Work-Based Learning Gains at the Capitol


Career Development Success Fund Increases by Nearly $3 Million:
Credential Program Looks to Solve Colorado’s Talent Pipeline Crisis

Denver, CO – April 23, 2019— Last week, Colorado Governor Jared Polis celebrated his 100th day in office by signing the FY 2019-20 budget. To highlight the bi-partisan support for creating multiple pathways to post-secondary education, the Career Development Success Fund will now offer $5 million in incentives to school districts encouraging high school students to complete qualified industry credential programs and work-based learning experiences. Consistent with the Colorado Education Leadership Council’s recommendations, this policy allows for more career exploration at multiple points along a student’s educational career through access to high quality work-based learning experiences.

“We want to thank the legislature, Governor Polis, and former Governor Hickenlooper for showing leadership in supporting innovative solutions for multiple pathways,” said Vice President of Government Affairs, Kelly Caufield. “The Career Development Success Fund has helped 37 school districts in the state offer more rigorous and relevant learning opportunities aligned to Colorado’s in-demand jobs and careers. We’re excited to see how many more students and districts will get to take advantage of work-based learning because of this increased funding.”

The nearly $3 million increase will allow:

  • The program to keep up with demand. In 17-18, school year districts reported 5,767 total qualifying credentials/courses with only 3,168 funded due to limited appropriations.
  • More students to participate in work-based learning. Incentives can cover the costs of credentialing exams and transportation costs to job sites. The incentive money is a true equalizer – allowing schools to cover costs for students who are less likely to attend schools with the additional resources to cover such expenses.
  • A wider array of workforce credentials to be eligible. With increased funding districts are eligible to receive incentive funding for internships, apprenticeships, and completion of computer science AP courses.

Districts that have participated in the Career Success Program have reported seeing students re-engage in their traditional studies and develop critical soft skills, such as collaborating on teams and communicating better with their peers and mentors.

“We believe that it is important to create multiple pathways to success. When students see real world applications to what they’re learning it makes a tremendous impact. It is key that we continue to fund these opportunities,” said Caufield.

About Colorado Succeeds: Colorado Succeeds is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that brings together Colorado’s business leaders to make sure the education system works better and smarter for all the people of Colorado. We believe Colorado is the best place to live and work, and we want it to stay that way.


Manager of Communications
Colorado Succeeds