Clark's Cone of Silence

A unique look at economic development in the region

Monthly Rankings: Colorado’s Top Five for June

It's no surprise that Colorado has received a lot of great rankings this year, and instead of developing a blog on each one, we thought that moving forward we'd tip our hats to our state's successes by recapping our favorite rankings each month.

Even though June marks the start of summer break, relaxation and vacations, Colorado certainly didn't take any time off from achieving some impressive rankings this past month.

Placing well in more than 15 rankings in June, here are our top-five favorites where Colorado dominated the competition:

  1. Clean Edge Inc. ranked Colorado fifth on its list of the 2013 Clean Tech Leadership Index based on criteria of green buildings, advanced transportation, clean electricity, and carbon management and clean tech investment, innovation, and workforce. It wasn't surprising to see us rank so high and as the top non-coastal state at that considering Colorado's cleantech industry includes more than 20,000 workers employed by over 1,700 companies and has created more than 5,000 clean tech jobs since 1997, according to The Colorado Cleantech Industry Association.
  2. Based on factors including cost of living, demographics, and social scene, Denver is ranked the third-best city for college graduates, according to NerdWallet. While Colorado has more than 470 higher education institutions statewide, is the third-most highly educated state in the country and has a declining unemployment rate, Metro Denver especially appeals to graduates seeking computer science, high-tech, and aerospace jobs. And as an added perk, Denver boasts the most bars per capita, a low cost of living and easy access to those beautiful mountains we love.
  3. Rolling Stone magazine ranked Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison as the best amphitheater in the U.S. Is it even a competition? Between the gorgeous scenery, spectacular view of Metro Denver, rocking concert line-up and Film on the Rocks series, Red Rocks is always a must-visit during the summer for Coloradoans and visitors alike. 
  4. The Brookings Institution reported that employment in the Metro Denver area was made up of nearly 23 percent workers in STEM expertise, which includes jobs requiring science, technology, engineering and math knowledge. Metro Denver ranks in the top 10 in the U.S., above the national average of 20 percent. Home to such companies as CenturyLink, Lockheed Martin, Sun Microsystems, and Hewlett Packard, the Metro Denver region is a hub for STEM-related companies. The University of Colorado has also established itself as a national leader in STEM research and education, pledging to at least double the number of science and mathematics teaching graduates in the next five years. 
  5. Gallup-Healthways ranked Colorado as the second-best state on its Well-Being Index and ranked the Denver-Aurora MSA as the top fourth large community. With criteria based on the World Health Organization's definition of health, which includes physical, mental, and social well-being, it's no surprise that our healthy and active lifestyle makes us the state with the nation's lowest obesity.

Collecting high rankings for cleantech, STEM employment, well-being, entertainment and more, the Metro Denver region shows us once again why we love living, working and playing in this great state.

Stay tuned next month for Metro Denver and Colorado's July rankings, which are sure to bring some firecracker results!

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About Tom Clark

Tom has over 30 years of economic development experience at the state, regional, and local levels, spanning from Illinois to Colorado. He is known both for his quips and his candor. Often quoted in the local and national press on Metro Denver’s economy, his iPhone is his most valued possession next to his Les Paul guitar. He is also famous for writing parody songs, maintaining an orderly office, and funding the office swear jar. Tom says that if wasn’t an economic developer, his dream would be to work in a chocolate factory.

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About The Cone of Silence

Invented by Professor Cone from TV’s "Get Smart," the Cone of Silence was designed to protect the most secret of conversations by enshrouding its users within a transparent sound-proof shield. Unfortunately, from experience, we have also learned that it never works properly. This blog offers those outside our “Cone of Silence” a unique look at economic development in the region.

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