Colorado’s economic mixed bag: Companies relocate to state, others have layoffs

Economic news in Colorado has been a mixed bag recently: Inflation is impacting consumer spending over the holidays, recession fears are real and some prominent companies have laid off workers.

On the flip side, several companies are moving their headquarters to the state while others are expanding their operations in Colorado. The relocations could bring over 1,000 new jobs with them.

Let’s start with the positive economic news.

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Tech company Teamwork, headquartered in Cork, Ireland, held the grand opening of its new North American hub in Denver at 1550 Wewatta St. this month. With a labor force of more than 350 globally, the project management platform’s initial plans included hiring 20 employees by the year’s end in the Mile High City.

“We’re really excited to build our team in North America,” said Beau Brooks, vice president of worldwide sales. “I see Teamwork growing significantly over the next couple of years and it starts with this expansion into Denver.”

The company’s on track to reach $50 million in revenue by the end of 2023.

“In the past 12 months, we’ve seen Teamwork’s workforce grow by close to 35%, and we are looking forward to seeing this number increase even more with our expansion into Denver,” said Jeni Brown, chief people officer. “We’ve seen some of the biggest tech companies in the world open offices in Denver, and we’re thrilled to be one of them too.”

Another tech company, HNA Live, settled on Denver as its new headquarters. The data analytics company, which serves the manufacturing and real estate industries, plans to create more than 36 new jobs, with the average annual wage falling around $99,000.

HNA Live considered 10 cities before making its choice. The startup employs 13 U.S.-based employees, but none in Colorado, as of Dec. 5.

“Everything pointed to Denver,” said CEO Cooper Mojsiejenko. “The workforce is talented, the city’s central location makes it easy to do business across the country, and innovative tech and real estate ecosystems will help the heart of our nation solve their biggest challenges first.”

HNA Live received approval from the Colorado Economic Development Commission for up to $164,284 in performance-based job growth incentive tax credits over eight years.

Zivaro, an information technology company that serves government and national defense partners, is expanding in Colorado Springs. The move is part of an industry trend, as more than 250 technology companies are located throughout the city, with 50% of the country’s Space Force based in Colorado, according to the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

“As the aerospace industry in Colorado continues to boom, we are thrilled cutting-edge companies like Zivaro have chosen to expand here, creating more than 300 new jobs,” said Gov. Jared Polis. “Colorado is a great place to live, work and do business which is evident as we continue to support business expansion in our state.”

Members of Zivaro’s leadership team have already come from Colorado Springs, and 132 of 175 employees are in the state, said CEO and co-founder Greg Byles. “In many ways, this expansion feels like a homecoming and there is no other place we would rather be as we expand.”

The company’s other options included Huntsville, Ala., and Omaha, Neb. It aims to create 304 new jobs, with an average annual wage of $165,076.

“Colorado has the second largest space economy in the U.S. and the state’s aerospace industry alone employs more than 240,000 Coloradans, which is more aerospace employees per capita than any other state,” said OEDIT Executive Director Patrick Meyers.

Zivaro counts as the first company to receive an award from the Colorado Springs Deal Closing Fund — “a public-private-partnership to incentivize the creation of new, high-paying jobs and capital investment through investment by new and expanding primary employers in Colorado Springs,” OEDIT reported.

The company is also up for up to $8.6 million in performance-based job growth incentive tax credits over eight years from the Colorado Economic Development Commission, along with $57,500 in a performance-based Strategic Fund LONE Worker incentive over five years.

Entegris Inc., a global supplier for the semiconductor and other technology industries, also chose Colorado Springs for expansion, according to a Tuesday announcement.

The company is set to construct a new manufacturing facility at 301 South Rockrimmon Blvd. for up to $600 million over the next few years, which will develop products for semiconductor manufacturing. It will bring 600 new jobs in the process, with a potential average annual wage of $74,940.

“We passed the Chips and Science Bill to bring semiconductor manufacturing jobs back to America. Thanks to Entegris, Colorado is part of that comeback,” said U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat. “This is great news for our tech race with China, the state, and our national security.”

Entegris’ incentive package from the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC and other institutions is worth over $115 million. The Colorado Economic Development Commission approved up to $3,880,500 in a performance-based strategic fund incentive over five years.

Trelora, a full-service real estate agency founded in Denver, was recently acquired by Houwzer, a real estate and mortgage brokerage — expanding the latter’s reach to Colorado and 13 other states in the process.

“The acquisition of Trelora is a game-changer,” said Daniel Herscovici, partner at Edison Partners and board director at Houwzer. “This acquisition brings Houwzer far closer to the goal of becoming the next-gen brokerage category leader.”

And we’ll end with the bad news:

• Twitter terminated 87 employees at its Boulder office at 3401 Bluff St., with those cuts expected to begin Jan. 4, 2023. Another 38 voluntarily resigned, according to a Nov. 25 notice to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

• Boulder-based Outside laid off 12% of its staff on Nov. 15, according to a letter from CEO Robin Thurston. “Rising prices, higher interest rates, and continued supply chain disruptions are creating unprecedented pressures that are being felt in every household and company,” he wrote.

• American Financing Corporation, once one of the state’s largest mortgage lenders, said in November it would permanently lay off 194 out of 305 employees at its Aurora headquarters. The second round of those layoffs were scheduled to occur right before Christmas. Higher interest rates have caused mortgage loan demand to fall more than expected.

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