By Brian Willms
President, Loveland Chamber of Commerce
This past Tuesday brought a new level of excitement to the city of Loveland, and for good reason! After a three month process where the city of Loveland worked with the Colorado Association for Manufacturing and Technology (CAMT) to consider the Agilent Campus for the Aerospace Clean Energy (ACE) project, it was confirmed that the Agilent Campus has been chosen as the sole existing space left in the running along with two undeveloped sites in Greenfield. .
Although there is no guarantee Loveland will be the home for ACE, we at the Loveland Chamber of Commerce recognize we’ve won the first heat and the medal we are seeking is within our grasp! It is clear that CAMT sees a significant opportunity in establishing Loveland as one or even the only location for the ACE project. CAMT is looking to have a location established and begin moving businesses to their new home in four months time. Given that CAMT wants to move quickly, it is highly likely that CAMT will bring the first phase of the ACE project to Loveland.
We also want to remind everyone that the selection of the Loveland Agilent Campus as the existing facilities site is quite a coup! There were many communities and sites vying for the opportunity we have been awarded, many of which seemed to have been better positioned because of the political support they were receiving. In fact, Loveland originally wasn’t even an option, but the creative thinking and diligent work by our incredible city staff put Loveland in contention. And thanks to the community support (via writing letters, sending valentines, social media campaigns and phone calls) it was Loveland that was selected as the leading candidate to become the home to thousands of high-tech, high paying jobs.
We understand this exciting project is going to take time and there is more work to do before Loveland is actually in a contract with CAMT, let alone seeing new jobs created for our community. When Hewlett-Packard came to Loveland in 1960, they came with less than 10 employees. After operating in Loveland for two years, they were still at fewer than 200 employees locally. It took time for HP to grow to the thousands of employees it finally housed in Loveland. Our community needs to be prepared for a similar timeline to see this growth and impact.
Our city officials will continue to work aggressively to ensure that CAMT can achieve their goals for ACE; however, we as a community will need to continue our work as well. As we mentioned on Tuesday, the real work is just beginning and the road to achieving thousands of new jobs is a long one. The Chamber, its staff, board members and the many investors and volunteers who make up our great organization will be working with the City, CAMT and others to help bring the companies here to occupy the ACE space.
As a community we will need to raise the funds just as they did in the late 1950s. In 1959 the community of Loveland raised money to acquire the land that the Agilent Campus sits on today. Today our community will need to raise funds to help the relocating businesses minimize their expenses from moving and the purchase of necessary equipment. This community contribution will be our investment that will in-turn provide newly created jobs and prosperity for the community, the region and Colorado. We did it with HP and we can do it even better with ACE!
The Loveland Chamber intends to be your primary source for this information as we move forward by helping to work with the City and CAMT on ensuring that the project thrives for our community. The Loveland Chamber remains excited and optimistic with the future of ACE in Loveland and encourages the community to continue showing its support as well. Continue writing on the ACE Loveland: Where Science and Art Meet Facebook wall, show your support for our city officials in the final stages of bringing ACE to its new home – Loveland, Colorado!
Brian Willms | President & CEO
Loveland Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center