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100 high-paying jobs coming to Colorado Springs, announcement made at Space Symposium

Spectrum AMT expansion contributes to Colorado's robust 'space economy'
Posted at 10:36 AM, Apr 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-11 12:36:01-04

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A high-tech manufacturing company announced Tuesday it would be expanding its Colorado Springs footprint with a $600 million investment and the creation of 100 high-paying jobs.

Governor Jared Polis, Mayor Yemi Mobolade and other local business leaders attended the announcement on the show floor of the Space Symposium at the Broadmoor.

Colorado Springs Mayor Yemi Mobolade joined by Colorado Springs Chamber CEO Johnna Reeder Kleymeyer, Governor Jared Polis, and others at the 39th Space Symposium.

Spectrum Advanced Manufacturing Technologies (AMT) already has operations in town, but the company was considering expansion in Tulsa, Okla. or California where the company also has a footprint.

Spectrum AMT said its expertise is in 3D products like Augmented Reality headsets. The company is owned by Ocutrx Technologies. The company plans to expand its existing facility by 3,000 square feet and add a new 12,000 square foot manufacturing and assembly building.

Rendering of the new Spectrum AMT expansion plans. Courtesy Spectrum AMT

Michael Freeman, executive chairman at Spectrum and CEO of Ocutrx, said Spectrum has been manufacturing products for the Department of Defense and NASA for 27 years. Expanding from their medical devices to aerospace is part of the reason being based in Colorado Springs made sense, he said.

“It was really the people. We got plugged in with the [Colorado Springs] Chamber right away. We were looking at Tulsa, Oklahoma, where we have a research facility. We were looking to California, where we have offices in the north and the south. And Colorado has a great environment,” Freeman said after the announcement.

The company expects to create over 100 new jobs at an average annual wage of $85,000, according to the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT). Those wages would be 135% of the average annual salary in El Paso County.

A company like Spectrum requires a high-skilled workforce, but Freeman said that’s another reason choosing Colorado Springs over other cities and states made sense.

“There's still a huge workforce, not to mention the several thousand military people a year who get discharged and are wanting to stay here in Colorado Springs,” Freeman said. “They're typically skilled either in the technical area or in higher professional areas.”

Ocutrx and Spectrum AMT received a $1.3 million Job Growth Incentive Tax Credit from the Colorado Economic Development Commission in February. It will be allocated over eight years for the creation of 101 net new jobs.

Johnna Reeder Kleymeyer, president and CEO of Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC, said the incentive is performance based and the company will need to hit those job benchmarks to receive the tax credits.

“We're honored to have Spectrum make this announcement in our community,” Kleymeyer said. “The competition is tough. Many, many states fought for these jobs and Colorado Springs won.”

The expansion of Spectrum adds to Colorado’s already robust space economy, which is considered the second largest in the United States. The Space Symposium highlights the widespread aerospace and defense ecosystem present in Colorado Springs and across the state.

According to OEDIT, Colorado’s aerospace and defense industry employs more than 240,000 people statewide and contributes $16 billion to the economy annually.

“We have in Colorado aerospace businesses of all sizes, from startups to large international players. More than 63% of Colorado aerospace companies have 10 or fewer employees, and only 9% of over 250 employees,” Governor Jared Polis said during the announcement. “So really, we run the gamut. We want to grow the next great company of tomorrow right here in Colorado. We want Colorado startups to grow to scale and expand.”

100 high-paying jobs coming to Colorado Springs, announcement made at Space Symposium