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Denver Yearly Jobs Plan to Focus on Neighborhood Benefit, Ensuring Economic Prosperity for All

Mayor Michael B. Hancock and the Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) today released JumpStart 2017, the city’s annual strategic plan for economic development.

The plan features strategies to uplift underserved neighborhoods and populations and reduce urban poverty.

“JumpStart is more than an annual strategy, it is a statement of values for how Denver builds a local economy that secures our community’s legacy and maintains our city’s unique character in the years ahead,” Mayor Hancock said. “In 2017, our eyes are squarely focused on taking the necessary strides to help ensure that all residents have the opportunity to benefit from Denver’s vibrant economy.”

Now in its sixth annual edition, JumpStart sets bold goals for continued momentum in the city’s vibrant economy, growing good jobs and creating opportunity for all Denver residents to succeed.

Denver’s economy has added 75,000 new jobs and 5,000 new businesses since 2011. Last year’s strategy, JumpStart 2016, contributed to the creation of nearly 3,000 new and 7,000 retained jobs, $111.4 million in capital investment and funded the creation of 579 affordable homes. JumpStart 2017 sets out a comprehensive roadmap for the year ahead to continue to strengthen Denver’s economy.

Economic mobility strategies in the plan aim to increase job opportunities, income, and home and business ownership among residents, while expanding affordable housing and investments in our youth.

“With strong employment and wage growth, Denver has led the nation as one of the most vibrant economies,” said Paul Washington, OED Executive Director. “We’ve thoughtfully identified goals for JumpStart that we believe will make the most of the opportunities before us.”

Other strategic pillars of economic development outlined in the document are housing, business development, business innovation and workforce development. Each pillar includes detailed initiatives, goals and partners with which the OED will collaborate to convert plans to action.

Among the specific initiatives in the 2017 plan:

  • Create and act on neighborhood economic mobility and anti-displacement strategies for the Montbello, Westwood, Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods.
  • Build middle skill employment by encouraging developers of OED-financed projects to recruit, train and hire low-income residents for entry-level positions.
  • Foster cooperative business ownership models in both north and west Denver, providing a means for asset building.
  • Support the development of a maker’s lab, providing a collaborative craft space for entrepreneurs to access manufacturing resources.
  • Launch innovative approaches to fostering density at transit-oriented development sites, including the promotion of mixed-income, for-sale condominium housing in the Five Points and Stapleton neighborhoods.
  • Develop a public-private financing model with the banking community for the preservation and rehabilitation of expiring, covenant-restricted affordable housing units.
  • Complete a comprehensive strategy for establishing an agribusiness innovation center at the National Western Center, providing a springboard for global commerce opportunities.
  • Develop scalable workforce initiatives to train and employ low-income residents with jobs in the manufacturing, technology, healthcare and construction sectors.
  • Boost foreign direct investment by pursuing the formation of a public-private fund that focuses on co-investment strategies in Globeville, Elyria-Swansea, Five Points, Montbello, Northeast Park Hill, Sun Valley and Westwood.
  • Assist small- and minority-owned businesses to access public contracts by publishing quarterly reports, identifying all major projects to be let by the city over the next several years.

JumpStart 2017 is available online here.