As Colorado faces an aging workforce, dwindling net in migration, declining high-school enrollments, and inequitable postsecondary attainment outcomes by race/ethnicity, our workforce landscape is at a critical crossroads.
Do we continue to rely on importing employees from out-of-state? Do we bridge growing worker shortages by reskilling and upskilling untapped local talent hiding in plain sight? Can we collaborate across the industry, education, nonprofits, and philanthropy to find collaborative solutions that focus on learner/earner alignment and access?
The 2022 Talent Pipeline Report provides illuminating data regarding these questions and insights to galvanize a statewide understanding of Colorado’s current workforce predicament.
Major report takeaways include:
- In June 2022, there were 208,000 job openings to 129,000 hires – a gap of nearly 38 percent;
- There are two jobs available for every active job seeker;
- Colorado ranks 11th in the country for the number of people voluntarily quitting their jobs;
- Colorado has invested nearly $650 million in our talent development and higher education ecosystem over the last two years;
- Tier 1 jobs in Colorado are benchmarked by an income ($71,739) that can support a family of three with two adults—one working—and one child;
- Tier 2 jobs are benchmarked by an income ($39,852) that can support one adult.
- Nearly 95,000 additional opportunities in the labor market for individuals who attained a bachelor’s degree or higher
Bridging the talent divide will take a multifaceted approach. Colorado is targeting millions of dollars through the Opportunity Now grant (and other initiatives) for businesses to re-skill, up-skill, and next-skill workers, to fill high-demand jobs. The goal is to incentivize learning providers, business leaders, and intermediaries to pilot new and scale existing innovative pathways for earners and learners—enhancing lifelong economic mobility.
According to the report, “a tight labor market can work as a potential boost for conquering ageism and advancing opportunities for historically marginalized populations in the workforce.”
We should seize this opportunity to provide access to success for local earners/learners, who are imperative to maximizing Colorado’s economic potential. Colorado Succeeds will continue to put our expertise at the intersection of education, business, and government to work in service of clearing the path so that more Coloradans have a path to economic mobility. This 2022 Pipeline Report provides foundational data to co-create roadmaps to success.