Phil Castle, The Business Times
A Western Slope telecommunications company has acquired a hotel and restaurant on the Grand Mesa that will be used in part to train military veterans to work in the industry.
Teltech Communications has entered into a lease-to-own agreement for SlopeSide Hotel at Powderhorn Mountain Resort.
The facility will continue to operate as a hotel, condominium, restaurant and bar offering accommodations to the public.
The facility also will be used after ski seasons, though, as a national training sites to prepare veterans for careers in telecommunications.
The New Colorado Outdoor Adventure Guide School has joined Teltech in the effort and will serve as lead educational entity.
“It’s pretty cool, to say the least,” said Kelly Jo Martin, sales and procurement manager for Teltech.
Founded in Western Colorado in 1999, Teltech offers a range of products and services to the telecommunications industry in selling new and refurbished equipment; recycling electronics; and providing engineering, management and logistics services. The company now operates locations in five states, including warehouses and other facilities in Grand Junction.
Add to those facilities the SlopeSide Hotel with its 16 suites, restaurant and other amenities in a building located near the main chairlift at Powderhorn.
At the same time, though, SlopeSide will serve as a training site to more than 100 veterans with the primary focus on preparing them to work as cellular telephone tower technicians. “There’s a real need for those types of workers in the telecommunications industry,” Martin said.
By one estimate, 5,000 positions must be filled to keep pace with equipment upgrades and expansions, she said.
Martin said Teltech long has been involved in efforts to provide wireless cellular field services supported by a formal training program focusing on military veterans and Native Americans.
Warriors 4 Wireless, a nonprofit organization, was formed with a similar mission of helping veterans build on the skills they developed in the military and prepare them for careers as wireless technicians.
“Teltech Communications is honored to be working with Warriors 4 Wireless,” said Lisa Hanlon, chief executive officer of Teltech. “Far too many of our veteran heroes are struggling to find work once they leave military service. The goal of the program is to repay part of the debt we owe the brave men and women who have eminently sacrificed for our freedom. Simultaneously, the program will help these veterans acquire the skills they need to pursue careers in wireless facility construction and maintenance.”
Kelley Dunne, chief executive officer of Wireless 4 Warriors, said he’s excited about the new training site at SlopeSide.
“WFW is incredibly excited about the unique opportunity that Teltech and the Powderhorn resorts offer us for training transitioning veterans to careers in the wireless industry,” Dunne said.
“This is a prime example of how industry, communities and nonprofits can work together to help solve social challenges — such as creating employment and career opportunities for the 250,000 veterans that will be transitioning out of the military every year for the next five years,” Dunne added. “We believe we will create a training facility at SlopeSide that Teltech, the wireless industry and the entire Grand Junction community can be very proud of for years to come.”