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Affordable Living in America's Banana Belt: Pueblo, Colorado

Ms. Inglish is a successful employment & training pro, setting Midwest regional records with tens of thousands placed in gainful employment.

The downtown riverwalk at night in Pueblo's historic and business district

The downtown riverwalk at night in Pueblo's historic and business district

Low Cost of Living and Increasing Jobs

During several decades, many of my workforce clients and one relative relocated to the Pueblo area for its climate and good job opportunities. Many followed up to say that the climate was warmer in and around Pueblo than in other areas of the state, with at least 300 days of sunshine each year. Although unable to support banana growth, this fact makes the area a "banana belt"—comfortably warm. Residents love it!

My Aunt Mildred moved to the Colorado Springs—Pueblo Area in the 1920s, enjoying the climate until her death in 1979. During and after The Great Depression, she saw the economy of this "Pittsburgh of the West," as she called it, grow with new businesses. Growth was spearheaded by a resurgence of the steel industry. Workforce clients have informed me from 1995—2016 that they have found high-paying jobs with long-term benefits in this Colorado area, including within steel manufacturing plants listed below.

Steel Manufacturing Plants

  1. EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel North America, formerly CF&I Steel Mill: Manufacturing and Metal Recycling (active today)
  2. Harsco: Metals and Minerals
  3. Vestas Wind Turbine Manufacturing
  4. UTC Aerospace Systems
  5. Beacon Roofing Supply

One of the Least Expensive Places to Live in America

Pueblo, with a cost of living 14% below the national average, is one of the least expensive places to live in America, according to the analysts at Kiplinger Magazine. It was also named the 93rd "Best Small Place for Jobs and Businesses in the U.S.," according to, in 2016.

Out of approximately 6,000 job vacancies posted across the internet for the Pueblo, Colorado Springs area, 40% advertise wages at over $30,000 annually. Open positions were found via my analysis of listings on,, Craigslist, Chamber of Commerce news, and local newspaper want ads.

The U.S. Department of Labor and Colorado state government job report growth in technologies, steel manufacturing, and alternative energies like wind turbine manufacturing. CNBC reports the metro area as a good place to start new businesses.

Annexation of New Land

In 2017, the planned community called Pueblo Springs Ranch was annexed by Pueblo to serve an additional 70,000 families on 24,000 acres. This includes new dwellings as well as new services, retail stores, and dining businesses that all need workers.

During 2019 - 2020, major infrastructure such as roads and bridges are being added to the ranch land while preserving a large green space, wetland, and wildlife.

Best New Hiring Companies

New, large companies moving to Pueblo in 2017 included:

  • Big R: The second of these farm and rural lifestyle stores in under construction.
  • Candlewood Suites Hotel
  • Department of Transportation Regional Headquarters
  • Sportsman's Warehouse
  • Tractor Supply
  • Vesta Towers America Inc., expansion: Largest wind turbine manufacturer in the world, with number of delivers in 2016 up at least 29% over 2015. City leaders have promised to make Pueblo 100% reliant on renewable energy by 2035, according to City Hall and the local Chamber of Commerce. The US Department of Labor states that the job of wind turbine technician will be the best growth position in America through 2024.

Record-high, full-year order intake at 10.5 Gigawatt, 33 countries, six continents; demonstrating once again the power of #Vestas’ #globalreach

— Vesta Wind Systems on Twitter, Feb 8, 2017

New businesses finding success in Pueblo in 2016, according to the government website at include these major companies among others:

  • AMAZON Digital Services, AMAZON Services, and AMAZON.COM
  • Commercial Air and Electric Company
  • GBS Construction Management
  • Laboratory Corporation of America
  • Legacy Frontline Homes, LLC
  • Parkview Vascular Center
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Top 10 Largest Companies in Pueblo

The following companies maintain the consistently largest employee groups, confirmed by information gathered from 2000 - 2020 from my work with Workforce Investment Act client offices; added to US Census figures of 2010 through 2019:

  1. Parkview Medical Center, with nearly 3,000 employees in early 2017: 400 West 16th Street, Pueblo CO 81003.
  2. Pueblo City Schools District 70: 24951 Hwy 50 East, Pueblo CO 81006.
  3. St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center: 008 Minnequa Ave # 6100, Pueblo CO 81004.
  4. Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo, formerly the Colorado State Hospital and previously the Colorado State Insane Asylum. These are government jobs. Located at 1600 W 24th St, Pueblo CO 81003.
  5. Evraz Steel Mills: 2100 N Fwy Rd, Pueblo, CO 81004, Pueblo, CO 81004.
  6. Loaf N Jug Convenience Stores: Several stores around the city.
  7. Trane Company: 101 William White Blvd, Pueblo CO 81001.
  8. Convergys: 1228 E Orman Ave, Pueblo CO 81004.
  9. Rocky Mountain Steel: 2100 N Fwy Rd, Pueblo, CO 81004, Pueblo CO 81004.
  10. Walmart: Three locations of superstores around the city.

Jobs in Pueblo

Pueblo is booming with employment opportunities. Here are lists of both consistently-hiring companies and the most commonly advertised positions.

