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2017 Made in Colorado forum and awards [PHOTO GALLERY]

See the faces behind the scenes making Colorado's goods, gear, gadgets and more


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A diverse sector of designers, engineers, growers and builders are united by ambition as evidenced by the 5th annual Made in Colorado Forum and Awards on March 2.

Nearly 300 manufacturers attended the jam-packed event at Mile High Station, representative of the 6,000 manufacturers across a variety of business sectors including electronics, energy, aerospace, biomedical, food and beverage are advancing their industries with advancements in manufacturing technologies that are pioneering their way for the future.


PLUS: The 2017 MIC 250 list showcases the depth of product categories Coloradans churn out, from aerospace components to hemp edibles and every imaginable tangible thing in between. 


What emerged from the panel discussion, awards and mingling that took place at the afternoon event was a hopeful expression  for the future and growth of the manufacturing sector. In fact, it's worth nothing that because of the talent, precision and dedication of our workforce, the average annual wage for manufacturers in Colorado is 43 percent higher than that of all other industries, according to the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. Our geographic location and extensive infrastructure ensures a strong global supply chain, but what truly sets Colorado apart is the state's access to highly skilled workers and research institutions that are uncovering the latest advancements in manufacturing.

However, work force remains biggest issue for Colorado manufacturers.

That's why Made in Colorado exists – the business-to-business connections, the sharing of stories and commitments to products and processes. Putting that all under one roof for a collection of conversations is the way for ColoradoBiz to move the needle toward progress for the sector as a whole.  

The makers in attendance and highlighted inside the pages of the magazine deem their work to be more than just a job, but rather a personality, a lifestyle, a calling.

The day opened with a luncheon and B2B lounge during which manufacturers were exclusively invited to talk about cyber security solutions within the industry.

To kickoff the afternoon program, Gov. John Hickenlooper, a former manufacturer in his own right – as a Wynkoop beer brewer – said:

"Beer is one of the best forms of manufacturing because it produces pure joy." 

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock later spoke of the strength of the manufacturing sector in Colorado’s capital and beyond.

Thereafter, four diverse manufacturers from Infinite Monkey Theorem, Tuff Shed, Tender Belly and Meier Skis talked about strategies to scale their businesses and product lines, before the five Made in Colorado awards were presented.

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