FourFront Colorado kicks off 2016 with a bang. The anticipated FourFront Manufacturing Advancement Centers have been branded Fuse Impact Centers and two of such centers will be launched early this year. In order to create the programming and build the connections necessary to make the Centers’ a success, CAMA has recently hired a Center Director for each location.

The first center will initially be located at the Commons at Champa in Denver, Colorado where already installed Oblong technology and equipment will allow for an immediate deployment and demonstration of the technology through its Oblong Technology Center. Within 18-22 months, it is envisioned that the Denver Center will be relocated to the Metropolitan State University (“MSU”) Campus. Last October, MSU broke ground on a $60 million, 142,000 square-foot building that will house the newly launched four-year Advanced Manufacturing Science degree as well as MSU’s engineering, aviation and aerospace, industrial design, computer science and computer information systems programs.

The Denver Center will be managed by Dr. John Atland. John comes to the CAMA FourFront project from the Community College of Denver where he was the CHAMP Grant Manager and Internship Coordinator. “CHAMP” stands for Colorado Helps Advanced Manufacturing Program – an initiative to bring manufacturing jobs for middle-class workers back to the United States in the 21st Century.

John brings both manufacturing and education training experience. John has spent the last 40 years growing and developing managers and supervisors in the United States Army at major American corporations like GM & Tyson Foods. Additionally, John has developed and facilitated performance appraisal, compensation, leadership, & customer service workshops for hiring managers in various Fortune 500 companies such as Lockheed Martin, Corning, Lennox, Bosch, and Adam Opel and Vauxhall in Europe.

Major Altland is a retired US Army Military Intelligence Officer and was a Senior Instructor (USAR) at the US Military Intelligence Center and School in Fort Huachuca Arizona. John is an active member with the Denver Rotary Club. Rotary International and our Rotarian Friends are helping to End Polio Now. John’s wife Sheri Mills Altland is a key leader in the IMAGINE NO MALARIA campaign – a campaign to raise $75 million to help eradicate this disease.

John received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater and his Ph.D. in Higher & Adult Education and Business Management from the University of North Texas in Denton.

John will be instrumental in building and aligning a collaborative manufacturing commons to assist metro Denver manufacturer’s grow and advance. In addition, John will be tasked with managing the manufacturing vertical for the Governor’s Business and Schools in Collaboration (“BASIC”) initiative on behalf of the entire state. Stay tuned for updates and details on BASIC in later articles.

The second center will be located on the Catalyst Campus in Colorado Springs. The Catalyst Campus is the work of Colorado Springs Entrepreneur Kevin O’Neil. The O’Neil Group purchased the Santa Fe Railroad Passenger Depot and is restoring it into a one-of-a-kind hub for technology, engineering and innovation. The goal is to serve as an incubator for innovation and bring together aerospace, defense, information, satellite, cybersecurity and other advanced technology sectors. The FUSE Impact Center will be located at the Catalyst Campus and will include an Industry Services and Oblong Technology Center together with an event and dedicated training space.

The Southern Colorado Center will be managed by Jahr Turchan. Jahr is an Advanced Manufacturing Operations Manager with 15+ years of experience manufacturing components for virtually every major market. Jahr hails from the Detroit, Michigan area where he owned and operated manufacturing firms that serviced the Automotive, Aerospace, Medical Devices, Department of Defense, Telecommunications and other consumer markets. He knows what it takes to manufacture quality parts on time and how to do it profitably.

He specializes in finding and creating solutions to new advanced manufacturing challenges. With a long history in manufacturing R&D, Jahr has led teams to create and ultimately patent many groundbreaking technologies that have been implemented and are in use today. After a successful 2 year period working in the UK to see some of his latest technology be incorporated in the European textile market, Jahr moved to Woodland Park, CO where he and his family enjoy their mountain horse property and their own “soon to be completed” equestrian arena.

Jahr’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Michigan gives him a strong background in helping Colorado manufacturers embrace and pioneer the Digital Manufacturing revolution. Stay tuned for exciting programmatic developments in this area over the upcoming quarter.

Jahr will be instrumental in building bridges and aligning a collaborative manufacturing commons across Southern Colorado (Colorado Springs, Pueblo and other southern rural communities). In addition, Jahr will be tasked with overseeing, managing and developing FourFront’s Defense Assistance Program. Currently 14 Southern Colorado companies are participating in this program and Jahr will be instrumental in facilitating connections to appropriate services and teaming arrangements to assist such companies as well as creating a proven program that can be replicated across the state for years to come. Stay tuned for updates and details on the Defense Assistance Program in later articles.

The official opening for the Colorado Springs Center will be February 18th. Stay tuned for launch details.

With their deep understanding of the industry, John and Jahr assume the responsibility for providing the tools and resources necessary to drive Colorado manufacturing forward. By promoting innovative approaches to research & development, increasing market diversification through FourFront’s Defense Assistance Program and fostering workforce development with the revolutionary BASIC initiative, FourFront’s first two Fuse Impact Centers will bring the advancement of the manufacturing industry to the forefront.

Two additional FUSE Centers will be located in Western Slope and Northern Colorado and are slated to be launched late in the 1st Quarter of 2016.

“After a 12 month building process, we are excited about the implementation and growth that is planned for 2016,” stated Tim Heaton, President of the Colorado Advanced Manufacturing Alliance. “John and Jahr are the first of the building blocks that will help us realize FourFront’s mission.”

FourFront Colorado is partially funded through a federal planning grant awarded to the State of Colorado by the U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) to support and strengthen the Advanced Industries cluster. The program is being implemented through a partnership between CAMA and OEDIT. To learn more, visit

Karla Tartz is Chief Strategy Office for FourFront Colorado. Reach her at