Colorado Succeeds and Common Sense Institute (CSI) packed the room Tuesday, February 13, 2024, for an engaging conversation about the skills and attainment gap facing Colorado employers.

As part of their Eggs and Economy Series, this event coincided with the release of CSI’s report on “Supply and Demand: Diagnosing Colorado’s Skills and Attainment Gap.”

“In one sense, we’re lucky because Colorado is a desirable place to live, which enables us to import educated talent. However, we’re failing to effectively train our homegrown talent… which, if we can accomplish, will add almost $3 billion to our state’s GDP,” said panelist and report co-author Jason Gaulden, a current CSI Education Fellow.

Statistically, 95% of Colorado jobs require some postsecondary education; however, currently, only 30% of Coloradoans are earning said credentials.

“We have an opportunity to provide a path to purpose,” said Junior Achievement (JA) of Colorado President and CEO Robin Wise when describing JA’s new interactive Dream Accelerator for learners to explore career clusters that will pay a living wage.

Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman lifted up the work Aurora Community College is doing in this space, mirroring comments by Colorado Succeeds VP of Policy and Advocacy, Katie Zaback, who shared that one of the critical recommendations to improving education to employment alignment is to realign pathways offered in schools; pathways that meet the needs of Colorado’s employers and help fill the talent gaps.

For more on this conversation and to be part of the talent gap solution, connect with us for more information on getting involved with Colorado Succeeds.

photo of
Rebecca Winslow