Above: A look inside Anheuser Bush's Fort Collins brewery in Colorado (image: Anheuser Bush)
When we think of the state of Colorado, “the great outdoors” is the first thing that comes to mind. But Colorado is also a powerful manufacturing state, with a diverse industrial landscape that includes two major breweries as well as big names in defense, medical device manufacturing, aerospace and food processing.
Today, we are exploring Colorado’s innovative manufacturing sector and exploring the largest industrial companies operating in the state.
According to MNI, compiler of the industrial information that powers IndustrySelect, Colorado is currently home to 4,745 manufacturers employing 195,303 workers.
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According to MNI, Denver is Colorado’s largest city based on number of industrial jobs, with 30,683 workers. This is followed by Fort Collins with 15,296 jobs.
Other top cities in Colorado include
• Colorado Springs (14,975 jobs)
• Boulder (11,825 jobs)
• Englewood (10,647 jobs)
Read more: Top Manufacturing Cities in the U.S.
Denver County is Colorado’s largest in terms of industrial jobs, home to 55,187 workers. This is followed by Arapahoe with 48,805 workers, Boulder (26,144), and El Paso (20,043).
The food processing industry is Colorado’s largest, in terms of employment. That sector accounts for 15% of Colorado’s manufacturing workforce. This is followed by electronic and electronic equipment with 13%, and industrial machinery with 12%. Instruments and related products accounts for 9%, while fabricated metal products make up 8%.
Related: Top Manufacturing States in the U.S.
MNI reports there are 20,456 executive contacts among Colorado’s manufacturing companies, including 2,703 presidents, 2,229 owners and partners; 1,470 vice-presidents and 1,391 sales, marketing and purchasing executives.
Other facts to know about Colorado manufacturers, based on IndustrySelect’s advanced criteria available to subscribers, include ownership, distribution and other trends. Let’s take a look:
• 3% of Colorado manufacturers are women-owned
• 11% are publicly owned companies
• 10% import raw materials
• 26% distribute their products internationally.
Next, we’ll take a look at the state’s top companies.
|Anheuser-Busch InBev Worldwide, Inc.||7,000||Fort Collins||CO|
|Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co.||7,000||Littleton||CO|
|Terumo BCT, Inc.||3,000||Lakewood||CO|
|Raytheon Technologies Corp.||2,400||Aurora||CO|
|Cargill Meat Solutions Corp.||2,000||Fort Morgan||CO|
|Molson Coors Beverage Co. USA, LLC||2,000||Golden||CO|
|Arrow Electronics, Inc.||1,800||Centennial||CO|
|Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc.||1,500||Englewood||CO|
1. Anheuser-Busch InBev (Fort Collins, CO)
Employing 7,000 at its massive Fort Collins campus, Anheuser-Busch InBev is among Colorado’s largest industrial employer based on number of employees. Established in 1852 in St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch is among the world’s largest beer companies. The Fort Collins brewery was established in 1988 and produces 33 different kinds of beer. The brewery also functions as an emergency drinking water site, able to produce and can water in the event of an emergency.
2. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. (Fort Collins, CO)
Lockheed Martin is a U.S.-based aerospace company and major defense contractor, employing 110,000 worldwide. At the company’s Fort Collins facility, 7,000 employees support the production of spacecraft, launch vehicles and aerospace ground support equipment.
3. JBS USA (Greely, CO)
JBS USA is the U.S. division of Brazil-based company JBS S.A.. The company was founded in 1953 by rancher Jose Batista Sobrinho (hence the name JBS) and now ranks as the largest meat processor in the world. This Greely, CO facility focuses on beef processing and packing and employs 3,200.
4. Terumo BCT, Inc. (Lakewood, CO)
Terumo BCT, Inc is the state’s largest medical device manufacturer and ranks fifth in the state overall with 3,000 employees. This location operates as the company’s global headquarters and also focuses on blood component separation & platelet collection. The company was recognized as a top medical manufacturer by ColoradoBiz Magazine in 2015.
5. Raytheon Technologies Corp. (Aurora, CO)
With 195,000 employees globally, Raytheon is among the world largest aerospace and defense companies. At this Aurora location, 2,400 employees produce satellite ground stations, electrical components & software development.
6. Cargill Meat Solutions Corp (Fort Morgan, CO)
Cargill, Inc. is a global food industry giant and is the largest private corporation in the United States in terms of revenue. The company’s Fort Morgan location employs 2,000 and focuses on beef processing.
7. MolsonCoors, LLC (Golden, CO)
The second-largest beer-making facility in the world, this MolsonCoors facility employs 2,000 at its sprawling Golden, CO brewery.
8. Arrow Electronics, Inc. (Centennial, CO)
Employing 2,400 in Centennial, CO, Arrow Eletronics is a major distributor of electronic components & computer systems, including ready-to-ship medical device components, analog devices and cable assemblies.
9. Medtronic, Inc. (Boulder, CO)
Medtronic is a major medical device manufacturer that employs 1,698 at its Boulder facility. This location produces energy-based medical systems and surgical devices. These include electrosurgery, radio frequency and microwave treatment systems as well as surgical staplers, laparoscopic instruments and biosurgery products.
10. Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. (Englewood, CO)
Rounding out our top ten list is Jacobs Engineering Group. Employing 1,500 in the city of Englewood, this location serves as the company’s headquarters and also provides oilfield services and gas processing.
Interested in other states? Browse all of our state news here.
For those looking to do business with manufacturers, IndustrySelect’s database of 460,000 U.S. manufacturers is a top resource for both developing and researching sales leads in the manufacturing sector. An IndustrySelect subscription can put you on a first-name basis with Colorado’s 6,800 industrial companies and 19,000+ executives. Subscribers can select up to 40 data points on any manufacturing company in the U.S. to help identify or pre-qualify leads. Company profiles also include the contact information for hard-to-find executive decision-makers. Try a free demo today!
Editor's Note: This article was first published in April of 2021. It is updated annually to reflect new statistics on Colorado's manufacturing sector.