Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has named a retired U.S. Air Force general as the state’s aerospace and defense industry champion, according to a Nov. 25 press release from the Colorado office of economic development and international trade. 

Retired Maj. Gen. Jay Lindell’s new role will include overseeing Colorado’s strategic plan for space and promoting the interests of the space and defense industry. The goal of the new position will be to provide opportunities for growth in those sectors, the release said.

“Maj. Gen. Lindell will be a great advocate and passionate voice for ensuring that the state’s various industry networks and groups within aerospace and defense are united,” Hickenlooper said in the release. 

A study from the Brookings Institution earlier this year found that the space industry employs nearly 66,000 people in Colorado and contributes 3.8 percent of the state’s gross domestic product.