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From Site Selection magazine, May 2023

They’d Rather Be In Colorado

The Garden of the Gods Park, located in Colorado Springs, was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1971.
Photo: Getty Images

by Lindsay Lopp

eople come to Colorado for its exceptional quality of life. Yet Coloradans know that to enjoy the mountainous landscape and amazing adventures, you must work hard to play hard. After all, ski equipment doesn’t come cheap.

This mentality, along with government incentives, universities that produce premium engineers and a STEM-focused K-12 education system, has allowed Colorado to cultivate a highly skilled workforce.

According to CompTIA’s 2022 “State of the Tech Workforce” report, Colorado’s tech workforce increased by 10,174, a 4.3% growth rate that surpassed the national growth rate of 3.2%. Out of the 19,669 tech companies located in Colorado, more than 1,600 opened in 2022. 

CompTIA predicts that Colorado’s tech employment will continue to scale by 3.6%, adding 8,960 new jobs in 2023. Ranked as having the No.1 workforce in the nation by CNBC and No.2 for Technology and Science Workforce Composite by the Milken Institute, Colorado is seeing companies ready to expand in such industries as technology, life sciences and advanced manufacturing. 

More Companies, More Jobs 

In March, Amprius Technologies, a leader in lithium-ion batteries known for its Silicon Nanowire Anode Platform, selected Brighton, Colorado, for the site of its latest expansion project, a gigawatt-hour high-scale factory.

We have a good pull of local talent from the different universities, Colorado School of Mines and all throughout the Denver Area. Their network of schools that prioritize STEM education is really a key factor for us.”

— Andrew Huie, VP of Infrastructure, Amprius Technologies, on how talent factors into the company’s expansion in Brighton

The site already features a 1.3 million sq. ft. facility equipped with the necessary infrastructure for Amprius’ battery manufacturing agenda. This pre-existing factory will reduce the project’s buildout costs for an additional 775,000 sq. ft. facility, targeted to be operational by 2025.

“We are looking at meeting our customer demands and expanding that necessity. Looking at Colorado, their electrical power and structural layouts are ideal for our gigawatt-hour high-scale factory,” says Amprius VP of Infrastructure Andrew Huie. “We will be building this in various phases, the first of which being the 500 megawatt-hours [MWh] demonstration piece that we are working with. We do have a potential of up to five gigawatt-hours [GWh) with the initial phase.”

Asked about the later phases of this project, Huie discloses that Amprius could potentially raise its manufacturing capacity to as high as 10 gigawatt-hours.

This project is backed by a portion of the $50 million cost-sharing grant Amprius received in October 2022 from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to expand domestic battery manufacturing. Amprius was among the first companies to receive this funding. 

Amprius’ facility is slated to become the largest battery factory in Colorado. The company plans to hire more than 300 new employees at this location.

“We have a good pull of local talent,” says Huie, “from the different universities, Colorado School of Mines and all throughout the Denver area. The United States Air Force Academy is located down there as well. Their network of schools that prioritize STEM education is really a key factor for us.” 

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