Manufacturing summit promotes connections

Western Colorado manufacturers produce an amazing diversity of products sold around the world.

Some manufacturers, including Reynolds Polymer and Leitner-Poma in Grand Junction, have gained well-deserved recognition for the high-profile projects in which they’re frequently involved. But many other manufacturers are far less well known even though their products are just as impressive and in demand.

Along with what might be considered traditional manufacturers that construct products out of plastics and metals, there are less traditional manufacturers, including those that make beverages and foods. Count the growing number of breweries, distillers and wineries in the region among them.

Manufacturers play an especially important role in the economy in that they usually export products outside of the area while importing money into the area. Moreover, manufacturers tend to pay higher wages to their employees.

It’s entirely appropriate, then, that an upcoming event will bring together representatives from manufacturers in the region. The Western Colorado Manufacturing Alliance has joined with the City of Grand Junction, Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce and Mesa County Workforce Center to stage a summit scheduled for April 10 at Two Rivers Convention Center.

The most significant feature of the summit well could be the one-stop networking venue the event will offer. That will include not only informal networking opportunities, but also what’s billed as a business showcase in which participants will present 3-minute pitches on their companies. The idea is to promote connections among manufacturers that could help them identify new suppliers as well as customers and, in turn, grow their operations.

A more closely connected manufacturing sector combined with the efforts of economic development organizations and educational institutions, not to mention a desirable area in which to work and live, could foster a renaissance of sorts for the industry sector in Western Colorado. And that bodes well for the overall economy.