All posts by Nikki Kingery

Delta 2 joins ‘rocket hall of fame.’

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A rocket known for launching satellites and other spacecraft into the sky for the past three decades is joining a hall-of-fame of sorts for historic rockets.

Officials said Saturday that the Delta 2 rocket will join the Rocket Garden on display at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The “garden” includes rockets used to launch Alan Shepard’s first U.S. human spaceflight as well as launch the mission to the Skylab space station and the first U.S.-Soviet joint spaceflight.

The Delta 2 rocket was retired Saturday after launching a NASA satellite designed to precisely measure changes in Earth’s ice sheets.

The Delta 2 rocket was built by United Launch Alliance (ULA) in Pueblo Colorado. ULA has been a PEDCO member since 1986!

 

Story originally posted here!

PCC, NextEra Energy Resources announce partnership

Representatives of Pueblo Community College and NextEra Energy Resources on Thursday announced an academic partnership that will create a living laboratory for renewable energy at PCC.

NextEra Energy Resources will deliver and install 52 photovoltaic solar panels to create a 20-kilowatt solar energy system on PCC’s Pueblo campus. NEER also will provide training and curriculum to help the college create a pipeline of skilled workers for the rapidly evolving industry. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, solar panel installer is the fastest-growing job in the country.

PCC students will be able to use the solar energy system as a learning lab as they study how to operate and maintain the system, as well as analyze its data and build predictive analysis systems to optimize its operations.

“This commitment and generous gift from NextEra to invest in Pueblo, and in particular Pueblo Community College, is a wonderful opportunity for the institution to prepare the next generation of a renewable energy-skilled workforce,” said PCC President Patty Erjavec. “My team has already begun to explore the realm of educational possibilities this learning lab will afford our students and we are eager to unleash their creativity and innovative prowess.”

Ken Salazar, former US Secretary of the Interior and US senator from Colorado, joined PCC and NextEra Energy to celebrate the announcement. He also discussed the importance of solar storage projects in southern Colorado, pointing out that Pueblo County stands to benefit greatly from Xcel’s proposal. The Colorado Public Utilities Commission soon will vote on the plan.

“Under Xcel’s Preferred Colorado Energy Plan, Pueblo County would get a $1 billion investment in solar and energy storage, would gain 1,000 construction jobs and get an annual average GDP uplift of almost $10 million,” Salazar said. “This is truly an historic opportunity for Pueblo.”

PCC is ready to be a vital partner in developing the industry’s local workforce, Erjavec said, and the relationship with NextEra Energy Resources is key to making it happen.

“We are most humbled to partner with NextEra Energy Resources and commit to being good stewards of their investment in us,” she said.

Learn more about NextEra Energy Resources on their website!

PCC to host two-day job fair next week for Russ Davis Wholesale

Pueblo’s newest major employer will host a public job fair next week.

Fresh produce distributor Russ Davis Wholesale expects to start by hiring 50 workers for its planned opening this fall.

Long-term, as orders grow, the company plans to hire 160 or more workers. The jobs include production supervisors, line leads, production fruit and vegetable cutters, order fulfillment leads and truck drivers.

Next week’s hiring event will take place from 1 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. next Friday (Aug. 17) at Pueblo Community College’s Gorsich Advanced Technology Center at 900 W. Orman Ave. Job seekers are advised to bring their resumes.

PCC and Pueblo Workforce Center are co-organizing the event. “These hiring events are a time-effective way to meet with representatives from the Minnesota-based company and learn about its work and the open positions,” PCC said in a statement.

More information about Russ Davis Wholesale can be found at their website!

 

Story originally posted by The Pueblo Chieftain.

US Hemp Sales Reach Record-Breaking $820M In 2017

US hemp sales reached $820 million in 2017, with CBD oil and personal care products generating the most sales. (Source: Hemp Business Journal)

U.S. hemp sales reached record breaking levels last year, thanks to the continued spread of legalization and the growing popularity of CBD oil.

