Free Training for In-demand Jobs, Career Advance Colorado Can Help Bolster Our Talent Pipeline

Recently, the Colorado Community College and Governor Polis announced the start of Career Advance Colorado, a workforce development initiative providing free training for in-demand jobs through the state’s community and technical colleges.

Aligned to Colorado Succeeds’ policy principles of putting learners first and ensuring industry alignment, this program marks a shift in postsecondary funding by targeting high-value credentials in in-demand fields, such as early childhood education, firefighting, law enforcement, and construction. It also builds off a proven program, Care Forward Colorado, which was created in 2022 and has allowed more than 3000 Colorado students to access no-cost credentials in high-needs healthcare fields.

We are proud to have supported HB 23-1246, a bipartisan bill which created Career Advance Colorado, and are encouraged by its prompt implementation. In his testimony to support this bill, Colorado Succeeds member Joel Pennick highlighted the importance of investing in workforce development.

Those of us who work in the construction industry face daily workforce shortages. This $40 million investment in zero-cost credentials is based on a proven program and will go a long way in helping meet the needs of our industry. Not only will it help meet our state’s workforce needs, but it will also help ensure that Coloradans can access the training they need to get a good job.

Joel Pennick, Vice President, JE Dunn Construction

Programs like Care Forward Colorado and Career Advance Colorado benefit not only our homegrown talent and business community but also our state as a whole by providing more Coloradans with the opportunity to attain economic mobility.

We hope Colorado’s business and education communities will help spread the word about this essential program and leverage it to connect more Coloradans to training. 

Learn more about Career Advance Colorado on the Colorado Community College System’s website – which includes a communications toolkit – or via CBSNEWS, CPR, or Fort Morgan Times.

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