Recruitment Continues for Training Providers to Address Colorado's Skilled Worker Shortage

For immediate release

Date: July 26, 2017
Contact: Office of Government, Policy and Public Relations
Bill Thoennes at (303) 318-8004 or Cher Haavind at (303) 318-8003
Fax: (303) 318-8070

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) has now begun the third phase of recruiting applicants for the Skilled Worker Outreach, Recruitment, and Key Training Act, more commonly known as the WORK Act.

For some careers, a college degree is not always a necessary prerequisite. An effective alternative is a worker training strategy that combines skills training with hands-on instruction in the workplace, including internships, on-the-job training and apprenticeships.

To support these programs, in 2015, the Colorado Legislature established the WORK Act Grant.  This grant affords $10 million over three years to support training providers’ outreach efforts and to update their curriculum to ensure that industry standards are being met.  In strengthening these outreach efforts and the quality of the curriculum, the WORK Act Grant is helping build a skilled workforce and assisting Colorado businesses facing a shortage of trained workers.

During Cycles 1 and 2, more than $5.5 million was awarded to 15 grantees who utilized the funding for outreach and recruitment efforts including hiring and supporting recruiters, program branding, video production, a variety of media channels, and the development of websites.

A grantee in Paonia even received national recognition for its innovative efforts in recruitment of Colorado trainees and its flexibility in adapting training to meet industry needs.

Now, as work continues on those grantees’ initiatives, the third cycle in the WORK Act is being rolled out.  This cycle runs for 17 months, from January 2, 2018 to May 31, 2019, and will provide approximately $3 million to additional recipients. 

These funds will allow grantees to match those dollars with in-kind investments from businesses and local communities to ramp up their outreach efforts and connect some of Colorado’s fastest-growing and vital industries with a new generation of workers.

In Colorado, there are apprenticeships and work-based learning programs fueling hundreds of occupations in such diverse industries as Aerospace, Bioscience, the Creative Industries, Electronics, Financial Services, Food and Agriculture, Transportation and Logistics and Defense and Homeland Security.  Training providers with instructional programs in all industries are encouraged to apply for this third cycle of funding.

For more information about the WORK Act Grant and how to apply, visit