Hemp Business Journal recently released their 2017 hemp industry analysis, reporting sales of hemp products hit $820 million. Despite ongoing legal and regulatory complications, the industry grew a total of 16 percent last year.

And that number is expected to continue rising. With more and more states seeing the value in hemp, legalization is spreading like wildfire.

Responsible for 23 percent of U.S. hemp sales, CBD products banked in at $190 million last year. Personal care items come in at 22 percent, generating around $181 million.

Here are other major uses for hemp and the total value of those sales:

  • Industrial applications – $144 million
  • Food – $137 million
  • Consumer textiles – $105 million
  • Supplements – $45 million
  • Other consumer products – $16 million

As mentioned, U.S. hemp sales are expected to rise as laws and regulations around hemp continue to ease.

With Congress increasingly supportive of total federal legalization of industrial hemp, hemp experts are predicting sales can more nearly triple within the next 5 years.

Though it’s only an estimate, Hemp Business Journal expects U.S. hemp sales to reach $1 billion in 2019, and climb as high as $1.9 billion by 2022.

This is due to two important factors: Hemp is easier to grow than other resources, such as cotton or corn. With it’s over 25,000 known uses, businesses see large potential in hemp as a resource.

Still, we have a long way to go until these estimations become a reality. In 2017, over half of the hemp industry was based in Colorado alone. The biggest barrier: not every state is on board with hemp legalization.

Since hemp is still only partially legal, the amount of production allowed varies from state to state. Therefore, we aren’t seeing as big of a hemp boom as we could because farmers and vendors still face regulatory hurdles from growing their crops to bringing products to market.

Read the full report here.

Adams lights vets’ graves

From The Chieftain:

Adams Electric wwas recognized for donating a new solar-powered and vandal-proof lighting system to Roselawn Cemetery.

Cemetery officials said they have had a chronic problem with vandals damaging the lighting system that illuminates the American flag in a section of the cemetery sponsored by the Retired Enlisted Association.

Roselawn officials were going to hire Adams Electric to repair and replace the lighting system but the company ultimately donated its work and equipment to honor the veterans buried there.

“We were moved and thrilled by what Adams Electric was willing to do to show their support for veterans,” said Lucille Corsentino, president of the Roselawn Foundation.

Big shout-out to our member Adams Electric for stepping in to help their community in any way they can!

Xcel grant to help PCC’s STEM programs

Pueblo Community College’s science technology, engineering and mathematics program has received a boost from Xcel Energy that will help bring in speakers and provide more career exploration opportunities for students.

On behalf of PCC, the Pueblo Community College Foundation is the recipient of a $10,000 grant from the Xcel Energy Foundation.

The award, which will benefit the PCC STEM Center, was made possible through an Xcel Energy Foundation Economic Sustainability grant application submitted by the PCC Foundation. The funds will be used to enhance PCC’s Stars of STEM speaker series.

“We are really excited to receive this grant from Xcel,” said Joey Mathews, PCC’s director of STEM Career and Technical Education. “It will allow us to collaborate with larger industries and engage STEM students in a more unique approach.”

The PCC STEM Center opened in 2015. It engages students of all ages and backgrounds. In addition to the Stars of STEM series, Mathews created Tech Tuesdays and Science Thursdays to showcase professionals and topics in those disciplines.

Full story at the Chieftain!

Colorado’s record tourism growth hits new milestone

The 84.7 million U.S.-based travelers and nearly 1 million international visitors also generated a total of $1.28 billion in state and local tax revenues, studies found, marking the eighth consecutive year of record-setting growth.

“Colorado has been emerging as a national destination over the past five or six years, and we’re continuing to carve out our share of the marketable leisure travelers in the U.S.,” said Cathy Ritter, director of the Colorado Tourism Office. “That holds great promise, especially with additional investment into the tourism sector in the future.

