Small manufacturers have edge in Colorado
CRAIG — Small manufacturers in Colorado are finding they have a big edge on the competition.
The Small Manufacturer’s AdvantEDGE program — a first-of-its-kind business assistance program — was selected as a nationwide best practice among economic development programs by the Manufacturing — the manufacturing assistance arm of the National Institute of Science and Technology.
To date, the program for manufacturers with fewer than 20 employees has had more than 170 applicants, 100 of whom were awarded some form of assistance, according to Manufacturer’s Edge. This has translated into recorded economic impact, including more than $9,194,500 in capital formation, $2,807,071 in company sales increases, and 96 new jobs created across Colorado.
Manufacturer’s Edge encourages the strength and competitiveness of Colorado manufacturers through coaching, training, and consulting; collaboration-focused industry programs; and leveraging government, university, and economic development partnerships, according to a news release from Manufacturer’s Edge.
It’s has helped Colorado companies such as Janska, founded in 2002, when owner Jan Erickson decided to pursue her dream of making fashionable, durable, and easy-to-wear fleece clothing based in Colorado Springs. That company started out small but has grown rapidly in size, output, and recognition. Erickson’s products have been featured on such programs as the “Today Show” and “Good Morning America.”
The Small Manufacturer’s AdvantEDGE program is a collaborative effort of the Colorado Manufacturer’s Edge, the Colorado Small Business Development Center Network, World Trade Center Denver and the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade. It provides small manufacturing companies with industry experts for coaching, consultation, and/or training.
Coaching and training assistance includes business strategy, advanced marketing analysis, operational excellence, export gap assessment and compliance, quality systems and certifications, facility layouts, new product development, supply chain management, and market diversification.
The program was seed funded with a $300,000 Advanced Industry Infrastructure grant awarded by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.