Improve access to resources in the workforce system

Why is this important to Colorado?

Colorado’s competitive advantage in economic development is its workforce. As business and industry across the country confront the challenge of finding a solid talent base, Colorado’s continued investments in workforce programs strengthen how we support statewide job growth and improve Coloradans’ quality of life.  From the outset of our Administration we set out to improve how we educate and train the workforce of the future, based on our bottom-up approach to economic development. These priorities include:

A. Align the efforts of education, workforce training and economic development across state agencies and stakeholders

B. Create a demand-driven workforce system matching Colorado’s talent pool to upcoming needs of business

C. Prepare Colorado youth for full participation in the increasingly demanding and competitive economy

D. Increase awareness of the availability of quality entrepreneurial training

As we move forward in building on our success we are focused on growing the middle class and ensuring statewide economic vitality.  These depend on every Coloradan having access to meaningful employment and every Colorado business having access to skilled talent. It is crucial to empower Colorado students, job seekers, workers, and businesses with up-to-date information 

How do we measure success?

  • Employer satisfaction survey: Increasing the percent of employers who are satisfied they can hire the right number of employees with the skills and experience they need

  • Job seeker satisfaction survey: Increasing the percent of students and jobseekers who are satisfied they have the resources and/or training needed to find a job or advance in their career
Status Outcome Measure Outcome Baseline (June 2015) Actual (June 2016) Actual (June 2017) Outcome Target Target Date



Employer satisfaction per survey* 8% 12% 92.6% TBD 2018
Job seeker satisfaction per survey** N/A 72.50% 85.12% TBD 2018
Needs Improvement User satisfaction with TalentFOUND NEW MEASURE - TBD N/A N/A TBD - Apr. 2018  
*Percent employers who agree with the statement: "My engagement with the workforce ecosystem (e.g. [government touchpoint]) helped me find the right number of employees with the skills and experience I need.".
**Percent job seekers and students who agree with the statement: "My engagement with the workforce ecosystem (e.g. [government touchpoint]) helped me access the resources and/or training I need to find a job or advance in my career."
Source: Colorado Dept. of Labor and Employment, Colorado Dept. of Higher Education.

What actions are we taking?

  • Colorado is a leader in the nation in developing industry-led partnerships across businesses, educators, local communities, and government to align education and training to meet the needs of the economy.  
    • In 2016, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez reacted to a new Colorado initiative launched by such an industry-led partnership, saying, “You’re going to have a lot of other states wanting to come and visit you to figure out what you’re doing.”
  • Through a shared vision that is industry-developed and led, Colorado is aligning ideas, resources, and efforts to grow, attract, and retain the best companies and talent for Colorado.  This bottom-up Workforce strategy is a critical part of Colorado’s Economic Development strategy as well.  A comprehensive look at Colorado’s initiatives can be found on the Colorado Talent Dashboard at  Examples of Colorado actions include the following:
  • TalentFOUND, the brand of the Colorado talent development network, was launched to better connect affiliates across the network and to help individuals and employers access the tools and resources they need to discover ability, develop talent, and find success. The TalentFOUND electronic gateway will go live in late 2017, connecting students, job seekers, workers, and employers to the specific tools and resources of the talent development network which are already in existence and relevant to their unique needs, helping Coloradans find their own paths to success.
  • Creation of CareerWise, a statewide high school apprenticeship program that was launched from an industry-led partnership, and is being funded by grants from Bloomberg Philanthropies and JPMorgan Chase & Co.  The goal of CareerWise is to train 10% of our state’s 11th & 12th graders in advanced, high-demand jobs.   
  • Aligning the work of economic development, workforce development, education, and training and facilitating the shift to a competency-based ecosystem to best meet the needs of Colorado’s students, jobseekers, workers and businesses through the Colorado Workforce Development Council
  • Utilizing public private partnerships to develop skilled talent that aligns with industry demand by identifying critical positions in the region and working with students to develop skills specific for those demands
  • has been launched as an online tool to explore career pathways, which leverages statewide data to help workers, educators, and policymakers best understand career trajectories
  • Increasing opportunities for multiple paths to a successful career, including expanding work-based learning as a critical component of all education and beginning apprenticeship programs in high school, with a new work-based learning unit at CDLE.