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A little known fact to most of us isolated out here in the rural plains of Colorado is that the Aerospace Industry in Colorado is poised for a huge boom and it is predicted that in the next five years the opportunities for jobs and economic development in this little-understood industry will “rocket” past the rest of the country.  It really already has as Colorado has more than 400 Aerospace firms with an annual payroll of $3.2 billion.  But not all firms in the industry hire just engineers or rocket scientists.  Some of them provide the basic needs NASA requires to move the country’s space program forward.  For instance, who makes or launders the space suits the astronauts are in during their routine days in space?  Who provides the foods the astronauts will need? Who provides the transportation to move rocket parts to where they need to be?  Who stores the equipment needed to build the industry?

That is why the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT for short) has their sights set on rural Colorado.  First of all, rural Colorado has a lot of open space that could be used for businesses working in Colorado’s Aerospace industry.  Secondly, rural Colorado raises good, smart, hard-working youth who are ready to find good jobs or create new industry in these parts.  Jay Lindell, a former United States Air Force pilot, recognizes that rural Colorado has the potential to enhance the Race-to-Space 2.0 as NASA is solidifying its goal to travel to Mars. 

And that is why OEDIT and Lindell is bringing an amazing opportunity to Eads High School on April 27th  called DREAM BIG EADS!

The event is a one-day extravaganza collection of some of Colorado’s finest businesses and startups that work in the Aerospace Industry.  And they will all travel from the front range to Kiowa County to look the place over, meet the students and educators, and try their best to show us that there is a future for Kiowa County to join with the Aerospace industry in Colorado. 

First of all, students and educators from all over southeastern Colorado will be able to attend the event with the Eads School officials setting a 250 student limit due to space constraints.  Middle school and high school students from the SE BOCES including Eads, but also Plainview, Holly, Granada, Wiley, McClave, Walsh, Springfield, Campo, Vilas, Pritchett, and Kim will be on hand to participate in this one-day, life-changing event. 

And what will the students and educators be doing in Eads on April 27th?  Well, they will be extending their knowledge of what kind of careers and economic opportunities there really will be for them in the future.  This could be called one of the biggest career fairs southeast Colorado has ever had.  Business and University displays will be set up in the MP Room at the high school throughout the day.  A Black Hawk helicopter will land on the school grounds and students will be able to talk to the National Guard and pilots.  A number of real-life astronauts are scheduled to be on hand to talk to the students.  A Cessna 182, a Wings Over the Rockies aircraft, will take 21 lucky students on flights throughout the day.  The flights will take off and land at the Eads Airport.  In addition, there will be a number of learning workshops.  These include middle school and high school e-missions provided by the Challenger Learning Center.  The NXP Smarter World Tour bus, with more than 180 interactive demos will be an amazing opportunity to experience the future world we will live in.  Drones and Robots will be a part of the Unmanned Air Space presentation from UAS Colorado, and 3D printers and applications will be explained in the Advanced Manufacturing workshops.  There will also be workshops on Cybersecurity where students will learn about hacking and how this modern piracy is being contended with. 

Finally, this event should be a wonderful economic boost for Eads as food will be provided by area restaurants, the hotel will be used by the many presenters, and other services will be needed for the visitors during the event. 

Stay tuned for more detailed information to come in the next few weeks as we get ready to DREAM BIG EADS!
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