Creating a Vibrant Economy
From Day One, Michael Hancock has been focused on creating economic opportunity for all – our friends and family, our next door neighbors and all our unique communities throughout the city. As Mayor, Michael has vowed to continue his efforts to keep the economy on the right track until the promise of opportunity is within reach of every resident, every business and every child, because good-paying jobs that support a strong economy require access to affordable housing, quality schools and an efficient government that can support businesses.
When we started together four years ago, Denver looked quite different: Our unemployment rate was approaching double digits, construction projects had slowed, and our small businesses were feeling the impact of the recession.
Since then, we have added an estimated 36,000 new jobs and 2,200 new businesses to Denver’s economy. Denver now has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation at about 4%. We have so many reasons to be optimistic about the future of this amazing place we call home.
Together, we are creating a vibrant economy by:
Uplifting underserved neighborhoods
Michael Hancock is working to lift underserved communities throughout the city by delivering long-lasting improvements. In Elyria, Swansea and Globeville, the Mayor has launched the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative to reconnect these neighborhoods and make them healthier and more vibrant. In Westwood, the city will create a new town center along Morrison Road. And, just last year, we opened Four Winds/Cuatro Vientos park, the area’s first new park in 30 years.
Ensuring entrepreneurs have the tools they need to succeed.
We have unleashed the creativity of our entrepreneurs and innovators. Today, small businesses and startups in Denver employ about 80% of our workforce. We have kicked off new projects, such as the Brighton Boulevard redevelopment and a center for entrepreneurism and technology, that are launching pads for creative industries. Denver is supporting these businesses by investing in Denver firms, enhancing the Denver Capital Matrix, and providing training and job search assistance.
Recruiting large employers to bring high-paying jobs to Denver.
Denver has made critical gains in high-tech, high paying jobs that are keeping us competitive in the national and international marketplace. Large employers such as Ardent Mills are locating their headquarters in Denver. Panasonic will open a new facility that will house its solar power business. And the new U.S. Patent and Trade Office will create a $440 million economic benefit for the city and attract hundreds of highly skilled jobs to the area.
Developing a workforce capable of succeeding in the jobs of the 21st century.
Mayor Hancock is developing a strong workforce by connecting employers with the employees they will need to grow their businesses. Denver has assisted more than 17,000 individuals find employment, provided re-employment services to more than 3,000 long-term unemployed job seekers and connected an estimated 2,400 employers to job seekers. Denver is training tomorrow’s workforce with programs that offer free technology classes in computer basics and website design.
By launching major projects that are transforming Denver into a world-class city, Michael Hancock is ensuring Denver will have a strong economy for years to come.
Less than a year ago, we reopened Union Station, and this iconic transportation hub is now re-energizing downtown Denver as new buildings are constructed and light rail tracks are laid across the region. Union Station now houses more than a dozen bustling small businesses. This project sparked a resurgence in Lower Downtown. Today, more than $500 million is being invested into new projects that will continue to shape the heart of the city.
Just north of downtown, along Brighton Boulevard, miles of rundown warehouses and shipping facilities have been transformed into smart developments that house small business incubators and marketplaces. The northern gateway to downtown is now the epicenter of the creative and entrepreneurial industry that will allow Denver to compete with cities across the country for years to come.
At Denver International Airport, we are just months away from opening a new 519-room hotel and, early next year, commuter rail trains will begin moving along the East Line, connecting neighborhoods across Denver and the entire metro area to DIA. We have continued to connect Denver to the world with new international flights to Iceland, Panama, Mexico City and Japan that will bring a combined $203 million economic benefit to Denver.