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Colorado Gov. Ritter Applauds Recovery Act Job Creation

  • Synopsis: Published: 2010-09-19 - Creating jobs and improving economic climate and quality of life in communities across Colorado - OFFICE OF GOV. BILL RITTER JR..

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A new White House report highlights seven projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that are creating thousands of jobs and improving the economic climate and quality of life in communities across Colorado.

"The Recovery Act is helping Colorado's economy by investing in ambitious projects like the redevelopment of Denver Union Station and the expansion of Abound Solar in Longmont," Gov. Ritter said. "These projects are creating and retaining thousands of jobs, shifting the economy in the right direction and providing long-term benefits to the people of Colorado."

The White House report identifies Recovery Act-funded projects that are improving transportation infrastructure in Loveland, reducing energy use at the Federal Center in Lakewood and providing affordable housing for abused women and children in Larimer County. Colorado companies are winning contracts for this work, allowing them to retain and hire employees. Jalisco International in Commerce City has committed to using minority workers for 50 percent of its contract on the Crossroads Boulevard Interchange in Loveland. The report can be found at www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/100-Recovery-Act-Projects-Changing-America-Report.pdf.

At least $7.3 billion is expected to come to Colorado from the Recovery Act. A recent report by the Council of Economic Advisers estimates that the Recovery Act has created, saved and indirectly produced 50,000 jobs in Colorado. More information is available at www.colorado.gov/recovery.

Below are the projects identified in the White House report:

Abound Solar facility in Longmont - $400 million

The Department of Energy has conditionally committed to provide a $400 million loan guarantee to Abound Solar Manufacturing, LLC to manufacture state-of-the-art cadmium telluride thin-film solar panels. The project includes two facilities: the capacity expansion of an extant facility in Longmont, Colorado and the construction of a new facility in Tipton, Indiana. When fully operational, the company will produce millions of solar panels annually at a lower cost than some competing technologies due to the use of cutting-edge solar manufacturing technologies. The company anticipates that the project will create approximately 2,000 jobs during construction and 1,500 permanent jobs.

UQM Technologies - Frederick - $45 million

UQM Technologies, a developer of electric vehicle propulsion systems, is building a new electric vehicle propulsion plant that will be four times the size of their original facility. UQM used a portion of its $45 million Recovery Act grant through the Department of Energy's Vehicle Technologies Program to pay for the $7.5 million facility. When the new facility is fully operational, it is expected to produce 80 propulsion systems a day. UQM will also be using Recovery Act funding to advance research and production of electric and hybrid-electric vehicle propulsion systems. The company expects to add 230 jobs by next year, growing its workforce from 70 to 300.

Redevelopment of Denver Union Station - $28 million

Thanks in part to a $28 million Recovery Act grant, the Denver Regional Transportation District and the Denver Union Station Project Authority are redeveloping the Denver Union Station site as a multimodal transportation center that will accommodate significant additional passenger rail service (FasTracks) now under construction. The $500 million dollar project will transform Union Station into the hub of a seamless, interconnected transportation system which provides access to Amtrak, light rail, bus transit, parking and bicycle/pedestrian routes. When completed, the new station will reinvigorate downtown Denver and provide better access to housing, jobs, and commerce, and improve connections for business, education, recreation, tourism, and services. Recovery Act funding has already created more than 110 jobs on the project, which will be completed in 2014. The entire project is expected to create 7,000 jobs during construction and add $3 billion in new economic activity to Colorado over the next 20 years.

Crossroads Blvd. Interchange at I-25 in Loveland - $3 million

On August 12, 2010 the new interchange at Crossroads Boulevard and Interstate 25 in Loveland, Colorado opened, addressing a significant regional transportation problem and providing benefits to the region's residents - benefits that would likely have taken another 10-20 years to materialize without this additional funding. The $5.5 million project, which combined $3 million in Recovery Act funds with a metro district maintained by developer McWhinney and funding from local tax funds, features a large roundabout on either side of I-25 and pedestrian walkways below the bridge, and is expected to handle about 24,000 vehicles per day. An average of 84 people worked on the project per month during construction.

Energy Efficient Federal Center - Lakewood - $39.4 million

A team of Colorado small businesses has put nearly 40 people to work so far installing 35 acres of solar panels on the roofs and grounds of the Denver Federal Center. The seven megawatt solar Recovery Act project will provide clean, renewable energy to help power the offices of the nearly 6,000 people who work on the campus, saving thousands of dollars in energy costs and preventing thousands of tons of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere every year. The Denver solar project is the largest single part of GSA's effort to add 12 megawatts of solar power generation capacity at federal buildings nationwide - increasing solar power capacity by nearly 600% while generating enough renewable electricity to power 1,600 homes --the equivalent of removing 2,500 cars from the road.

Crossroads Safehouse - Larimer County - $500,000

This Recovery Act grant partnership at Crossroads Safehouse has provided a bilingual, invigorated coordinated community response of job skill and educational services and life-saving transitional housing for families who have suffered from domestic violence. The funding expanded the program - the only domestic violence shelter in Larimer County - from 15 units to 25 units. Without this funding, many of the battered women and their children who turn to Crossroads in this largely rural county would have had little option but to become homeless or go back to their abusers. Recovery Act funding has been used to provide additional consulting and staff support at over 20 network institutions.

Housing Construction for Seniors and the Disabled - Denver - $10 million

The Housing Authority of the City and County of Denver (DHA) received a 2009 Recovery Act grant award of $10 million for the construction of a $21 million tower for the Senior & Disabled at 1099 Osage. This 100-unit public housing/ Low Income Housing Tax Credit Transit Oriented Development ten-story building will utilize scarce, vacant in-fill land located adjacent to an existing light rail station, achieving a density of 108 units per acre. The building will maximize energy efficiency with a possible 50 percent reduction in energy consumption. A Photo-voltaic system will offset 10 percent of electrical demand and a geothermal system will provide energy efficient heating and cooling. The building will be oriented to use passive solar/heating and cooling. The housing authority estimates that at least 50 construction/sub-contracting construction jobs will be created.

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