Jefferson County Celebrates Manufacturing Day 2023

October 17, 2023

By Kylie Parks, Arvada Chamber Director of Talent Pipeline Development

Manufacturing Day is held on the first Friday in October and is an annual celebration that recognizes the achievements and contributions of the manufacturing industry. This day provides a platform for manufacturers, schools, and communities to come together to promote and celebrate the incredible work being done in the field of manufacturing. 

I was fortunate to celebrate Manufacturing Day by attending two events in Jefferson County. On Friday, October 6th, I had the opportunity to tour the campus of Arvada-based manufacturer, Barber-Nichols.

Barber-Nichols engineers and manufactures specialty turbomachinery that serves the aerospace, defense, cryogenics, and energy industries. The company was founded in 1966 and Arvada is their one and only campus. They offer their 200 employees fun employee benefits including an onsite gym, bring your kid to work day, and ice cream socials with a puppy rescue. I even noticed a few puppy partners running around.

Barber-Nichols is ranked Top 10 in Small and Medium Places to Work in 2023 by Glassdoor, along with many other accolades, including: 2022 Partnership in Space by Blue Origin, 2022 Critical Supplier by Virgin Orbit, and 2021 Arvada Business of the Year. 

Then on October 12th, I had the opportunity to attend the Manufacturing Day event hosted by the MWAMA (Metro-West Advanced Manufacturing Alliance) Community Awareness team. The Jefferson County Business and Workforce Center hosted the MWAMA partners to educate career seekers on the various opportunities within manufacturing. The event consisted of a panel discussion, followed by a career fair with employers like CEMCO, Molson Coors, Barber-Nichols, and MSU. 

Manufacturing is the backbone of any economy, playing a pivotal role in driving economic growth, technological innovation, and job creation. Manufacturing industries here in Colorado are responsible for producing a wide range of products, from consumer goods and machinery to aerospace components and medical devices. In 2021, nearly 6,000 manufacturing firms in Colorado counted over 140,000 employees, with an average annual salary of $91,000.

Manufacturing Day serves as an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the achievements and contributions of the manufacturing sector. The key objectives include: showcasing innovation, education engagement, community building, and workforce development. As we continue to celebrate manufacturers, we must acknowledge the achievements of the manufacturing sector and work towards fostering continued growth, innovation, and collaboration. The next time you use a product, from your smartphone to your car, remember that it’s the result of the dedication and ingenuity of the manufacturing industry.

B.O.L.D. 2026 is a five-year regional economic strength and resiliency initiative of the Arvada Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber developed BOLD 2026 in consultation with private and public sector leaders and partners in Arvada, Jefferson / Adams Counties, Metro Denver and the state of Colorado. One goal of B.O.L.D. 2026 is to grow our talent to meet the needs of employers and job seekers. Learn more about our talent challenges and work here.


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