Colorado Springs Fort Carson military aerial view helicopter

Colorado Springs continues its roll when it comes to national listings, having been named the No. 1 Best Large City for Vets to Live in 2019 by Military Times Reboot Camp.

The ranking is based on places for veteran and military culture/services, economic indicators and livability factors. According to the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC, the defense sector has a $36.6 billion economic impact on the state and produces 7.4 percent of the total jobs in Colorado. That makes up the third-largest economic sector in the state.

“Veterans, military retirees and their families diversify our culture and economy like no other, bringing us highly-skilled, mission-oriented professionals who are a source of strength for our workforce and our state’s $36.6 billion defense sector,” said Rich Burchfield, chief defense development officer with the Chamber & EDC, in an email. “With ample job opportunities in the Aerospace and Defense sector, access to cutting-edge curriculums at area schools and universities, connection to multiple military installations and services, our affordable cost of living and unparalleled natural beauty, it’s no surprise America’s heroes find a great home in Colorado Springs.”

A statement from the Chamber & EDC said, “Colorado Springs attracts a highly-skilled and dedicated workforce of technology and engineering experts, as well as military service members, retirees and veterans. Educational programs and intellectual capital are abundant in the Pikes Peak region, as Colorado Springs is home to an established, highly-collaborative network of academic and research institutions.”

Some statistics regarding the local aerospace/defense industry:

  • The defense industry is one of Colorado Springs’ top economic engines, representing 44% of local economy.
  • Colorado Springs is home to more than 240 aerospace and defense companies, and the operations of key national defense commands.
  • It has $12 billion in annual economic impact and $36.6 billion in state economic impact (much larger and farther reaching than expected when figuring VA compensation and benefits, veterans and military retirees).
  • Space, cyber, advanced materials, artificial intelligence, robotics, nano-technology, manufacturing and the interface between defense and commercial firms are a source of strength for Colorado’s economy and provide a ready labor force from those transitioning out of the military and into the private sector.
  • 105,000 local employees
  • 53,696 military veterans
  • #2 City for Veterans ( ranking 2016)
  • #4 City for Defense jobs ( 2016)
  • Great American Defense Community Award Winner
  • Local employers include Vectrus, TechWise, Raytheon, Polaris Alpha, Northrup Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Harris Corp, Braxton, Boecore and Bal Seal, to name a few.


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