On February 27, 2021, Pueblo City Councilman, Dennis Flores, introduced an idea at the annual Pueblo City Council retreat. He had written a concept paper that was titled, “Providing Comprehensive Data to the City Council and the Community of Pueblo”. This concept was inspired by the management style of W. Edwards Deming, who was credited with launching the Total Quality Management movement.
The concept paper and discussions at the retreat sparked interest in how the City of Pueblo could better track key economic development metrics and inform related growth initiatives. Pueblo did not have to look very far to find out that the City of Colorado Springs had an economist who developed an ongoing tool to track economic metrics. Dr. Tatiana Bailey developed such a tool when she moved to Colorado in 2014. The economic dashboard has been providing El Paso County valuable economic information for several years, and it is constantly being used as a lever for data-driven economic development strategies. Dr. Bailey is the founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit, Data-driven Economic Strategies.
In obtaining information about what Colorado Springs was doing, Abel Chavez, retired Century Link Director, agreed to help put this idea in motion. As a longtime advocate of the University of Colorado, he provided much needed information and development assistance.
The Pueblo City Council and Mayor were consulted for their advice alongside other Pueblo partners including Pueblo Economic Development Corporation, Pueblo Community College, Colorado State University-Pueblo, the Colorado Workforce Development Center, and the various regional entities that provided data for the dashboard. Their combined expertise and support were critical in moving forward a Pueblo monthly economic dashboard.
As a result of this collaboration, an introduction was made, and a relationship started with Dr. Tatiana Bailey. She has assisted in the compilation of economic and workforce development metrics. The ultimate goal is to use the economic and workforce development dashboard such that the greater Pueblo region can address economic challenges and opportunities with more timely data and analyses.
The City and County of Pueblo hosted a community Economic Forum on Friday, November 18. Speakers included Mayor of Pueblo Nick Gradisar, Pueblo County Commissioner Garrison Ortiz, President of Pueblo Community College Patty Erjavec, Ph.D, Pueblo Economic Development Corporation (PEDCO) Mission Coordinator Shannon Baker and regional economist and Executive Director of Data Driven Economic Strategies Tatiana Bailey, Ph.D. The event was emceed by Councilor Dennis Flores and offered an opportunity for businesses and members of Southern Colorado and the Pueblo community to be introduced to the Pueblo Economic Dashboard. The data included on the dashboard is intended to help the city and region address economic opportunities and challenges with the most up-to-date information.
Click the link below to access the video on YouTube of the Pueblo City and County Economic Forum.