The energy industry is a heavy hitter when it comes to economic impact in Western Colorado, but industry representatives aren’t always easily accessible to the general public.
That scenario changes during the annual Energy Forum and Expo, set for Feb. 25 at Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction.
The event, which mixes seminars conducted by experts in the field with energy industry informational booths, is sold out to vendors. But the event is free and open to as many people who want to attend to soak up the information.
“We make sure they’re part of the energy industry and they’re using the best practices possible,” said George Rossman, who owns Event Masters and is in charge of promoting the forum and expo. Every business on hand is part of the energy industry — be it coal, natural gas, uranium, solar, wind or geothermal.
According to the website for the expo and forum at www.energyexpoco.com, the event will showcase and examine Western Colorado’s role in moving towards renewable and alternative forms of energy as well as showcase the latest innovations in the development of hydrocarbons.
The forum and expo opens at 8 a.m. and runs through 4 p.m. While the event promises to offer plenty of information, it’s not necessarily a good place to look for a job. “We don’t advertise this as a job fair,” Rossman said.
Still, there’s plenty of room for interaction between the companies and those who might someday work in the energy business.
Institutions that provide education for the industry will participate as well. Mesa State College, Western State, Colorado State University and Colorado Mountain College all plan to set up booths at the expo. The colleges offer programs that train students for skilled positions in energy, including alternative energy and energy management positions.
“You can see what’s needed education-wise to get there,” Rossman said.
Rossman said word of mouth has spread the news rapidly since the expo was first staged in 2006. She didn’t start to solicit vendors until October, but expo space was sold out by the end of January.