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2015 - 2017 Legislation

HB17-1003 Strategic plan to address teacher shortage

Problem: Colorado is experiencing a shortage of qualified teachers for the PreK-12 education system.
Solution: Legislation was passed requiring that the issue be examined and a strategic plan created to address the shortage.

HB17-1184 Modern Technology Education in Public Schools

Problem: Digital literacy is a critical skill that has been identified by Colorado businesses as key to ensuring work-ready skills.

Solution: This law directs CDE staff to create a publicly available resource bank of materials pertaining to computer science programs, including sample standards, samples of curricula, and materials for professional educator development.

SB17-292 Colorado Works Employment Opportunities With Wages

Problem: Too few Colorado Works participants transition to permanent, full-time employment.

Solution: Support Colorado Works jobseekers to gain marketable skills and recent work experience through subsidized training and employment opportunities to gain living-wage, permanent employment. The General Assembly passed legislation (SB 17-292) to create the Colorado Works Employment with a Wage Program (rebranded the Colorado Works Subsidized Training and Employment Program (CW-STEP)). $4 million was appropriated for the program, in order to assist 720 Colorado Works recipients annually attain living-wage, permanent jobs via hands-on employment opportunities with subsidized wages, including apprenticeships, on-the-job training, transitional jobs, and paid internships. Specifically, CW-STEP will:

  • Provide participants with income and on-the-job experience that can lead to permanent employment.

  • Increase the number of jobs filled in industries with demonstrated shortages of qualified workers.

  • Help small businesses hire willing employees and increase output, allowing them to train workers for their specific needs.

HB 16-1073 Electrical Industry Safety And Training Act

Problem: An applicant seeking renewal of a license to be a journeyman electrician, a master electrician, or a residential wireman must only demonstrate competency through an assessment performed by a private company, without any continuing education requirements.

Solution: The bill modifies the license renewal process for electricians by requiring continuing education rather than an assessment. The 24 hours of training will better equip electricians with the skills they need to be successful in their profession. This new requirement makes it less burdensome for licensees to  transfer between states for reciprocity.  With CEUs, Colorado  is more consistent with other states that are part of NERA (National Electrical Reciprocal Alliance).

HB 16-1103 Clarifying License Pathways for Mental Health Workforce

Problem: Requirements for candidates seeking licensure as a mental health professional are outdated and cumbersome.

Solution: The new law clarifies that graduates must have “completed” their degrees (rather than "hold") in order to fulfill the educational requirements for licensure. This change expedites the licensure process significantly. Often, new graduates do not receive, or “hold” their actual degree certificate for many weeks after graduation. As a result, they must wait to apply, even if they have a job offer.

HB16-1114 Repeal Duplicate Reporting Requirements for Employers

Problem: State and Federal laws both require employers to ensure that employees are legally eligible for employment.

Solution: The bill eliminates current employment verification standards that require employers in Colorado to attest that they have verified the legal work status of each employee and to submit documentation to the division of labor at CDLE.

HB16-1142 Rural & Frontier Health Care Preceptor Tax Credit

Problem: Rural areas of the state suffer from a shortage of primary health care providers and a lack of professional instruction and supervision that allow students studying primary care to obtain the requisite professional mentoring and supervision to practice upon obtaining a professional degree.

Solution: The bill offers an income tax credit in the amount of $1,000 to a health care professional who provides a preceptorship (mentoring experience) to an eligible graduate student to enable the student to obtain an eligible professional degree.

HB16-1197 Military Veteran Occupational Credentials

Problem: Many veterans have extensive military training and job experience in occupations that would benefit Colorado, but military experience does not easily translate into credit for licenses and certifications.

Solution: The bill requires each state agency that regulates a profession or occupation to evaluate and provide appropriate credit toward licensing and certification for military experience.

HB16-1198 Computer Courses Fulfill Graduation Requirements

Problem: Computer science and computer coding skills are widely recognized as valuable assets in the current and future job market, but many high school students are not taking computer science and coding courses because they do not count toward Colorado’s graduation requirements.

