Gov. John Hickenlooper and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade appointed Maj. Gen. Jay Lindell as the state's aerospace and defense industry champion Monday.

The new two-year

position is intended to establish a central figure to help coordinate and push forward the diverse plans and interests of one of Colorado's behemoth industries, which accounted for 66,000 direct employees and $16 billion in sales in 2011.

Last February, the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution released an in-depth analysis of Colorado's aerospace economy. While the study applauded Colorado's strength, it also cautioned leaders that "disruptive changes" could threaten the state's dominance in the sector.

As a result, OEDIT decided to create a "single-mindedly focused" position to try to get ahead of those changes and trends.

Lindell is commissioned to streamline communication among aerospace businesses, defense installations and research institutions and will be responsible for implementing various base realignment and closure strategies.

Lindell has more than 20 years of experience in aerospace operations, logistics management, international security cooperation and executive leadership education, according to OEDIT.


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