Other findings:

  • In 2017, the Colorado travel industry directly supported 171,000 jobs and earnings of more than $6.3 billion, a 3.4 percent increase over 2016.
  • Colorado last year attracted 37.9 million overnight travelers, including 34 million leisure (non-business) travelers. By comparison, Denver had 17 million overnight visitors in 2017.
  • The state overall saw a 2 percent increase in marketable leisure travelers  in 2017 – on top of a 9 percent increase in that category in 2016. While the rest of the U.S. was flat in 2017 (and up 4 percent in 2016), Colorado’s increases moved the state from the 13th-largest share to 8th largest share of these travelers in just two years.
  •  The most popular place to visit in Colorado is the Denver metro area. Last year, 6 in 10 vacationers spent at least some time there, and 46 percent spent at least one night.
  • 1 in 4 leisure visitors spent time in the mountain towns and ski resorts, Pikes Peak Region and/or the northern Front Range in 2017.
  • About 1 in 7 tourists visited the Western Slope Region, while 1 in 20 took in the Eastern Plains or San Luis Valley.

Read more about the boom in tourism at the Post’s website.

Produce company plans 163+ jobs in Pueblo

A Minnesota-based fresh produce distributor on Monday announced plans to expand into Colorado by opening a 163-worker processing and distribution center at the vacant former Mars/Doane building at the airport industrial park.

Russ Davis Wholesale, based in Wadena, Minn., plans to invest $8 million to $10 million to purchase the 125,000-square-foot building and ready and equip the site for operations by September.

Company executives detailed their plans at a jobs announcement Monday afternoon at the Lake Elizabeth pavilion at the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo.

The city of Pueblo offered the company a $2.6 million jobs incentive grant from its half-cent sales tax fund for economic development, which was approved by City Council later Monday.

Pueblo Community College will provide an estimated $130,400 in pre-employment training.

The jobs will pay an average wage of about $17 an hour, PEDCO officials said.

The company chose Pueblo for its available real estate and labor force as well as its centralized location as a launching point to the Mountain West market, Chief Executive Andy Gamble said.

“Colorado doesn’t currently have a company that does what we do and we feel that it is a great market for our business model,” he said in a statement prior to Monday’s event.

The Pueblo processing center will operate as a multipurpose center, Gamble said. The prospect for growth beyond the 163 jobs is strong.

Read more on the Chieftain!

Local hiring on upswing

The Pueblo area’s unemployment rate fell to a near record low of 3.5 percent in May.

The rate is a tick higher than the area’s modern-era low of 3.4 percent, set 18 years ago in May 2000, according to preliminary employment estimates released Friday by the state Department of Labor. The state’s current record keeping began in 1990.

The drop comes as Colorado and the nation also report the lowest jobless rates in decades.

The U.S. jobless rate fell to 3.8 percent last month.

Colorado’s rate fell to a seasonally adjusted 2.8 percent in May.

The state’s job market remained among the hottest in the nation with a solid 7,700 nonfarm payroll jobs added in May, the third time in four months for larger-than-usual job growth. The Fort Collins-Loveland area reported the state’s lowest jobless rate at 2 percent.

Pueblo’s primary job creation efforts also are finding success. Primary job employers bring so-called “new money” into a community by producing goods and services to sell to customers from outside of the area.

Last week, Midwest produce distributor and processor Russ Davis Wholesale announced plans to open a Pueblo plant and hire 163 or more workers starting in the fall.

Andy Gamble, chief executive of Minnesota-based Russ Davis Wholesale, said the company chose Pueblo for its expansion West in part for the available labor force and after passing on Denver metro area due to its crowded and costly real estate market.

At the same event, Pueblo Economic Development Corp. leaders said they expect more unspecified primary job announcements in coming months. PEDCO President Jeff Shaw has described interest in Pueblo among prospective employers as the strongest in years.

 

 

Read more from the Chieftain!

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