On Tuesday, the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce had the honor of hosting Colorado Governor Jared Polis for an exclusive address at the Riverside Education Centers, highlighting key points from his recent State of the State address and providing a special focus on opportunities and challenges for the Western Slope.
This special event convened local strategic partners, community leaders and businesses to hear about the policies and initiatives poised to propel our regional economy and community forward, drawing attention to the importance of championing opportunities in education, workforce and business to protect and improve affordability and overall quality of life for Western Slope residents.
Beginning his address with pride in Colorado’s legacy and sense of unity, Governor Polis mentioned the State’s upcoming sesquicentennial celebration of 150 years in 2026. Recognizing shared challenges we face as Coloradans, he emphasized how investments in water, transportation, public schools and housing are critical for the next 150 years.
The Governor also praised the unique attributes of our region that are shining examples across the state and beyond, including Mesa County’s impressively low unemployment. Most notably, he shared a strong sentiment commending local collaborative efforts and partnerships between academic institutions, industry sectors, economic and workforce development organizations that are currently working to prepare and retain the future workforce. He noted that these vital programs are increasing opportunities and access to hands-on training and upskilling in a multitude of industries and career pathways for the Western Slope.
With the audience, backdrop, and Governor Polis’ remarks equally vibrant, this event was an excellent showcase of the spirit of collaboration and dedication across our community. The culmination of these efforts have laid the foundation for Colorado and the Western Slope to remain the best place to live, work and play.
Alongside our fellow community champions, the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce is committed to continue to navigate challenges, find innovative solutions and realize opportunities.