Sectors Academy


The 2018 Colorado Sectors Academy is a two-day, hands-on conference which will provide existing sector partnership conveners and partners the tools needed to increase business and public partner engagement. More than 200 business leaders, workforce professionals, economic development experts, and educators will convene in Golden to share best practices and take home tools to help increase engagement to maximize impact.

Colorado has long been a model of collaboration for the country. Our ability to breakdown silos creates increased efficiency and ensures positive results for the entire system.

The State’s sectors strategies, specifically the sector partnership model, is a clear representation of Colorado’s collaborative nature in action. There are now 25 active sector partnerships across the state from Durango to Ft. Morgan. Businesses are joining public partners such as workforce centers and community colleges to solve regional problems including talent pipeline development. National funders are beginning to look at this model as a solution for critical issues facing our economy. Indeed, sector partnerships continue to gain traction.

Sector partnerships are:

  • Helping job seekers gain critical skills
  • Helping businesses find capable talent
  • Ensure industry and education are aligned
  • Building regional marketing campaigns to support industries
  • Ensuring a healthy economic future for Colorado

Who Should Attend

Sector partnership members that are actively working on business-led initiatives. This would include business chairs, business members, conveners, convening teams, education, workforce, and economic development.

Each existing sector partnership will receive 10 complimentary registrations/hotel accommodations and are required to include business partners.
If you are not a member of a sector partnership and wish to attend the Sectors Academy, a registration fee of $250 will be charged. The registration fee will include the Sectors Academy program and the General Session lunches. It does not include hotel accommodations.


Registration Deadline: September 13, 2017

When and Where

October 9–10, 2018
Marriott Denver West
1717 Denver West Blvd
Golden CO 80401


Tuesday, October 9  
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Registration and Check-in
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Lunch and Opening Session

 1:00 p.m. -  2:15 p.m. Communicating the Value of Your Sector Partnership
 2:15 p.m. -  2:30 p.m. Break
 2:30 p.m. -  3:30 p.m. Industry Salons
 3:30 p.m. -  3:45 p.m. Break
 3:45 p.m. -  5:00 p.m. Engagement Plans for 2018-2019 and Closing Remarks

Wednesday, October 10

 7:00 a.m. -   8:00 a.m. Breakfast
 8:00 a.m. -   9:30 a.m.

Breakout Session A - See Program Descriptions Below

Sector Partnerships 101 - Part I

 9:30 a.m. -   9:45 a.m. Break
 9:45 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

Breakout Session B - See Program Descriptions Below

Sector Partnerships 101 - Part II

11:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Break
11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Lunch, Keynote and Closing Session








Industry Salons

With at least eight industries represented in active sector partnerships across Colorado, it is important to understand the labor market data for each industry before developing strategies to support the sector. In this session, Academy attendees will break out by industry sector- business leaders in their respective sector, public partners can attend the sector of their choosing- to better understand economic data projections and what that means for their industries. Participants will then engage in discussions to share best practices and lessons learned specific to their industry sector partnerships as well as identify goals for increasing business participation moving forward.


Breakout Sessions Program Descriptions*

Each program will be offered in Session A and B:

1.)    Sector Partnership Organizational Structure and Succession Planning

How are successful partnerships organizing themselves? What is an effective succession plan for long-term success?

Developing the right organizational structure can help provide a clearly defined role for each member of the partnership team. A clearly defined, formal structure encourages engagement by industry when the business representative knows exactly what the responsibilities are and a timeline for the business commitment. Having a succession plan and timeline in place provides stability and sustainability to the partnership.  

Recommended Audience:     Business Leaders, Sector Partnership Conveners


2.)    Rural Partnerships

Northeast Colorado has a successful, active manufacturing partnership, but it was not always that way; two previous Sector Partnerships failed to take off. Through the eyes of Workforce, we’ll explore the key components that has led the current sector partnership to its success today. Additionally, we will explore how Workforce can act as a convener that encourages education, economic development, and other community partners to engage in support of rural businesses and job seekers.

Recommended Audience:     Rural Partners, Conveners


3.)    Leveraging Technology to Increase Engagement

Southwest Colorado Healthcare Sector Partnership is comprised of sector stakeholders in rural communities across 6 counties of southwestern Colorado. How do the various partners communicate, collaborate, and share information?

Learn and share the best technology tools and practices to bring people together, share information, and foster collaboration across distance to improve engagement among sector partners. Bring your web-enabled device to try out some new technologies.

Recommended Audience:     Any individual or organization that wants to share experiences or learn best practices in improving virtual meeting participation and engagement - whether rural or urban.


4.)    You have a great idea – how are you going to fund it?

Sector Partnerships need a strong financial foundation to attract engagement from industry partners and to fund initiatives. Learn how partnerships have approached funding, how funds are raised, how to pool resources to accomplish partnership goals, and what activities those funds are used for. Participants will walk away with ideas on:

  • When to ask for funding
  • What funds might support
  • Avenues for revenue

Recommended Audience:     Conveners, Chairs


5.)    The role of Chambers and Associations in Sector Partnerships

Next Gen Sector Partnerships are a solution to the problems businesses have sometimes faced of being pulled in many directions by organizations that have specific opportunities to support their growth. While business may be interested in these opportunities, they often don’t have the time or resources to send individuals to each organization’s program for review. Sector Partnerships can streamline this process for business but can sometimes struggle connecting with employers. Partnering with local associations and chambers is a great way to meet business where they’re at and leverage the conveners already in place by the nature of these organizations. In this session, we’ll hear how the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce partners with the Colorado Advanced Manufacturing Alliance West Chapter to convene the Grand Junction area manufacturing sector partnership. 

Recommended Audience:    Business leaders, sector partnerships looking for sustainable convener support.


6.) Apprenticeships:  A Vital Tool for Retention and Career Advancement            

Sector partnerships can serve as bridges for employers and training providers to implement apprenticeships as a retention and career advancement strategy.

Stonebridge Companies, a member of Metro Denver Retail Partnership, implemented a Lodging Manager Registered Apprenticeship program in collaboration with Denver Workforce Services and Johnson and Wales University. Ten apprentices from six properties went through this program. Based on the data collected after completing the program, the apprentices were able to move up in their careers and received an average wage increase of 25%.  

In this session, you will learn how partnerships bring stakeholders together to make apprenticeships a part of employers’ retention and career advancement strategy.  

Recommended Audience: Business Leaders, Training providers, Sector Conveners   


TRAINING - Sectors Partnership 101

This training will provide attendees with foundational knowledge of the Sector Partnership model and Next Gen Sector Partnerships; review resources available to launch and support a sector partnership; and think through opportunities for your region or area of focus.

Recommended Audience:
Local staff new to the sector partnership model, or staff that would benefit from a review of the key components. Staff interested in learning the first steps to establishing and supporting a partnership. State level staff interested in learning more about the Sector Partnership model.


*Schedule, sessions, and topics are subject to change


Presenting Sponsor:


 Event Sponsor:

Program Sponsor:

Colavria Hospitality