Winter 2018 Newsletter

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Sectors Summit event graphic

Partners from industry, workforce development, economic development, and education and training, convened in Keystone, Oct. 15-17, to share ideas and best practices across regions and segments. The approach included focusing on:
  • Being industry-led and competency-based
  • Partnering
  • Being a WBL community
Outcomes include:
  • Launched the definition and illustration of Colorado’s WBL continuum
  • Introduced the definition of a “thriving WBL community”
  • Announced creation of WBL community of practice
  • Coalesced segment WBL plans into regional plans
  • Validated the importance of sector strategies
  • Published an updated list of terms to enable stronger alignment between partners
  • Advanced the WBL work of two key state strategic partnerships – Skillful and CareerWise
  • Launched the Colorado Talent Champion Awards.  
The CWDC and Skillful (an initiative of the Markle Foundation) are honored to have co-sponsored the 2017 Sectors Summit. Thank you to our partners whose teams worked tirelessly to plan and execute the 2017 TalentFOUND Sectors Summit focused on accelerating work-based learning through competency-based hiring, education, and training. The Summit had four segments — industry, postsecondary, education, and workforce – lead agencies for each assembled remarkable work sessions where participants learned from subject matter experts and from each other. The turnout and the commitment of attendees in staying engaged and working right up to the end was impressive. The final report outs were creative, thoughtful, and demonstrated the incredible actions communities can make with collaborating across systems.

Nearly 550 participants walked away with an increased level of transparency and awareness of WBL, more clarity on key next action steps and Colorado’s talent development network grew and was strengthened. Access resources from the Summit.

A big thank you to hosts, sponsors, attendees, and everyone who partnered on the 2017 Sectors Summit to make it a success!

FirstBank Senior Vice President of Business Lending Kyle Sickman has been appointed to serve as the chair of the CWDC through September 2019 by Governor John Hickenlooper’s Office.
In addition to Sickman’s appointment as chair, other CWDC members appointed include representatives of labor, IT, healthcare, manufacturing, and philanthropy, set to serve through September 2020 and 2021. 
  • John Fleck, Labor (reappointed)
  • Heather Terenzio, IT, Metro Denver
  • Kevin Cory, Healthcare, Northern CO
  • Paul Harter, Manufacturing, Northern CO
  • Francis (Frannie) Matthews, IT, Denver
  • Kristin Todd, Daniels Fund, Philanthropy, Special Adviser to the CWDC (ex-officio)
  • Tara Hosick, Mining, Mountain Region
  • Ashley Valdez, Energy, Pueblo
  • Bryan Dear, Professional Services, South West CO
  • Michael Hess, Services to Individuals with Disabilities, Denver
Learn More

Career Pathways Systems Building initiative is in its third year. This past fall, we focused on building awareness and providing training on the initiative and the current state of the platform. We conducted more than 60 presentations to 600+ representatives from education, training, workforce, and industry on career pathways and the use of online tools.

The next two occupational areas to be added to are cybersecurity and business operations occupations. In collaboration with the Colorado Community College System and other statewide partners, we invite you to participate in a regional conversation to determine the most critical gaps and opportunities we as a state can address to ensure the success of cybersecurity and business operations occupations in Colorado. These forums will be held throughout the state in February and March.

We recognize that this is an investment of your time. Therefore, we carefully designed an interactive forum agenda where industry leaders will identify current and future critical occupations as well as prioritizing the skills, knowledge, and abilities of an ideal workforce for these industries.

With your participation, we can grow the talent pipeline for cybersecurity and business operations occupations, positively impacting our local and state economies.

Visit our website to learn more about this work and to sign up to attend an industry forum in February or March.
Sign Up to Attend a Forum

The 2017 Colorado Talent Pipeline Report was released in late December, offering an examination of issues related to the supply and demand of talent in Colorado and strategies for strengthening the state’s talent pipeline.

The report focuses on high-demand, high-growth jobs, that pay a good wage in two earnings tiers: one including jobs meeting a living wage for a family of three with one working adult, and a second including jobs meeting a living wage for an individual. The report also explores areas of untapped talent in Colorado.

The conclusion of the report provides recommendations from the Governor’s Workforce and Education Cabinet work group on how the state could continue to strengthen strengthen the talent pipeline. 

Recommendations include:
  • Accelerate and deepen partnerships among education, business, and industry to develop Colorado talent.
  • Ensure that Coloradans have the skills they will need to succeed and grow the state economy in the future.
  • Mobilize Colorado's untapped talent potential to close the skills gap and connect people to careers leading to the middle class.
  • Promote equitable growth and opportunity across the state.
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 Department of Human Services, Department of Regulatory Affairs, Office of State Planning and Budgeting, the State Demography Office at the Department of Local Affairs, the Department of Human Services, and the Department of Regulatory Affairs, along with other partners. View the press release.
Read the Report

During the October TalentFOUND Sectors Summit, Colorado’s Work-based Learning Continuum was officially launched. The Continuum is designed to illustrate the variety of work-based learning activities that can be pursued, as well as the dynamics of which activities are housed primarily within educational entities and which are located on a job site. As practitioners have begun utilizing this tool, it has brought clarity about the roles of different stakeholders and enhanced communication between the partners.

