Northern Colorado Colleges, Universities Join Forces

Aims Community College, Colorado State University, Front Range Community College and the University of Northern Colorado are collaborating on a joint venture to more effectively and efficiently develop and train the region’s workforce for today’s global economy.

The institutions enhance regional economic development with their capacity in areas including custom workforce training, a variety of degree programs, a broad range of research and specialized faculty expertise. By leveraging their capacity through a joint venture, the institutions can make an even greater impact on northern Colorado.  

The need for the joint venture became apparent as the institutions explored the expansion of higher education opportunities at five locations in Weld and Larimer counties: the Aims campus being developed near Berthoud and the college’s location near Iron Mountain Complex; Centerra; downtown Greeley; and Old Town Fort Collins. The project will help the institutions determine which school offers what programs where and how they might develop collaborations at some or all of the locations.

This announcement coincides with the Larimer and Weld County Education and Workforce Advisory Council meeting hosted by the Northern Colorado Economic Development Corp., in cooperation with Upstate Colorado, on Sept. 12. Senior officials from each of the institutions will speak at the meeting.

What They’re Saying

"This joint venture is an example of the smart competition and smart collaboration that can occur to contribute to the region’s success. We all bring different areas of expertise to the table and are combining our strengths without losing our identities." – Kay Norton, president, University of Northern Colorado

"Northern Colorado requires a well-trained workforce to fill the many jobs that are part of emerging industries such as clean energy. A regional approach between our institutions should help boost the number of northern Colorado residents who are qualified to work in these jobs, benefiting our regional economy." – Larry Edward Penley, president, Colorado State University

"Primary employers and venture capitalists are attracted to areas with a population of 500,000 or more.  With 250,000 in each county, separately we aren’t as attractive as we would be by combining our regional numbers to reach the half million tipping point."  – Marsi Liddell, president, Aims Community College

"This will allow for better use of tax dollars for all of those who fund education.  This joint venture promotes efficiency and a level of cooperation to offer a broad range of possibilities for the region." – Jim Butzek, vice president of Larimer campus, Front Range Community College