Solution: The bill encourages school districts to count a computer science or coding course as fulfilling a graduation requirement in mathematics or science. It directs the state board of education to include knowledge and skills in computer science when revising curricula, and it creates and maintains a resource bank of models.

HB16-1267 Colorado Veterans' Service-To-Career Pilot Program

Problem: Providing quality training, employment and wrap-around services to veterans is a state priority.

Solution: The bill created the Colorado veterans' service-to-career pilot program. CDLE will select one or more workforce centers that may contract with a nonprofit agency to administer the program. Workforce centers selected by the department (with the nonprofit agency if selected) develop and expand programs to provide workforce development-related services specifically tailored to the unique needs and talents of veterans, spouses, and other eligible participants. WIOA funds must be used first for eligible participants.

HB16-1287 CDLE Pre-apprenticeship & Apprenticeship Study [WP]

Problem: Apprenticeship programs are a valuable career path, but there are many perceived and possibly real barriers to creating and sustaining apprenticeship programs.

Solution: The bill directs the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to study ways to increase the use of apprenticeship programs by Colorado businesses and to make a report and recommendations based on the study which is due July 1, 2017.

HB16-1288 Industry Infrastructure Grant Program [WP]

Problem: In order to meet the current and future workforce needs, businesses must become not only consumers of a talented workforce but also producers of that talent pipeline.

Solution: The bill created a matching grant program within the Colorado Workforce Development Council to fund nonprofit entities to assist industry associations to define industry competencies and collaborate to facilitate training and education in the classroom and the workplace to support businesses in becoming centers of learning.

HB16-1289 Incentives To Complete Career Development Courses -- Career Success Pilot Program [WP]

Problem: Colorado’s graduation guidelines offer industry recognized credentials as one way to meet graduation requirements, but schools have limited resources and lack of information about which credentials are of value. 

Solution: The bill creates a pilot program wherein school districts receive a $1,000 bonus for each high school student who {1) earns an industry certification tied to an in-demand job, {2) finishes a rigorous workplace training program tied to key industry needs, or {3) successfully completes a Computer Science AP course. 

HB16-1290 Extend (Rehire Colorado) Transitional Jobs Program

Problem: Employers are not eager to hire an individual that does not have a strong work history; individuals without work experience have a difficult time marketing themselves to prospective employers. 

Solution: Extends the ReHire Colorado program, which provides job training to help Coloradans find gainful employment and transition off of government assistance. The program helps the economic recovery reach the Coloradans who need it most, focusing on helping veterans, seniors and non-custodial parents secure long-term employment.

HB16-1302 Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act [WP]

Problem: The reauthorization of the federal Workforce Investment Act as the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in 2014 caused misalignment with the Colorado statute for implementation of these laws. 

Solution: The bill aligns state statute with the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, of 2014.

SB16-077 Employment First For Persons With Disabilities 

Problem: Colorado does not have, nor has it been determined that it should have, an Employment First Policy that would facilitate increased integrated employment options for people with the most significant disabilities.

Solution: The bill creates task force to create a long term strategy for employment of people with disabilities incorporating employment first strategies; with the state rehab council (housed in DVR) to lead the departments of ed, higher ed, HCPF, CDHS and CDLE as well as a host of enumerated external stakeholders to create this strategy by November 2017.

SB16-134  Professional Licensing For Military Veterans

Problem: As veterans transition to civilian life many of the skills and abilities that they gained during service do not effectively transfer to credentials in 

Solution: This bill requires the Colorado department of public health and environment (CDPHE) to consider crediting a military veteran's training, education, and experience toward the qualifications for certification as an emergency medical service provider. It requires the Colorado department of revenue (DOR) to consider crediting a military veteran's training, education, and experience toward the qualifications for a commercial driver's license; and requires the division of veterans affairs to make reasonable efforts to notify a discharged member of the obligations of CDPHE and DOR under sections 1 and 2 of the bill and of the duties and functions of a professional licensing authority that is regulated by the department of regulatory agencies.