A common lexicon and roadmap for partners to work from is critical to successful work-based learning efforts because the most successful programs require a community working together. Businesses need to partner with educational entities to design and deliver curriculum; workforce centers have a pool of talent ready to connect to opportunities; and economic developers understand what industries need people and how to attract new companies through training programs.

In order to hone in on what makes a community successful, a task force convened in October and developed a definition and rubric for Thriving Work-Based Learning Communities. A Thriving Work-Based Learning Community understands the problems plaguing their talent pipeline, recognizes the value in business-led work-based learning as a solution, and works collaboratively to effect systemic change. WBL Communities can exist in one of four phases: Exploring, Emerging, Demonstrating, and Thriving. The phase a specific community is in is based on the activities that are in place across seven domains: Leadership, Needs Analysis, Asset Mapping, Stakeholders, Resources, Communications, and Evaluation.

Visit our website to learn more about work-based learning.
Learn More
Colorado's Approach to Being Competency-based

Colorado is facing a skills gap that, if unaddressed, will diminish the ability of the economy to grow and limit the upward mobility of individuals throughout the state. Shifting our talent development network to embrace a competency-based approach to hiring, education, and training has been identified as a key strategy to address this gap and keep Colorado’s economy and its citizens moving forward.

A competency-based approach is necessary because skills are the best predictor of a successful hiring outcome and competency-based models expand access to education opportunities beyond high school. As a state, our system is pursuing four outcomes that, when achieved, will ensure that competency-based models are ingrained throughout the talent development network.

The four outcomes are:
  • 100% of publicly funded programs in the ecosystem integrate a competency-based approach
  • 50% of business customers are educated on competency-based hiring
  • 50% of critical occupations have work-based learning opportunities embedded
  • 10% increase in participants enrolled in a competency-based career pathway program
Strategies are currently being pursued for hiring, education, and training at the state level and local levels to make these outcomes a reality. To learn more or to get involved with this work, explore our website and contact
Innovative Industries Internship Program
Deadline: Feb. 15, 2018

House Bill 15-1230 created the Innovative Industries Internship Workforce Development Program. Since the inception of the program, reimbursements totaling over $1.6 million have been issued to support employers with high-level internships in the innovative industries outlined in the bill:
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Energy and Natural Resources
  • Engineering
  • Bioscience
  • Information Technology
  • Aerospace
  • Construction
  • Electronics
There are 179 participating businesses in various industries to date, of which 7% are rural and 93% are within the metro Denver area. The program has approved 338 internship spots with businesses, 291 interns have either completed the program, are currently enrolled, or have a pending start date.

The third cycle of the program began Jan. 15, 2018. The deadline for businesses and students to apply is Feb. 15, 2018.
Visit the CDLE website to learn more about this program.
Apply for the Innovative Industries Internship Program
Dr. Ursula Renold stands at a podium presenting to the group.
Become a TalentFOUND Charter Affiliate

During the last quarter of 2017, we were excited to welcome 23 organizations as new TalentFOUND charter affiliates. View the latest list of charter affiliates at to see the companies, organizations, and agencies dedicated to ensuring that a strong talent pipeline exists supporting a vibrant Colorado economy.

Limited spaces are still available for charter affiliates. Learn more today.
Learn More
USDOL Overtime Rule
In November, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted a Department of Labor (DOL) motion to halt litigation over the 2016 overtime rule on Nov. 6, making it unlikely the rule will ever take effect.

Please read the full article as reported by the Society for Human Resource Management for more information.
Please note that we maintain a calendar of events on our home page.
  • Career Pathways Systems Building Forums for Cybersecurity and Business Operations Occupations
    • Feb 15 - Southern Colorado
    • Feb. 22 - Northern Colorado
    • March 1 - Central Colorado
    • March 8 - Western Colorado
    • March 15 - Central Colorado
  • Postsecondary Workforce Readiness Symposiums: The ICAP (Individual Career and Academic Plans) serves as a tool to help students understand themselves, expose them to careers and postsecondary training opportunities and develop a plan for post-secondary success.
    • West: Jan. 25, Colorado Mountain College, Edwards - Register
    • South: Feb. 2, D49, Colorado Springs - Register
    • East: Week of Feb. 26 - March 1, Limon Area - Register
    • North: March 9, Front Range Community College, Westminster - Register
  • NAWB Annual Forum, Mar 24-27 (The CWDC will be there; let us know if you’re going.)
Copyright © 2018 Colorado Workforce Development Council, All rights reserved.

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