It’s too bad there are no silver bullets to shoot or magic wands to wave to improve business and labor conditions in Western Colorado. But that’s what happens when you’re dealing with economic factors, some of them global in scope. There are seldom simple solutions to complex problems.
However, education and collaboration can go a long way toward changing circumstances — a little at first and, eventually, maybe even a lot.
That’s why officials are excited about an upcoming economic summit in Grand Junction designed to not only offer information about a variety of issues affecting Western Colorado, but also enlist participants in efforts to promote business recruitment and expansion.
The summit will replace what’s long been an annual meeting for the Grand Junction Economic Partnership with an event that combines a far more in-depth approach with a much broader regional appeal.
The day-long summit, set for June 1 at Colorado Mesa University, will include sessions on everything from broadband communications to work force development and health care to higher education. An impressive group of state and local experts will lead the presentations and join in panel discussions. There will be opportunities as well for participants to meet and make what could be important connections.
The premise makes a lot of sense: learn more about what’s happening in Western Colorado and why, talk things over and figure out ways to work together to change the situation.
The economic glass certainly could be viewed as half-empty in Western Colorado, particularly given the downturn in the energy sector related to low prices But the glass also could be deemed half full given some of the opportunities that have arisen, including a new state program offering incentives for businesses that create jobs and a more collaborative approach to development efforts.
The summit itself presents an opportunity for Western Colorado residents to get informed and collaborate. That’s better than working magic.