The Colorado Economic Development Commission recently approved a near $164,000 tax incentive for Osprey Packs.
The job-growth package requires the Cortez-based company to hire more than three dozen new employees over the next five years. The company expects to hire up to 10 new employees in 2014, said Osprey CFO Michael Henderson.
“The commission actually approached us knowing we had been growing pretty substantially over the last few years,” Henderson said. “We thought the opportunity was great and said we’d take it.”
Chosen for four years straight as one of Outside Magazine’s best places to work, the global outdoor gear manufacturer would be required to add a total of 34 net new jobs in Cortez over the next five years in order to receive the state’s $163,845 tax incentive. The funds would be used to offset the salaries for those new employees, Henderson explained.
“We’re pretty psyched,” he said. “It’s really fantastic.”
Due to the recent sluggish economy, Henderson said the tax incentive would be a great benefit to the company as Osprey celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
A global leader in gear-carrying equipment, Osprey manufactured an estimated 1.5 million units last year from its production facility in Vietnam. Those products, including a long line of outdoor packs designed for hikers, skiers and bikers, were sold around the world.
“Osprey’s global growth has been especially rewarding,” said founder and president Mike Pfotenhauer.
Last year, Osprey grew its workforce by more than a third, adding 22 employees to its headquarter operations in Cortez. All of Osprey’s 110 global employees, including 85 locally, are paid above an average living wage, said Osprey CEO Tom Barney.
“We’re building a stronger foundation for the business by investing in our team members,” he said.
The need to increase its workforce is due in part to greater global awareness the company has received from industry accolades. Last year, Men’s Journal, Outside Magazine, Outdoor Gear TV and Outdoor Gear Lab all honored Osprey with various annual awards.