DENVER -- While Tuesday’s SpaceX launch is getting a lot of attention, Colorado’s aerospace community is also making worthy contributions.
New numbers released by the Colorado Space Coalition reveal there are a total of 26,620 private sector aerospace jobs in our state.
In 2017, jobs grew by 4.7 percent, adding more than 1,000 workers, making Colorado number two in the nation for aerospace-related employment.
"Colorado was the draw. The views, the outdoor activities," said Angie Wise of Sierra Nevada Corporation. "You have Denver, you have Boulder, there's so much packed into this area." The company is developing a spacecraft to take cargo to and from the International Space Station (ISS).
It's our mountains, along with one of the most educated workforces in the nation, that's allowing the space sector to take off.
"Colorado's contributions extend beyond a mile high above the earth. Scientists here are designing spacecraft, satellites and parts that are landing on Mars."
Besides Sierra Nevada, United Launch Alliance, Lockheed Martin and Ball Aerospace, all have Colorado ties.
"The fact that they're so close together means we don't have to worry about traveling and flying out to other cities to have meetings, we can just drive to ULA and have conversations with them," said Wise.
Colorado is also preparing for the future, as many aerospace companies -- such as Sierra Nevada -- offer internships to young students looking to get a foot in the door in the aerospace industry.