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Employment First


Kathleen Mahoney, Director
1575 Sherman Street, Third Floor
Denver, Colorado 80203-1714

Inquiries: (303) 866-5477


 EF Statewide Staff Directory
Colorado Employment First increases employment for food assistance

participants through support, referrals, accountability, and community work.


Employment First is a federally mandated program designed to ensure that all able-bodied food assistance participants are engaged in activities that will improve their employability. The program is administered by the Colorado Department of Human Services, and currently operates in 45 Colorado counties.


All individuals who apply for food assistance in Colorado and who do not meet federal exemption criteria must participate in Employment First activities.  These activities include: workfare, adult basic education, GED preparation, literacy, college, vocational training, vocational rehabilitation, job search classes, and part-time work.


As a result of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Act of 1996, participants who are identified as "able-bodied adults without dependents" must complete 20 hours each week in order to receive more than three months of food assistance in a 36-month.