Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Colorado Advantage: Governor Hickenlooper Sounds Economic Development Themes in Inaugural Address

During his inaugural address on January 11, 2011, Governor Hickenlooper discussed economic development in Colorado extensively from the need for county level economic development plans to defining "The Colorado Advantage" that he plans market to global employers, capital, and talent.

[Photos by Evan Semon and downloaded from]

See key excerpts below and full text here.

"Today, I will sign several Executive Orders. The first order requires state government to join in partnership with local communities in creating jobs and designing economic development plans that are uniquely suited to these communities. This effort, focusing on the use of local talent and resources, is an initiative for all 64 counties - from Dolores to Douglas, from Mineral to Morgan - and all the places in between. We will chart a course for economic revival from the bottom up, county by county. On Friday, I will embark on a four-day trip around the state to begin this process.

Our second Executive Order places a new emphasis on global opportunities as an engine for job creation. Business is about relationships. This order will create the
Governor's Trade and Tourism Ambassador Program. We intend to enlist Colorado-related businesses and individuals living in other states and countries who have a stake in Colorado. These volunteer ambassadors will spread the word about Colorado, brand us as a state that welcomes innovation and new investment, and help us spur international tourism and export opportunities.

A third Executive Order begins the task of making the State a more effective
partner with our counties. It provides for more flexibility and less bureaucracy; more freedom with fewer mandates. It also sends a message to the private sector that we mean to cut red tape, make licenses and regulations more rational and easier to understand, and that we mean to do it as a partner with local communities....

We will measure everything we do and make changes where change makes sense. We will protect our land and water and preserve the natural beauty that helps define Colorado. Above all, we will focus on education as the social bedrock for the hopes and dreams of our children and the quality of their jobs.

In these most challenging of times, while we recognize the limitations of government, we don't have to - nor should we - limit our dreams of what Colorado must be.

Colorado must be a place known for embracing young entrepreneurs with fresh ideas and innovative ventures.

Colorado must be a place where kids get a world-class education preparing them for the rigors of leadership and the jobs that will define prosperity in the 21st century.

Colorado must be a place where our college degrees and the learning they signify are the envy of every other state.

Colorado must be a place where we are known, not only for the beauty of our landscapes and wonders of nature, but also for the advance of new technologies and new ways of powering the economy.

Why Colorado more than any other place? We have one of the most highly-educated work forces in America. We have perhaps the highest percentage of any state, of people who came here not for a job or promotion, but for our quality of life. And they have kept coming even through this long, hard recession.

Plus, we have the best beer.

Rest assured, we will be obsessive in spreading the word about the Colorado advantage."