visa program for temporary, non-agricultural labor to bring many of his landscapers to the United States. About 70% of H-2B workers are from Mexico. Behind deadline: Home projects suffer from worker shortageEllison said he had come to see his hardworking men more as family than employees. And he called them vital contributors to the local economy.His businesses — Ceres Landcare and Ceres+ Landscape Architecture — survived the worst of the Great Recession, ready to ride the economic … [Read more...] about A visa shortage means worker woes in Colorado’s mountains
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Opponents of a bill that would overhaul how oil and gas are regulated in Colorado charge that the legislation is being rushed through the legislature. Josh Joswick’s reaction: Thirty years isn’t rushing it. Joswick, a former three-term La Plata County commissioner, was among nearly 200 people who spoke during a 12-hour hearing by the Senate Transportation and Energy Committee on March 5. Joswick told the committee that Senate Bill 19-181 was a long time coming. “Since 1990, people have been coming to this legislature to try and achieve oil and gas policy reform,” Joswick said. “Senate Bill 181 is as comprehensive and beneficial piece of legislation that it has been my experience to testify on, and that spans that 30-year period.” If something like SB 181 had been in place when La Plata County became the first in the state to adopt local oil and gas regulations, the county might not have had to fight the battles it did, Joswick said. The … [Read more...] about Local elected officials decry, welcome bill overhauling regulation of Colorado’s oil and gas industry
Lockheed Martin Space will add hundreds of jobs at its headquarters in Jefferson County as it relocates portions of its production for the Navy’s Fleet Ballistic Missile program. The company will hire locally for a number of positions in electrical and mechanical engineering, systems, project management and business operations. The relocation of the operations to Colorado and Florida will take about eight years, the company said. “Lockheed Martin is a long-standing leader in Colorado’s aerospace industry. We are thrilled to welcome its Fleet Ballistic Missile program to our state, and in particular to Jefferson County,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said in a statement Friday. “The addition of hundreds of highly skilled, high paying jobs in support of this vital national security program offers Coloradans quality employment opportunities and advances Colorado’s reputation as Aerospace Alley.” Lockheed Martin and Jefferson County … [Read more...] about Lockheed Martin Space could add up to 550 jobs in Colorado as part of its missile program
Vietnam-era Navy veteran Patrick Flesher from Buena Vista lit up with excitement when he recognized U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman in the lobby of the new Rocky Mountain Regional Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Aurora.“I thought you’d be taller,” said Flesher, squeezing and shaking his fellow veteran’s hand. “You look bigger on TV.”It helps to have a veteran working on veterans issues in Washington, Flesher said, “because they know what it’s like.”He doesn’t live in Coffman’s 6th Congressional District in the Denver suburbs, but Flesher said he would vote for Coffman for governor and maybe even for president.Dressed in a military green sweater with a Marine Corps insignia over his heart, Coffman found warmth to spare on a cold day after he took the first defeat of his 30-year political career, interspersed with decades of military duty.After a decade in Washington, Coffman tells Colorado Politics he won’t be going back. … [Read more...] about Outgoing U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman moves on from Congress and Trump
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: … [Read more...] about California has Silicon Valley. Could Colorado become home to “Aerospace Alley?