HB16-1034  Emergency Medical Responder Registration

Solution: EMERGENCY MEDICAL RESPONDER REGISTRATION IN THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT Changes the name of first responders to emergency medical responders and creates a registration program for the emergency medical responders in CDPHE. The department is also authorized to promulgate rules concerning the recognition of training programs and continued competency requirements for emergency medical responders.

SB16-104 Recruitment and Retention of Teachers in Rural Areas

Problem: Rural areas of the state have a difficult time recruiting and retaining teachers.

Solution: The bill creates several methods to address the problem of recruitment and retention of teachers in rural school districts of Colorado.

HB16-1082 Area Vocational Schools to Technical Colleges

Problem:  The name area vocational schools does not reflect the quality of technical education they provide. 

Solution: Changes the name of area vocational schools to area technical colleges and adds representation for area technical colleges to the Concurrent Enrollment Board and State Workforce Development Council. The bill also adds technical colleges to the list of school types that can receive funding from the CO Energy Research Institute and the CO Opportunity Scholarship Initiative.

HB16-1048 Business Enterprise Program for Blind Entrepreneurs 

Problem:  Opportunities for blind entrepreneurs are limited

Solution: The bill requires expansion of BEP opportunities for blind vendors at higher education institutions, the department of corrections, the department of natural resources and the Colorado State Fair, including review of the bid processes, scaling of operations and resulting revenues streams and training opportunities.

HB16-1100 Tuition Status for Unaccompanied Youth

Problem: Homeless youth do not have equitable access to higher education for in-state tuition purposes

Solution:  The bill amends statutory provisions relating to the persons qualified to determine domicile for purposes of establishing in-state tuition at state institutions of higher education. The bill adds unaccompanied homeless youth to the list of persons who are qualified to determine their own domicile.

HB16-1423 Student Data and Education System

Problem: Concerns over security of individual student data

Solution: The bill adds to the existing laws pertaining to student data security by adopting additional duties that the State Board of Education (State Board), Department of Education (Department), and school districts, boards of cooperative services, and charter schools (LEPs) must comply with to increase the transparency and security of the Student Personally Identifiable Information (Student PII) that the Department and the LEPs collect and maintain. The bill imposes duties on all entities that receive Student PII from the Department, the commercial entities that provide School Services by formal contract with an LEP (Contract Providers), and the commercial entities that an LEP or employees of an LEP choose to use without entering in a formal, negotiated contract (On-Demand Providers).

SB16-093 Transfer State Independent Living Facilities to CDLE

Problem:  DVR was transferred to CDLE but the SILC was left at CDHS

Solution: The bill transfers the oversight of independent living services for persons with disabilities from the department of human services to the department of labor and employment as of July 1, 2016, and creates an office of independent living services to oversee the duties.

SB16-179 Unemployment Insurance Classification

Problem: The process for determination of independent contractors is not clear

Solution:  The bill requires CDLE to develop guidance for employers on the statutory factors specified that determine the classification; clarify the process by which an employer or individual may submit further information in response to a determination by the department and prior to an appeal; establish an individual to serve as a resource for employers on certain classification and audit matters; establish internal methods to improve consistency between auditors; and establish an independent review of a portion of audit and appeal results at least twice a year to monitor trends and make improvements to the audit process.

HB16-1386  Necessary Document Program

Problem: Lack of ability to obtain documentation of identity during hardship

Solution: The bill directs the office of health equity in the department of public health and environment to administer a necessary document program. The office will make grants to or contract with one or more nonprofit entities to assist Colorado residents who are victims of domestic violence, impacted by a natural disaster, low-income, disabled, homeless, or elderly and who are seeking documentation of their identity, status, or citizenship by paying the fees to acquire a necessary document.

HB15-1030 Employment Services for Veterans Pilot Program

Problem: Veterans may need extra assistance to obtain and retain employment

Solution: The bill requires the department of labor and employment to administer an employment services for veterans pilot program, which must provide follow-along job services for up to 20 veterans including: Job retention services; Mediation services between the employer and the employee; Job mentoring skills and guidance to employees; and Advice and support concerning career advancement. The department is required to use a competitive request for proposal process to select a local nonprofit agency to contract with to implement and operate the program. The program is repealed January 1, 2018.

