Monday, October 19, 2015

Report examines strategies in building Colorado’s talent pipeline to meet business’ needs

DENVER — Monday, Oct. 19, 2015 — The Colorado Workforce Development Council today released its annual Colorado Talent Pipeline Report.

The report examines how well Colorado’s talent development system - a network of education, higher education, training, workforce development, and other partners - meets the needs of businesses and supports the state’s economic growth.

“We continue to work closely with industry to make sure students and jobseekers can navigate pathways to in-demand careers,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper. “Easier access to meaningful jobs and ensuring businesses have access to a skilled workforce is win-win for everyone.”

The report poses the following questions:

  • What are current trends in Colorado’s talent pipeline, and how do those trends impact our current and future workforce?
  • What are the top jobs in Colorado that have high growth rates and offer a livable wage?
  • What skills are employers seeking?
  • What are the education and training strategies that the state and local partners have implemented, and how effective are those strategies?

The report highlights jobs that have high growth and offer a living wage, which are concentrated in healthcare, information technology, construction and extraction, and business and finance occupations. The vast majority of these jobs typically require some formalized post-secondary training or education.

“This report further reveals inequities in the workforce in terms of education levels and job opportunities,” said Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia, executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education. “These inequities are a product of factors that begin at a young age and affect a person’s educational attainment and workforce preparedness. We have a lot of work to do, but this report provides us with fact-based guidance.”

The conclusion of the report provides recommendations on how the state could improve its talent development system.

The recommendations include:

  • Continue to expand concurrent enrollment programs, and use those programs as a career pathway that aligns education, training, and work based learning;
  • Increase awareness of work-based learning opportunities that will allow students to engage in career exploration;
  • Research policy and statutory barriers (or perceived barriers) to work-based learning, and provide resources and incentives for businesses and educational institutions to develop experiential learning partnerships, such as BASIC;
  • Support policies to re-engage adults who need additional post-secondary skills and credentials so that they can enter and participate more fully in the workforce;
  • Develop policies that support the expansion of services to underserved populations (for example - minorities, veterans, long-term unemployed, persons with special needs) to ensure they have access to career pathways to employment;
  • Strengthen secure data sharing capabilities between state agencies, so as to have access to critical information needed for better decision-making.

The Colorado Workforce Development Council produced the report in partnership with the Colorado Departments of Higher Education, Education, Labor and Employment, and the Office of Economic Development and International Trade, with support from the Office of State Planning and Budgeting and the State Demography Office at the Department of Local Affairs.

For the complete report, please visit:


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