Nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains in the city of Golden, CoorsTek is paving the way for the next generation of breakthroughs in high-tech ceramics.
The firm has a storied history in Colorado. Founded in 1910 to work on oven-safe cookware using the region’s high-quality clay, CoorsTek has broken boundaries to focus on applications that take advantage of the unique properties of ceramics including computer chips, medical implants, energy production and transmission, automotive and heavy equipment components, solar panels, and vehicle and body armor, among many others.
The company has seen massive growth with 50 manufacturing plants on four continents, with total employment of about 6,000 and serves 10,000 customers in 70 countries. While CoorsTek has grown leaps and bounds, the company is hard-pressed to dismiss its Colorado heritage. “Colorado has always been our company’s home and largest base of operations, and I expect it always will be,” explained CoorsTek Co-CEO Michael Coors.
The approximately 1,200 individuals who make up the CoorsTek Colorado workforce do incredibly innovative work transforming raw materials into parts used by manufacturers the world over. Knowing products enabled by their technology are being used by millions of people is incredibly rewarding, which is evident in the company’s high retention rate. The company’s location is another factor inspiring employee satisfaction and pride in both their work and the lifestyle it allows.
“Like most Coloradans, regardless of whether it is our native or adopted home, we both work hard and prize our state’s natural beauty, and abundance of opportunities for fun, relaxation and enjoyment,” said Coors.
What really stands out about the CoorsTek success in the region is their collaboration between talent and local institutions, namely the nearby and highly accolated Colorado School of Mines in the city of Golden. This working relationship between commerce and research has helped the area become one of the nation’s top regions for developments in materials science. In fact, 2017 will see the launch of the CoorsTek Center for Applied Science and Engineering on the Mines campus, no doubt attracting more brilliant minds to contribute to the area’s advancements in ceramics science and manufacturing.
“CoorsTek has a longstanding, collaborative research partnership with Mines, including endowed professorships, research fellowships, internships, and other programs. Many of our employees are Mines graduates, including myself,” said Coors.
With more than a century working in the state, CoorsTek continues to extend its leadership of the high-tech ceramics industry. In early 2016, the company announced plans to invest $120 million in a new Center for Advanced Materials in Golden. This center will continue to facilitate the productive collaboration between scientists, engineers, and manufacturing teams, and build a foundation for the next generation of engineered ceramics innovations.
While CoorsTek has over 100 years of experience in Colorado, it’s evident that they have much more growing and technology breakthroughs in their future thanks to the workforce and opportunities that their multiple Colorado locations provide.
What is now CoorsTek and Coors Brewing were all one company for many decades, and the ceramics business was central to sustaining the enterprise during the prohibition era. Under that one roof the company invented the seamless aluminum beverage can in the 1950s and the process for recycling aluminum that is still in use today.