Companies Consistently Hiring for High-Demand Jobs:

  1. Schneider National: Trucking
  2. Centura Health
  3. Parkview Medical Center
  4. Raytheon Polar Services
  5. St. Mary Corwin Medical Center
  6. Ryder: Trucking
  7. Smith Transport: Trucking
  8. Travel Nurses: PPRTravelNursing, Interim HealthCare
  9. JB Hunt Transport: Trucking
  10. Retail stores on the Riverwalk and WalMart

Most Frequently Advertised Jobs:

  1. Registered Nurses with RN License; Travel Nurses
  2. Truck Drivers—Owner Operators and Company Drivers
  3. Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists
  4. Network and Computer Systems Administrators
  5. Computer Technicians
  6. Retail and Office Supervisors
  7. Environmental Engineers
  8. Marketing Managers
  9. Sales Representatives

Highway I-25 Corridor

Colorado's population and best housing are largely centered on highway Interstate-25 that cuts through the center of the state from north to south.

Pueblo, the 10th largest city in the state, is at the southern end of these largest population centers that sit along the Front Range Mountains of the Rockies.

The local metropolitan area includes Pueblo, Pueblo West, Pueblo Springs Ranch (annexed in 2017), Pueblo Army Depot, Pueblo Chemical Depot, Avondale, Beulah Valley, Boone, Colorado City, Devine, Salt Creek, and Vineland.


Reasonable Housing Costs

Based on data I gathered from Zillow, Trulia, and Colorado Springs - Pueblo newspaper listings between January and Mid-February 2017, I find the median single-family home price in Pueblo as $69,000 among the 670 to 700 homes listed for sale. A number of foreclosed homes are also for sale or auction.

The price range I found for single-family dwelling places, including houses, condominiums, townhouses, and manufactured homes, spans $8,000 to $249,000. This does not include the non-advertised foreclosed dwellings.

The above information is more recent than that on Sperling's Best Places, which lists the median price as $132,300.

Planned Community: Pueblo Springs Ranch

The planned community is increasing Pueblo jobs by opening new living spaces, new businesses, and new customer services over an area covering at least 9,000 acres near major highways and larger retail centers.

Housing Options

  1. Purchase or Rent: and
  2. Purchase for residential and business near downtown:
  3. Rentals:
  4. Senior Citizen Options:

Riverwalk Business, Creative and Living Corridor

The historic downtown and riverwalk area features many preserved buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. They operate as businesses among newer retail, dining, and residential places.

The area is famous for Mirasol green chile pepper production, boosted by a 2016 business grant to expand employment and revenues. A large and growing Chile & Frijoles Festival is held annually to celebrate the business and Mexican-inspired cuisine.


  • Interviews with workforce clients under my supervision 1995—2016.
  • Pueblo County WIA information: 530 Communications Loop; Colorado Springs CO 80905; 1675 Garden of the Gods Road; Colorado Springs CO 80907; and Pueblo Workforce Center at 212 W 3rd St. Pueblo CO 81003. Email address:
  • Pueblo Chamber of Commerce: Retrieved February 15, 2017.
  • The Pueblo Chieftan want ads, 2015 - 2017.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

Question: Is government-subsidized housing for seniors available in Pueblo, Colorado?

Answer: Yes! Several housing communities are operating for low-income senior citizens in this area. Look at the Senior Resources Guides for Pueblo and Denver online. Also access

© 2012 Patty Inglish MS


Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 01, 2012:

Garden of the Gods, that's right! Beer cans? How gauche.

Rap - no. LOL

gconeyhiden from Brooklyn, N.Y.C. U.S.A on February 01, 2012:

wow you even help people find a nice place to live. I toured this area once..I cleaned up beautiful spot in garden of the i have the name right? kids? left like 30 beer cans in the garden and i was horrified. I may have to move back to the states so i appreciate these kinds of tips. I bet you can even rap.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on January 13, 2012:

Now that's a good eye-witness testimony for Pueblo!

mljdgulley354 on January 13, 2012:

I have two grandchildren that were born in Pueblo. I loved visiting in the winter because it was much warmer than Wyoming.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on January 13, 2012:

Thanks for reading - some of these are helping people find jobs!

Maren Elizabeth Morgan from Pennsylvania on January 13, 2012:

Patty, a micro-climate in that area sounds grand. Thanks for all your research!

breakfastpop on January 12, 2012:

Interesting and extremely helpful piece for anyone thinking of getting a fresh start. Up and useful, interesting and awesome too!

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on January 12, 2012:

When I saw this, I had to read. I grew up 40 minutes from there - in Colorado Springs. It's an up and coming area. I think if I lived there, I'd live in "Pueblo West" - they say it's prettier than Pueblo itself. But, it's making me homesick to see such familiar landmarks and pictures in print. :)

jeyaramd from Mississauga, Ontario on January 11, 2012:

That's an awesome combination. High income and a low cost of living. Thank you for sharing this informative hub about living in America's Banana Belt. We have something here in Canada called the green belt to preserve green space. Thanks for sharing this information. I am planning on settling down in the US. This will be helpful. Great hub. Voted up.

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