March 2019 marks the second anniversary of the creation of CMU 20000, an initiative of the Chamber to help increase enrollment to 15,000 students at Colorado Mesa University, supported by 5,000 community supporters. There was a lot of hoopla when we initially launched the effort as a way to recognize and support 

CMU as an economic driver and key partner in developing our future workforce.

Over the past two years the effort has evolved a bit with greater emphasis on getting high schoolers to make senior year count by taking advantage of the training offered through Colorado Mesa University and Western Colorado Community College. The concept is simple. If our seniors are taking college courses or working toward a certification program before graduation, they establish a relationship with CMU that may lead to keeping more of these young people in the Valley as they gain the knowledge and skills needed to have successful careers. It also helps grow enrollment toward our stated goal of 15,000 and increases the economic impact of the University.

Late last month, CMU released its 2019 Regional Impact Study and it was no surprise the biggest overall impact was annual student spending estimated at $128 million. With 45% of CMU’s students coming from outside the region that means a significant amount of these dollars are


new to our economy. That money was spent in many places besides Colorado Mesa University. Students spend money with area retail establishments, restaurants and coffee shops and many other places.

The report also listed 2,885 jobs created as result of the regionwide spending by Colorado Mesa University. Overall, Colorado Mesa University provides a tremendous amount of positive impact on the local economy and business climate. Here at the Chamber, while you may not be hearing about it every day, we are working in close collaboration with CMU to help drive its growth which in turn helps drive our community’s growth. Count us among the many champions of Colorado Mesa University!


Click here to download the full version of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce March 2019 Newsletter.

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