By Karen Morfitt

DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado is now a hub for the aerospace industry and Metropolitan State University of Denver is giving students direct access to an innovator in the field.

Tuesday night, York Space Systems held the grand opening of its new headquarters located on campus.

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(credit: CBS)

The company will be designing, building and guiding the launch of satellites from their mission operations center on the fourth floor of the school’s Advanced Manufacturing Sciences Institute.

Francisco Hansen is a recent graduate and new York Space System hire.

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Francisco Hansen (credit: CBS)

“There’s a big difference between what you learn in the classroom, and then when you actually work for a company,” he said.

York’s CEO Dirk Wallinger says he and his wife moved to Colorado and founded the company.

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CBS4’s Karen Morfitt interviews Dirk Wallinger.
(credit: CBS)

He says Colorado has the second largest aerospace economy and the second largest aerospace employment. He added moving their headquarters onto the Metro State campus just made sense.

“They’re an applications-based university… very motivated, willing to do new things, new daring things, things we need to be doing in space. Very in line with York,” Wallinger said.

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(credit: CBS)

For the company the partnership means direct access to young talent and for students it provides a unique opportunity to work side by side with professionals.

“To be able to work for a company like York with all the really smart guys that are over there in those offices was a pretty special experience,” Hansen said.

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(credit: CBS)

While Hansen will move from student to professional, he knows the benefit for future students will be limitless.

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(credit: CBS)

“It only makes sense for a university to strive to have a partnership with anyone in the industry… to kind of tailor the needs that these companies have to what they are actually teaching the students,” he said.

York Space Systems is on track to launch its first satellite in the fall.

Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.

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