Colorado Economic Development Commission members approved incentives for two projects Thursday that could bring a combined 184 new jobs to the Denver and Boulder areas, but their conversation focused more on how to grow jobs in struggling areas outside the Front Range.

The discussions at the Colorado EDC’s monthly meeting came about a week after the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade worked with the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. to submit a bid to be the home for Amazon’s second headquarters, which could bring 50,000 new jobs and $5 billion in economic investment to the area.

Several commissioners from outside the Denver metro area noted that the very public discussions of what Colorado will do to try to win the HQ2 project have reignited talk of what it’s already doing — or not doing — to help grow jobs outside the corridor between Pueblo and Fort Collins.

Commissioner Chris Franz noted, for example, that all the projects that have received job-growth incentive tax credits have been located somewhere in a county connected to Interstate 25.

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