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September 25, 2006

PIKES PEAK REGION’S TOP 25 PRIVATE EMPLOYERS


STORY BY RICH LADEN THE GAZETTE

The roster of the Pikes Peak region’s largest employers and their combined payrolls remained mostly stable in 2006.

Changes are coming to the area’s work force, however.

A loss of manufacturing and technology jobs already has taken hold among some of the area’s top companies and is expected to continue in 2007, according to a Colorado employment forecast. Meanwhile, service industries — such as military-software development and financial services — could grow.

In its fifth annual survey to determine the 25 biggest private employers in the Colorado Springs area, The Gazette found all but a handful of companies on the list in 2005 made the cut again this year.

Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest retailer, ranked No. 1 on The Gazette’s Top 25 list for the third straight year. A supercenter that opened last week in Monument, bringing another 260 jobs, helped cement the Bentonville, Ark., retail giant’s hold on the top spot.

Other familiar businesses among the Top 25 include the Penrose-St. Francis health care system; defense contractors Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and ITT Corp.; tech and communications firms Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Atmel and Verizon (formerly MCI); insurance giants Progressive and USAA; retailers Home Depot and Phil Long auto dealerships; and grocers Safeway and Kroger, which operates locally as King Soopers, City Market and Loaf ’N Jug.

Beyond those names, however, the area’s employment base is poised for change.

A Colorado Department of Labor and Employment forecast suggests the Colorado Springs area will see sizeable job losses next year in telecommunications and computer- and electronic-product manufacturing, among other areas.

Mike Kazmierski, Greater Colorado Springs Economic Development Corp. president, said the Pikes Peak region and the nation have witnessed a move away from manufacturing and tech jobs for years. Large companies that compete globally look to cut costs, and many shift operations out of the country in their quest for cheaper labor, Kazmierski said.

That’s why the EDC has adopted a strategy to pursue smaller manufacturing operations — among other types of industries — that don’t necessarily compete internationally, Kazmierski said.

Some of those smaller, specialized manufacturers also might have products and employees in demand by defense contractors, an industry whose Colorado Springs presence is on the rise because of Department of Defense spending at Fort Carson, U.S. Northern Command and other installations, he said. The area’s quality of life and skilled labor force should appeal to those smaller manufacturers, Kazmierski said. As such, he said, downsizing by large manufacturers doesn’t worry him.

“It’s part of an evolution,” Kazmierski said. “And if we are, as a community, out in front of it and accept it as something that’s going to happen, and make adjustments and mitigate the change, we are well postured to come out of this in good stead.”

The Gazette’s annual Top 25 list was compiled using employee counts supplied by the companies. Some declined to disclose employment numbers; in those cases, the newspaper used estimates from the Economic Development Corp. The Top 25 companies are ranked according to their number of full- and part-time workers — not full-time equivalents. As such, Wal-Mart’s part-timers at its seven supercenters and two Sam’s Club wholesale stores help propel the retailer to the top.

The number of people employed by this year’s Top 25 companies fell by about 1,060 from 2005. That reduction, however, results primarily from the way The Gazette calculated this year’s numbers.

In 2005, the newspaper added 600 people to Verizon’s total; the employees were contract workers from Electronic Data Systems Corp.

This year, the newspaper left out those workers from Verizon’s total. In addition, about 450 workers who staff a Fountain distribution center for King Soopers’ parent company, Kroger, but who are employed by a separate company, were mistakenly counted in the grocery chain’s total last year.

With the changes in how numbers were calculated, the total of 33,907 workers employed by this year’s Top 25 companies is down by only about 20 from 2005.

Among the changes in this year’s Top 25:

- Hewlett-Packard’s local labor force fell by about 200, in part because of the closure of a local small-business direct-marketing operation.

- Penrose-St. Francis’ payroll dropped by 226 after some services were consolidated.

- Intel Corp. added about 300 workers as part of an expansion of its Springs chipmaking operation.

