(COLORADO SPRINGS) — On the second day of the Space Symposium, big news was announced with local and state leaders in attendance. Nooks, a veteran-owned startup business, shared Colorado Springs would be home to its third and largest national location.

Governor Jared Polis, Mayor John Suthers, and members of the Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC gathered to share the news of a 60,000-square-foot building and 35 new jobs coming to the Pikes Peak Region.

“They’re only going to have about 35 employees here, but it’s a huge capital investment and those 35 employees make an average of $165,000 a year,” Mayor Suthers said. “So they’re very well-paying jobs. But I think it’s going to be a really tremendous future here in Colorado Springs.”

CEO of Nooks, Sean Blackman, said it was an easy decision to choose Colorado Springs.

“Well, first off, the chamber, the city, the state made this, frankly, a very easy decision to make,” Blackman said. “It has been completely obvious to us since the very first interaction. They are committed to the defense industry and to the broader national security mission. And we felt that resonated with us a lot. We are looking to empower small businesses, nontraditional defense ventures, and they have the exact same vision.”

Nooks offers secure infrastructure and networks for industry and government partners. Colorado Springs will be their third location following El Segundo, CA, and Arlington, VA.

“We’re their third location, and we have every reason to believe that they’re going to build a lot of square footage here in Colorado Springs,” said Mayor Suthers.

State and local leaders smiled for a photo after the big announcement. Courtesy: Maggy Wolanske.

Nooks will bring 35 new jobs to the Pikes Peak Region hiring IT professionals, site workers, and security.

“So at the end of the day, these are classified facilities,” said Blackman. “So we need folks who understand security and understand what it takes to run a top-notch classified facility. We also need IT professionals who have experience with classified networks, that’s something that’s very niche, who also have security clearances.”

A crowd gathered inside the Space Symposium to hear the announcement of Nooks coming to Colorado Springs. Courtesy: Mike Duran.

Blackman expressed the importance of bringing hospitality into the new facilities and providing a welcoming environment for those who will be meeting there.

“So we will have hospitality professional security concierge to really make this an experience that people want to come back to because frankly, the SCIF environment, the classified facility environment is not one you generally want to work in,” Blackman said. “These are dark holes you’re going to for long periods of time. We’re looking to up-level that experience.”

Governor Jared Polis applauded the decision of Nooks to come to Colorado Springs and shared the growth of the aerospace industry in Southern Colorado.

Governor Polis welcomed Nooks to the Pikes Peak region with a round of applause. Courtesy: Maggy Wolanske

“We have a thriving tech ecosystem, the defense ecosystem right here in the Colorado Springs market, really fueled by the talented and educated workforce,” Governor Polis said. “That we have the opportunity to attract the very best and brightest from across the country and across the world, as well as train our own world-class institutions like UCCS, CU, CSU.”

Vice President of Economic Development, Theresa Metcalf, shared the benefits of the Nooks facility as an economic booster for the city and for bringing in more talent.

“So it’s amazing to be able to have the opportunity to work and see the impact of bringing jobs and what that means, not just so increasing the average annual wage for our community, but providing opportunities for our citizens and the impact that it has across the community,” Metcalf said. “So it’s always a pleasure to be able to recruit as well as grow.”

Governor Polis ended his remarks by highlighting how Nooks will also help support other space companies throughout the state and inspire future talent and businesses.

“Not only are you creating good paying jobs right here in Colorado Springs, but this is inspiring innovation across the industry through your service,” said Governor Polis. “Colorado will remain the very best state to start, grow and run a business.”