Colorado woos tech workers from Silicon Valley

Global Business

The Bay Area of California, and Silicon Valley in particular, has made its name over the years with technology, venture capital and innovation. That success has also produced runaway home prices and standstill traffic. That spells opportunity for one city 2,000 kilometers to the east.

CGTN’s Hendrik Sybtandy reports.

Randy Thelen with the Downtown Denver Partnership has a message for Bay Area technology workers: ‘Come to Colorado!’

Jeremy Thomas runs a payroll and benefits company called Gusto. It is one of nine firms that formed the Colorado Technology Recruiting Coalition. It recently launched the ‘Pivot to Colorado’ campaign to convince California tech employees to relocate to Denver.

“We feel like in order for us to hit our higher hiring targets we have to reach outside the Colorado market specifically,” Thomas said.

10,000 tech employees now work in downtown Denver. Colorado is home to nearly 11,000 technology companies. What is missing here to some extent, is mid to upper-level talent that has experience growing firms.

The ‘Pivot to Colorado’ campaign, whose first phase cost half a million dollars, features ads on websites and social media like Spotify, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. There are also not-so-subtle reminders at transit stations in the Bay Area that there are pretty good alternatives to living there, and not have to face long commutes and instead enjoy a better quality of life.

Peter Leroe-Munoz of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group said: “There are a lot of other places that want to replicate the success that we’ve had here in Silicon Valley. And they know that in order to do that, they need the talent, they need the brainpower.”

‘Pivot to Colorado’ representatives say hundreds of people have applied for jobs through their website, which has had 52,000 page views so far. Silicon Valley, they argue, was overdue for a challenge. Just as Denver could be raided for talent years from now.