- The Broadmoor hotel, which opened an exhibition hall late last year, increased by 200 employees.

Three companies fell off this year’s list: Schlage Lock, which has scaled backed a manufacturing operation that employed 822 people in 2005; Bank of America, which is closing a call center in the Springs that employed 800; and Agilent Technologies, which was spun off from Hewlett-Packard and whose 600-member work force in 2006 has plummeted from 1,400 when The Gazette started its Top 25 list in 2002.





New to this year’s list:

- Oracle Corp., which has 700 people and operates a customer-support center for its database software and application products. Oracle has made the list in past years.

- Time Warner Cable, with 635 employees and which jumped into the Top 25 when it acquired a local call center as part of the sale of assets from bankrupt Adelphia Communications Corp.

- L3 Communications, a defense contractor with 634 employees and which develops support systems and services for several area military installations.

The Top 25 companies constitute a solid mix of primary employers — businesses whose products and services bring money into the community, said Tucker Hart Adams, chief Rocky Mountain region economist for U.S. Bank in Denver and a Colorado Springs resident.

“You see among our large employers, primarily basic industry jobs that are bringing money in from around the country or around the world, but then create the jobs at Wal-Mart and the hospital and Home Depot and King Soopers and Safeway,” Adams said.

“I don’t think there’s anything surprising about it. And I think it’s actually a very healthy sort of employment base.”

CONTACT THE WRITER: 636-0228

or rich.laden@gazette.com

Top 25

1. WAL-MART STORES INC.

Headquarters: Bentonville, Ark.

Local addresses: With Wednesday’s opening of a store in Monument, there are seven Wal-Mart supercenters in El Paso County, plus two Sam’s Club warehouse stores.

El Paso County employees:

3,877

Total employees: 1.8 million

Description: Largest retailer in the state, the nation and the world, with sales revenue of $312.4 billion in 2005.

Recent developments: Two more area supercenters are projected to open in early 2007, in Woodland Park and in unincorporated Falcon.

A third supercenter planned for the southwest corner of Powers Boulevard and Hancock Expressway in Colorado Springs is being reevaluated.

2. PENROSE-ST. FRANCIS HEALTH SERVICES

Headquarters: 222 N. Nevada Ave.

Local addresses: Four locations in El Paso and Teller counties

El Paso and Teller county employees: 2,730

Description: Health care system owned by Catholic Health Initiatives and managed by Centura Health.

Includes Penrose Hospital, which provides medical and surgical services; Penrose Community Hospital, which specializes in short-stay and outpatient medical-surgical care and birthing services; St. Francis Health Center, which provides outpatient surgery and behavioral health services; and the Langstaff-Brown Urgent Care Center in Woodland Park.

Recent developments: In July, the health care system broke ground on a $250 million fullservice hospital called St. Francis Medical Center near the corner of Woodmen Road and Powers Boulevard.

The new 350,000-squarefoot building will house a birth center, a Level III neonatal intensive care unit and headquarters for the Flight for Life service.

It also will have an emergency department, inpatient and outpatient surgery and pediatrics services.

The building is scheduled to open during the summer of 2008.

3. LOCKHEED MARTIN CORP.

Headquarters: Bethesda, Md.

Local addresses: 9970 Federal Drive, 2020 N. Academy Blvd., 685 Citadel Drive East, 1670 N. Newport Road, 2460 Waynoka Place

El Paso County employees:

2,100

Total employees: 135,000

Description: World’s largest aerospace and defense contractor; makes items including missiles and spacecraft.

Locally, has five divisions: management and data systems, space systems, mission systems, technical operations and information technology.

4. HEWLETT-PACKARD CO.

Headquarters: Palo Alto, Calif.

Local addresses: 305 S. Rockrimmon Blvd.

El Paso County employees:

2,098

Total employees: 150,000

Description: Customer and sales call centers, major research and development hub for storage operations and a financial operations center. HP’s primary storage-focused customer-briefing center is in Colorado Springs.

