Did you know that the Montrose Economic Development Corporation works with the State of Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, (OEDIT), when we have prospects outside of Colorado looking to locate their business to Montrose? In December of 2022, OEDIT launched the Economic Development Organization Action Grant program to support Colorado economic development organizations in their programming and advancement efforts for their local business communities.
That seemed like a great opportunity to get some dollars to help, so the MEDC applied for the grant. We were notified on April 27 that our grant application was awarded. It’s exciting because this is the first time a grant of this nature has been offered to economic development organizations and we were selected as one of the recipients.
Montrose is home to more than 35 manufacturing companies. Many of these companies have been recruited to Montrose or have been assisted in their expansion within Montrose by the MEDC.
Our plan for the grant funds is to create an active, local manufacturing sector. Many of our manufacturing companies work in silos, and yet they share similar challenges. The logistics involved with shipping goods in and out of Montrose is one example. If a manufacturer has a shipment of materials being delivered and another company has a shipment needing to go out, there could be a possibility of coordinating shipments that would save both companies money.
Why should one local company struggle with the same sort of problem, when a solution has already been discovered by another manufacturer? Our goal is to bring these companies together to share ideas, discuss challenges and find solutions. Through networking opportunities, there will be a potential for them to share resources and perhaps find ways to fulfill needs that are currently being outsourced.
As part of our plan, we are partnering with Colorado Mesa University, (CMU), with the help of Steve Metheny, the director of the Montrose campus. Metheny will recruit an intern from the campus to assist with building and maintaining a database with information on all our manufacturing companies. This will expose the intern to the career opportunities available within our companies. And the database will be a living document that will house information such as processes done by each company and other key elements that can be a shared resource for each company.
CMU has manufacturing technology training programs currently available at the Montrose campus. We will be able to educate these companies on these programs and if additional specific training needs are identified, CMU will consider developing a program to train in those areas. These classes will enable companies to hire locally and train within.
The grant covers a two-year period, and our goal is for the manufacturers group to become self-sustaining.
Sandy Head is the executive director for the Montrose Economic Development Corporation.