The Colorado congressional delegation welcomed a Brookings Institution report out today, "Launch!: Taking Colorado's Space Economy to the Next Level," and pledged to work in Washington to ensure the state's aerospace industry remains strong and growing.
The delegation also announced today that it will host regular conferences calls and meetings to improve communication and ensure that Washington and Colorado are working together.
"Colorado's aerospace industry is an important part of our 21st century, innovation-based economy. This report underlines that industry, state and federal leaders should better coordinate to more effectively and forcefully advocate for our aerospace economy," the delegation said. "This report also shows why we must redouble our efforts to ensure that Colorado remains a leader in aerospace and a welcoming environment for high-tech job-creators. We are dedicated to continuing to work in a collaborative, multifaceted manner that will keep Colorado at the forefront of development on this new and exciting frontier."
The report, unveiled today at the History Colorado Center, shows that the aerospace industry employs more than 66,000 workers across the military, civil and private sectors and contributed $8.7 billion to the Colorado economy in 2011 -- roughly 3.8 percent of the state's private-sector gross domestic product. The report also highlights challenges the aerospace industry will face, including an aging workforce.
The report challenges the Colorado congressional delegation to address the looming effects of a series of automatic budget cuts, commonly called sequestration, and to address the effects of the Budget Control Act.