Recent developments: Closed small-business direct-marketing operation in Colorado Springs.

5. ATMEL CORP.

Headquarters: San Jose, Calif.

Local address: 1150 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd.

El Paso County employees: 2,010

Total employees: 8,076

Description: Designs and manufactures microcontrollers and advancedlogic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile-memory and radio-frequency components.

Recent developments: The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Atmel entered into a collaborative agreement with Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland on several new semiconductor technologies for the automobiles, consumer-electronics and defense-communications markets.

A probe into the alleged misuse use of travel funds led Atmel to fire CEO George Perlegos and three others last month, promoting Steven Laub to head the company.

6. THE BROADMOOR

Headquarters: Colorado Springs

Local address: 1 Lake Ave.

El Paso County employees: 1,847 (includes part-time and seasonal)

Description: 700-room, 3,000-acre five-star and five-diamond resort complex featuring golf, tennis, swimming, a spa, dining, shopping and meeting space.

Recent developments: In May, The Broadmoor completed a renovation of its south tower, which concludes about $250 million worth of renovations and new construction during the past five years.

Other improvements include construction of a 21-suite building and outdoor pool complex; renovation of the main guest building; expansion of the spa; the addition of a 60,000-square-foot exhibition hall; and construction of private condominiums and brownstone townhomes sold to private buyers.

7. KROGER CO. (KING SOOPERS)

Headquarters: Cincinnati

Local addresses: Eight King Soopers stores in Colorado Springs, one King Soopers in Monument; one grocery distribution center in Fountain, one City Market store in Woodland Park and 24 Loaf ’N Jug convenience stores in the region.

El Paso and Teller counties employees: 1,412

Total employees: 290,000

Description: Nation’s largest purely grocery store chain, Kroger trails only Wal-Mart in grocery sales.

Recent developments: King Soopers opted out of becoming an anchor store at a development in Woodland Park that would have led to closing its existing City Market store.

8. SAFEWAY STORES INC.

Headquarters: Pleasanton, Calif.

Local addresses: 15 stores in El Paso and Teller counties.

El Paso and Teller county employees:

1,386

Total employees: 201,000

Description: Nation’s third-largest grocery chain with 1,775 stores and $38.5 billion in sales last year.

Recent developments: Safeway continued its transition to upscale “lifestyle stores,” remodeling six area stores, most recently the Falcon location.

9. THE PROGRESSIVE GROUP OF INSURANCE COS.

Headquarters: Mayfield Village, Ohio

Local address: 12710 Voyager Parkway

El Paso County employees: 1,300

Total employees: More than 28,000

Description: Nation’s third-largest auto insurance company, based on premiums written. It’s the fifth-largest in Colorado. In Colorado Springs, Progressive operates a three-building, 322,000-square-foot sales-and-service-call-center campus in the Northgate office and business park on the city’s north side. Progressive also operates a claims office in Colorado Springs for local customers.

Recent developments: In July, Progressive completed construction of its 175,000-square-foot data center and document-production facility next to its three-building complex.

10. VERIZON BUSINESS

Headquarters: Basking Ridge, N.J. Local address: 2424 Garden of the Gods Road El Paso County employees: 1,300 Total employees: 30,000 Description: Nation’s second-largest telecommunications company. Local employees develop software, safeguard telephone and Internet networks and manage computers serving Verizon data centers across the country.

Recent developments: Local operations acquired from MCI Corp. in January.

11. WELLS FARGO & CO.

Headquarters: San Francisco

Local addresses: Main office 90 S. Cascade Ave., plus 13 other Colorado Springs locations

El Paso County employees: 1,200

Total employees: 152,000

Description: Diversified financialservices company with $492 billion in assets.

Recent developments: The company opened its 14th local operation at 7473 N. Academy Blvd. on Aug. 1.

12. NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORP.

Headquarters: Los Angeles

Local address: 1330 Inverness Drive

El Paso County employees: 1,200

Total employees: 120,000

Description: Global defense company. Local office supplies technical and operational expertise to Air Force Space Command, U.S. Northern Command, North American Aerospace Defense Command, National Reconnaissance Office, Army Space and Missile Defense Command and the Missile Defense Agency. It also is the prime contractor at the Joint National Integration Center at Schriever Air Force Base, and it provides a Defense Support Program at the Air Force Space Command’s 21st Space Wing at Peterson Air Force Base.

Recent developments: Groundbreaking is slated for this fall on a consolidated Northrop Grumman campus on 28 acres in the Colorado Springs Airport Business Park. A 130,000-squarefoot, three-story building will open in 2007 and accommodate 400 employees. A second building is planned for 2009.

13. INTEL CORP.

Headquarters: Santa Clara, Calif.

Local address: 1575 Garden of the Gods Road

El Paso County employees: 1,200

Total employees: 100,000

Description: World leader in computer chips.

Recent development: Intel Corp. cut 1,000 management jobs, which had a small impact on the Colorado Springs location. In July, Intel launched its big- gest product revamp in six years by unveiling 10 microprocessors.

14. USAA INSURANCE

Headquarters: San Antonio, Texas

Local address: 1855 Telstar Drive

El Paso County employees: 1,055

Worldwide employees: 21,491

Description: The insurance carrier serves 5.4 million customers worldwide, primarily military personnel and their families, with insurance, banking, discount-brokerage and investment-management products.

USAA’s regional office in Colorado Springs serves customers in 11 states and assists local members with underwriting, policy service and claims.

Recent developments: USAA has rolled back auto and homeowner rates in targeted areas around the country, including Colorado Springs and Denver and Boulder, to reflect cost savings from productivity gains and a trend by homeowners to take higher deductibles on their policies.

15. ITT CORP.

Headquarters: White Plains, N.Y.

Local addresses: 4410 E. Fountain Blvd., 5009 Centennial Blvd. and 1460 Garden of the Gods Road

El Paso County employees: 1,052

Total employees: 40,000

Description: The Springs is headquarters for Systems Division, which supports government and commercial customers with space-launch services.

The Advanced Engineering & Sciences operation works on research and development projects.

Recent developments: Won a $152 million contract in July for operations, maintenance and supply for a variety of communications systems, including telephone, Internet and computer networks, in Eastern Europe.

Systems Division also was involved in communications and technical support services for the Mars and Saturn/Cassini missions for NASA.

16. FEDEX CORP.

Headquarters: Memphis, Tenn.

Local address: 350 Spectrum Loop

El Paso County employees: About 1,000 (includes part-time)

Total employees: About 260,000

Description: Worldwide package delivery. FedEx Kinko’s is a documentservices company.

The Springs is home to a 600-person operation where employees design the company’s package-tracking software.

Recent developments: In June, the company submitted documents to Colorado Springs city officials that showed it plans to construct a threestory, 97,540-square-foot building on 28 acres in the Northgate office and business park, southwest of North Gate Road and Voyager Parkway and adjacent to a building that houses Fed-Ex’s software operation.

The documents were labeled “data center office building,” but FedEx officials have declined to comment on the project until they finalize their plans.

17. THE HOME DEPOT

Headquarters: Atlanta

Local addresses: Five stores in El Paso County

El Paso County employees: 1,000

Total employees: 345,000

Description: World’s largest homeimprovement retailer and the nation’s second-largest retailer after Wal-Mart.

Recent developments: Last month purchased Edson Electric Supply Inc., one of the largest independent electrical suppliers in the country. Edson was founded in Colorado Springs.

18. T-MOBILE USA INC.

Headquarters: Parent company Deutsche Telekom AG, Bonn, Germany

Local address: 556 Chapel Hills Drive

El Paso County employees: 955

Total employees: 29,000

Description: Wireless voice, messaging and data services. The local operation was established six years ago as a call center.

19. HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL INC.

Headquarters: Morristown, N.J.

Local address: 1110 Bayfield Drive

El Paso County employees: 900

Total Employees: 100,000 worldwide

Description: Manufacturer of civil and military avionics and other aerospace products, control technologies for private and commercial buildings, automotive products, turbochargers and specialty materials.

20. CURRENT USA INC.

Headquarters: 1005 E. Woodmen Road; Parent company Taylor Corp., North Mankato, Minn.

Local address: 1005-1025 E. Woodmen Road

El Paso County employees: 825

Total employees: Current 830; Taylor Corp. 15,000

Description: Consumer direct marketer and mass-media-advertising distributor.

Recent developments: Office, plant and retail store at 1005-1025 E. Woodmen Road is under construction. Will complete move by end of October. Vacating store at 3525 N. Stone Ave. Discontinued printing business in February.

The company downsized by about 100 employes from 2005 and expects to lay off an additional 35 positions by the end of October.

21. PHIL LONG DEALERSHIPS INC.

Headquarters: 1212 Motor City Drive

Local addresses: 12 Colorado Springs dealerships plus 6 in other locations

El Paso County employees: 818

Total employees: 1,129

Description: 18 dealerships — 12 in Colorado Springs, four in Denver, one in Pueblo and one in Scottsdale, Ariz. Franchises represent 10 new-car brands. In addition to new- and usedcar sales and service, Phil Long operates the state’s largest commercialtruck, fleet-sales and heavy-truck repair center.

Investor partners also own Phil Long Expo Center, a 110,000 squarefoot exhibit hall that hosts more than 60 large-scale community events annually and other smaller events.

Recent developments: Opened a new $5.5 million dealership for Audi, just west of Motor City; helped build St. Mary’s Grace Center for Athletics & Community Service; and is working on another fantasy athletic field project in Byers, which will be completed this fall, through the Phil Long Community Fund. A portion of every car sale goes to the fund.

22. ORACLE CORP.

Headquarters: Redwood Shores, Calif.

Local address: 12320 Oracle Blvd.

El Paso County employees: 700

Total employees: 56,000

Description: Worldwide customersupport center for database software and application products.

Recent developments: Completed its $5.85 billion acquisition of Siebel Systems Inc. in January.

23. CHECKS UNLIMITED

Headquarters: Parent company Deluxe Corp., Shoreview, Minn.

Local address: 8245 N. Union Blvd.

El Paso County employees: 670 (includes part-time)

Total employees: About 9,000 (Deluxe and Checks Unlimited)

Description: Sells business and consumer checks through banks and sells checks, forms and other business-related services to small business customers.

In Colorado Springs, Checks Unlimited designs, manufactures and sells specialty checks and accessories to consumers through direct mail and on the Internet.

Recent developments: Deluxe Corp. will add a greeting card product line to its manufacturing operations this fall.

Work will be done in Colorado Springs, adding approximately 30 seasonal manufacturing positions here.

24. TIME WARNER CABLE

Headquarters: Stamford, Conn.

Local address: 2221 E. Bijou St.

El Paso County employees: 635

Total employees: 44,000

Description: Customer service center for western U.S. cable systems in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico and Texas.

Recent developments: Acquired call center on July 31 as part of the $17 billion sale of assets from bankrupt Adelphia Communications Corp. to Time Warner and Comcast Corp.

25. L3 COMMUNICATIONS HOLDINGS INC.

Headquarters: New York

Local addresses: 440 and 480 Wooten Road, 1115 Elkton Drive, 1150 Academy Park Loop, 2625 Weston Road, 4720 Forge Road, 5575 Tech Center Drive

El Paso County employees: 634

Total employees: 26,000

Description: Develops support systems and services for U.S. Northern Command, U.S. Air Force Space Command, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, U.S. Missile Defense Agency, National Reconnaissance Office, 50th Space Wing and Joint National Integration Center.

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