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Space communications company could bring 900+ jobs to Boulder Valley

DENVER — An unnamed company has been offered nearly $12.5 million in state economic-development incentives to build a large manufacturing facility in the Boulder Valley that could create more than 900 high-paying jobs.

The Colorado Economic Development Commission unanimously approved an incentives offer Thursday to the unidentified company, referred to by Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade staff as Project Cesium. It is the commission’s practice not to identify companies OEDIT is recruiting until incentives are accepted. However, evidence suggests that Project Cesium could be Austin, Texas-based CesiumAstro Inc.

Project Cesium “designs and manufactures advanced communication and networking solutions for space based connectivity,” according to OEDIT. “Their core technology uses active phased arrays (APAs), which are beams of RF energy that can be focused precisely where they’re needed, optimizing capacity and data rates.”

The company intends to build a “state-of-the-art 100,000 square-foot factory for end-to-end design, manufacturing, assembly, and integration of communications satellites for space operations,” an OEDIT memo said. “The goal is to produce two satellites daily by 2025. This will also include conducting advanced research and development for emerging space technologies supporting next-generation solutions.”

Project Cesium is considering Boulder in order to access its “aerospace ecosystem and its talent pool,” OEDIT said. While state memos indicate that the company is eyeing the “Boulder” area, it appears more accurate that Project Cesium has its sights set on Broomfield. 

The company is also considering Austin for its manufacturing facility, according to OEDIT.

The EDC’s incentives offer totals $12,439,410 over eight years.

Should Project Cesium accept the offer, it would be expected to create 906 new jobs that pay an average annual wage of $104,819. The jobs would include roles in warehouse and material handling, engineers, technicians and assembly, and managers. 

The company currently has 140 employees, 40 of whom are in Colorado, according to OEDIT.

Here’s why Project Cesium could be CesiumAstro:

The names of both the project and the company include the word “Cesium.” That said, it is unusual for ODEIT to assign aliases that are so close to the actual name of an unidentified company. 

The company’s mission, according to its website, is “to deliver advanced phased array technology to diverse applications at compelling performance and cost.” This closely aligns with the company description provided to the EDC. 

A project representative named Chris Meyers briefly addressed the commission on Thursday. CesiumAstro’s director of business development, according to LinkedIn, is Christopher Meyers.

Project Cesium is also considering Austin for its new factory. CesiumAstro is headquartered in Austin.

Project Cesium has existing employees in Colorado, according to OEDIT. CesiumAstro has an office in Broomfield. Meyers told the EDC that the company is working with economic-development officials in Broomfield to secure offers for local incentives. 

The unidentified company has 140 total employees, according to OEDIT. BuiltInAustin, an online database of manufacturing companies in that city lists CesiumAstro’s employee count at 140. 

In March, CesiumAstro raised a $60 million Series B round that it said in a news release “will accelerate the growth of its core research, development, and rapid manufacturing capabilities, and expand its facilities both domestically and abroad.”

Source: BizWest