By Jeff Todd

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – A company in Fort Collins that plays a vital role in powering cell phones and other devices is growing. Now, it’s teaming up with Colorado universities to train the skilled workers it needs.

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(credit: CBS)

Advanced Energy announced in October it would be moving some positions from its Fort Collins Headquarters to Denver, but the move is to increase productivity for workers as they hire more people.

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(credit: Advanced Energy)

“We are a global company, but our heart and our home will always be here Fort Collins and Denver. The company grew up here,” said Isabel Yang the Chief Technology Officer for Advanced Energy.

AE builds semiconductors and industrial glass coatings. The move of some jobs to Denver opens up space to increase labs and research areas in Fort Collins.

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(credit: Advanced Energy)

“We also need a new infusion of ideas coming in,” Yang said. The company has worked with Colorado universities to help train workers in highly technical fields.

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(credit: CBS)

“We’re really excited to be here, but we also know we need to engage with the community at a deeper level so there’s a continued talent,” Yang said.

“I was amazed how much there is in academia that we just don’t apply,” said Neels Van Greunen, a design engineer at AE who is also earning his Ph.D. at Colorado State University. “I think it is good the industry actually gets involved because those are real problems and then it gives you a sense of, ‘Wow I’m actually doing something that is applicable and can actually help people.’”

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CBS4’s Jeff Todd interviews Neels Van Greunen. (credit: CBS)

“The talent is very sparse out there and competition is high,” said Yang. “The more talent we can bring to the local area really helps with the local vitality of the economy.”

Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.

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