HB15-1170 Increasing Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness [WP]

Problem: Colorado students should demonstrate strong readiness to enter the workforce or pursue postsecondary education upon graduation from high school.

Solution: The bill clarifies that the state board of education will issue career and technical education authorizations based on the qualifications that the state board for community colleges and occupational education adopts. The bill also adds a matriculation sub-indicator to the existing postsecondary and workforce readiness indicator of the district and school performance frameworks.  The bill creates the position of postsecondary and workforce readiness statewide coordinator (statewide coordinator). The statewide coordinator is responsible to the state workforce development council (council) in the department of labor and employment.

HB15-1230 Creation of Innovative Industries Workforce Development Program - [WP]

Problem: Work experience is a critical factor in an individual’s ability to obtain employment and financial barriers limit the ability of companies to provide experience to students.

Solution: The Innovative Industries Workforce Development Program was created in CDLE to reimburse companies in specific industries for payroll and related costs associated with internships. Funding was made available to support up to seven industry intermediaries in their efforts to recruit companies to take on interns and establish regular internships.

HB15-1270 Authorization for Local Education Providers to Operate Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools [WP]

Problem: More than 70% of the top jobs in Colorado require some level of experience in the STEM fields and some type of education beyond a high school diploma.

Solution: This bill Authorizes the operation of a limited number of pathways in technology early college high schools (p-tech schools) in the state. Such schools allow students to graduate from high school with a high school diploma and an industry-recognized associate degree in applied science that focuses on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. P-tech schools must collaborate with a community college and one or more businesses.

HB15-1271 Funding of Mobile Learning Labs through the Colorado Existing Industries Training Program

Problem: Employers are limited in their ability to support training for employees due to space constraints and time requirements to support off-site training.

Solution: This bill allows moneys available for the Colorado Existing Industry Training Program to be used to fund mobile learning labs, which provide employers with a flexible delivery option for on-site training. This program is administered jointly by the Community College System office and the Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

HB15-1274 Creation of Career Pathways for Students for Critical Occupations in Growing Industries [WP]

Problem: Industry driven career pathways do not exist for all of the in-demand and growing industries in Colorado

Solution: Based upon the model developed for creating the manufacturing career pathway, the bill directs the state workforce development council to coordinate multiple agencies and industries in the design of industry-driven career pathways for critical occupations in growing industries. The state council will work with partners through the talent pipeline work group to define critical occupations and growing industries. The first 3 career pathways will be in construction and related skilled trades, information technology, and healthcare.

HB15-1275 Measures to Support Concurrent Enrollment in Career and Technical Education Programs [WP]

Problem: The practice of enrolling high school students in college-level courses while still in high school has yielded positive results in graduation rates and credential attainment, yet work based learning experiences such as apprenticeships and internships have not been incorporated into programs.

Solution: This bill requires the creation of a set of standard recommendations to advise and assist local education providers in creating cooperative agreements to include coursework related to apprenticeship programs and internship programs as options within a concurrent enrollment program

HB15-1276 Skilled Worker Outreach, Recruitment, and Key Training Act -- the WORK Act [WP]

Problem: In-demand industries require a skilled workforce, yet training programs for these industries struggle to attract students.

Solution: The WORK Act creates a grant program to support marketing and outreach efforts for the direct recruitment of and outreach to prospective students. Entities that can apply for funds include community colleges, area vocational schools that offer high-need industry certificate programs. The Act allows for approximately $3.2 million to be awarded each year for three years, with a focus on skilled trades training programs.

SB15-082 Authority of Counties to Establish a County Workforce Development Program

Problem: The rising costs of college tuition increases the pool of people who need scholarship funding.

Solution: This bill opened up the county mil levy statute so that counties may spend mil money on education, specifically for 2 and 4 year programs. The program also provides a tax rebate for business/industry that provides scholarship funding for  apprenticeships/internships and credentials in their industry.


Colorado Talent Pipeline Partnership