In a place that prides itself for its intergovernmental partnerships, Douglas County is ready to bounce back from the economic brink, thanks to those efforts.
That is the belief of commissioners who credit collaborations span from the Capitol to the local board room as the reason the county is a draw for five of the state’s major employers.
The economic impact of those employers is expected to result in more than $1.9 billion in output each year in Douglas County, according to the county’s economic analysts.
“In Douglas County, the numbers are staggering,” said District 3 Commissioner Jill Repella. “This is what it means to create a fertile environment. Everybody benefits.”
Repella places economic development at the top of her list of policy priorities, she said, and worked closely with Douglas County delegates Sen. Mark Scheffel, R-Parker, and Rep. Chris Holbert, R-Parker, in the passage of House Bill 12-1029, The Colorado Jobs Act.
The bill approved a property tax exemption for business personal property taxes and was among those that gained widespread legislative approval from the House and Senate in this year’s session, Scheffel said. Its passage came after years of effort and reflects the influence from the county’s business community, he said.
“This is a team sport,” Scheffel said. “The interests (businesses) represented are always at or near the top of our list.”
The county’s delegates are aware that most businesses do not place politics at the top of their business plan, Holbert said, but the county’s representatives aim to send the message that business interests are always at the top of the list for the local delegation.
“We are at the leading edge of the issues,” Holbert said. “We encourage (business leaders) to be more politically involved.”
Among the incentives that brought some of the county’s major employers to Douglas County were waived personal property taxes and waived permit fees, Repella said.
As far as commissioners are concerned, it’s worth the trade. Since 2008, the county has had 3,500 new businesses open their doors, Repella said.
“We’re on the upside,” she said. “We’ve more than made up for the number of businesses lost since then.”
Economic impact of major Douglas County employers
Baxa Corporation is a medical device company, providing technologies for safe medication handling and delivery. The company has office operations in Meridian International Business Center, with manufacturing operations about four miles away.
The total direct and indirect impacts of Baxa Corporation in Douglas County include $199.4 million in total output; with 520 employees and an additional 311 jobs expected to be created or impacted as a result, with combined earnings of $42.7 million annually.
CH2M HILL provides consulting, design, design-build, operations, and program management for government, civil, industrial, and energy clients. The firm’s work is concentrated in the areas of water, transportation, environmental, energy, facilities, and resources and has performed work in 149 countries and on all seven continents.
The total direct and indirect impacts of CH2M HILL in Douglas County include $1.1 billion in total output; with 1,840 employees and an additional 2,331 jobs expected to be created or impacted as a result, with combined earnings of $263.1 million annually.
Children’s Hospital plans to construct a 175,000-square-foot facility in Highlands Ranch to serve the growing population in the southern section of the Denver metropolitan area. Ground was broken on the facility near Lucent Boulevard and Plaza Drive this May.
The total direct and indirect impacts of Children’s Hospital in Douglas County include $97 million in total output; with 300 employees and an additional 199 jobs expected to be created or impacted as a result, with combined earnings of $22.6 million annually.
Polystrand, a division of Montrose-based Gordon Holdings Inc., plans to construct a $14 million, 120,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Douglas County. The company manufactures thermoplastic composites for multiple applications. This facility is expected to primarily serve the trucking industry, as it will provide the material for liners in refrigerated trucks and trailers.
The total direct and indirect impacts of Polystrand in Douglas County include $274.3 million in total output; with 260 employees and an additional 392 jobs expected to be created or impacted as a result, with combined earnings of $41.9 million annually.
TriZetto, a provider of healthcare IT software and service solutions, announced in April 2012 the build-to-suit construction of a 186,000-square-foot world headquarters in the Meridian International Business Center. TriZetto has been headquartered in the Denver area since July 2010, and this world HQ location will bring 750 additional employees and up to $250 million of capital investment over the next five years.
The total direct and indirect impacts of TriZetto in Douglas County include $284.2 million in total output; with 750 employees and an additional 588 jobs expected to be created or impacted as a result, with combined earnings of $91.2 million annually.