New Growth Fund building nears completion

The new Growth Fund headquarters is now eyeing its opening date to be as early as May 2015. Construction on the building has progressed smoothly without any setbacks.
Damon Toledo | The Southern Ute Drum

Roughly a year since the initial groundbreaking of the project, construction of the new Growth Fund headquarters is ahead its schedule for completion. By summer 2015, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe will have a new Growth Fund building open for business.

Bruce Valdez, executive director of the Growth Fund, provided updates on the construction of the new building.

“We’ve actually been doing really well,” he said. “We are looking at an on time completion and hope to move in there around May or June, ahead of our original scheduled time. So far we haven’t seen any delays. [Workers] are currently hanging the dry wall, and so far it’s going remarkably well.”

The new Growth Fund headquarters is expected to bring in approximately 130 employees, most of who are established in offices in Durango. These departments include the Department of Energy, Growth Fund Private Equity Group, and Southern Ute Shared Services. Additionally, a number of returning employees are expected to fill positions in human resources, finance, accounting, and information technology. The current Growth Fund building will soon be the official headquarters for the Red Willow Production Company.

Because of the ongoing expansion of Red Willow Production, decisions to relocate the Growth Fund into its own building became imminent for the sake of housing more staffers and resources. Employees who were previously relocated to offices in Durango will be able to return to the Tribe, restituting professional connections for easier business.

Valdez additionally wanted to address any misconceptions that the community may have been confused with in regards to returning Growth Fund employees.

“I understand there is a lot of misconception that we are hiring tons of new faces, but we’re actually just moving employees back,” he clarified. “The new building will be for Growth Fund administration and it’ll allow us to bring back some of the key parts of the Growth Fund that we moved to Durango because of space issues. We’ll be bringing back people from offices out of Three Springs as well as accounting and finance. We had to move a lot of [employees] out of our original building because it was becoming overcrowded. We won’t be doing much hiring.”

Valdez concluded that hiring for new positions is possible, only if protocol calls for it.

“We’re going to grow according to what the industry allows,” he said. “If there’s new opportunities or new investments, we’re always going to look at that. We evaluate the growth of our business, and if the markets indicate that we need to head in new directions, then we will run it by Tribal Council for approval. We have to grow and evolve as an organization to stay competitive.”

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