Uncertainty hangs over Pueblo’s economic front. Within our community there is a range of mindsets with varying priorities, needs and potential solutions. There are many opinions on the best way forward and just as many economic indicators that can be informative, yet contradictory, depending on your area of ​​interest. However, as this community progresses, we remain committed to ensuring that we deliberately align our financial resources with the wealth of human capital at our disposal.

Pueblo Councilman Dennis Flores and Community Champion Abel Chavez have been instrumental in leading a partnership initiative with Regional Economist Tatiana Bailey in the development of an economic development scorecard and workforce, located on the City of Pueblo’s website at pueblo.us/2820/Economic-Dashboard. Bailey gives year-round presentations on current national, state, and local economies. She participates in economic development initiatives throughout Colorado and has focused on addressing the skills gap. We are indeed fortunate to be able to count on his expertise.

The Economic Dashboard is sure to provide our municipal and county governments, Pueblo Economic Development Corp., secondary and post-secondary education, Pueblo Workforce Center, and business and industry partners with the information needed to make informed decisions. action-oriented and data-driven in a collaborative setting. , non-competitive, way. It is a one-stop resource for global data such as monthly unemployment rate, US consumer price index and monthly interest rates, as well as labor market data local, demographics and trends in real estate, taxation, vehicle sales and tourism. Constituents can gather the invaluable business intelligence and predictive analytics needed for strategic economic planning.

Pueblo Community College uses this data to align current and emerging educational programs with the best job and career opportunities, weighing the total number of job openings and potential earning power with the cost of education. ‘education. Our college is sensitive to the return on investment of a PCC degree or certification. According to the Economic Scorecard, wages in Pueblo are 29.8% lower than the US average, 33.7% lower than Colorado and 16.4% lower than El Paso County. PCC takes seriously its responsibility to fulfill the role and mission of the institution by providing programs that ensure our graduates have the opportunity to earn a living wage upon graduation. If we are to strengthen the economic vitality of Pueblo, we must provide opportunities that will reduce the percentage of Puebloans at the federal poverty level – currently 17.9% compared to 12.3% nationally.

The median income in 2020 for Pueblo was $31,566, which is $10,000 less than the national figure. As a community college, PCC is strategically positioned to train registered nurses and allied health care providers, computer information systems professionals, advanced manufacturing welders, machinists and renewable energy technicians – careers that bring in annual earnings between $50,000 and $75,000.

CCP recognizes that the predicted population shift in Pueblo is waning and we only have one chance to attract, engage, retain, and see students through to completion. This is where One Pueblo – a team of over 100 people from 57 Pueblo County organizations – comes in. Collectively, we must ensure that all partners are working together so as not to duplicate resources, but to complement the efforts that allow us to grow and foster a healthy, economically dynamic and safe environment in which to live, learn and play.

I encourage you to attend the Pueblo Economic Outlook Forum on November 18 at PCC. You’ll hear from Mayor Nick Gradisar and County Commissioner Chairman Garrison Ortiz and learn first-hand from Tatiana Bailey where we have the best opportunities to work together for a better Pueblo. The event is free and you can register on Eventbrite.com – search Pueblo Economic Outlook Forum.

Pueblo native Patty Erjavec, PhD, has served as president of Pueblo Community College since 2010. The college operates campuses in Pueblo, Cañon City, and Mancos with branches in Durango and Bayfield.