Our Story

We need to plan for a more prosperous future for all.

“Summit County is an amazing community and we’re grateful to live here. We also know that many families are in crisis and cannot thrive. We think its time to make some changes.”

  • The average wage for all earners in Summit County is $733/week — less than in 2008.
  • Currently there are not enough career path opportunities to raise the income of the majority of the workers in Summit County.
  • Outward migration from the county consists largely of 30 to 40 year olds – leaving a gap in the workforce.
  • One industry accounts for 69% of all jobs.
  • Low wage jobs (less than $30,900/yr) make up 46% of all jobs
  • Housing costs comprise up to 70% of low earner’s monthly wages.
  • 70% of Silverthorne Elementary school kids qualify for free and reduced lunch programs — in Summit County overall, 35% of kids qualify.

Why does any of this matter?

The average person in Summit County works 1.3 jobs. Many work up to three jobs.

  • Families are in crisis and cannot thrive — this leads to physical, mental, and emotional issues the contribute to the crisis.
  • Subsidization of low income families has become the norm – for housing, healthcare and childcare.
  • Businesses have difficulty attracting and retaining workers.
  • Government and Non-Profit Organizations have felt greater pressure to support the community needs.
  • Few plans exist to raise income levels for low wage earners — few career path opportunities have been developed.
  • The tourist experience is often impacted due to reduced workforce, and stretched infrastructure.

What have we done so far?

  • created a Summit Prosperity Initiative county-wide collaborative task force.
  • reviewed resources from similar resort area efforts to tackle comparable challenges.
  • conducted a “landscape assessment” of current work underway in our community and of gaps that can be addressed.
  • received initial funding for communication and project infrastructure.
  • written grant applications for additional funding and for technical assistance to develop plans to move us forward and to make a difference in our community.
  • launched a business acceleration program to support new business ideas, business expansion and overall business success in Summit County with CO.Starters. To get involved, reach out: amy.m.kemp@gmail.com.
  • completed our REDI action plan.
  • opened up Business Meet-ups and hosted Workshops and Town Hall meetings.
  • conducted Economic Impact Surveys during the pandemic to assess the blow to our businesses.
  • partnered with the Summit Chamber and Summit County on COVID business resources.
  • partnered with NWCCOG on data aggregation.

What are some next steps?

  • We are working to build out our organization infrastructure – including an updated website, resource library, email newsletter, etc.
  • We are gaining support from all stakeholders.
  • We are seeking to raise additional funds to support the planning and implementation efforts.
  • We are developing a comprehensive plan informed by community engagement.
  • We will be launching the next cohort of local businesses and entrepreneurs in the CO.Starters business acceleration program.
  • We are looking for YOU to help. Get involved.