Legal and Funding Resources
Colorado has one of the strongest economies in the nation. At the same time, thousands of jobs go unfilled as Colorado employers struggle to find qualified candidates with the right skills to fill those jobs. Addressing the skills gap provides Colorado businesses an opportunity to think strategically about ways to broaden their traditional talent pipelines by engaging youth and other sources of untapped talent. Apprenticeships and other forms of work-based learning offer proven strategies for training and cultivating potential employees and are a foundational piece of creating and maintaining a strong talent pipeline for Colorado businesses. This section addresses common concerns and perceived barriers to hiring youth in the workplace.
Work-based Learning in Colorado: Myth vs. Fact
The Myths and Facts identified below were pulled from this document created by talentFound, a partnership between the Colorado Workforce Development Council and the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. This information has been condensed and simplified for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. For more information, please consult an attorney, an HR professional, or contact the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.
Funding in Colorado
In Colorado, work-based learning is a strategy that provides individuals with opportunities to gain awareness, exposure and training for in-demand occupations and the skills needed by business and industry. Here is a list of publicly available funding resources throughout the state that can be leveraged to develop work-based learning programs (pulled from this overview published by talentFound).
This is not an exhaustive list of funding sources. Additional eligibility requirements and deadlines may apply to secure these funding sources. Please contact the appropriate state agencies for further information and guidance on applying for these funds.
Career Development Success Program
The Career Success Program was expanded in 2018. The bill provides financial incentives for participating school districts and charter schools that encourage high school students (grades 9-12) to complete qualified industry credential programs, internships, residencies, construction pre-apprenticeship or construction apprenticeship programs, or qualified Advanced Placement courses
Participating districts or charter schools could receive up to $1,000 for each student who successfully completes one of the qualified programs and will be distributed in tiered order.
Career & Technical Education
Perkins- Federal funding passed through the State CTE office for CTE programs that develop more fully the academic, career, and technical skills of secondary and postsecondary students who elect to enroll in career and technical education programs.
Colorado Technical Act (CTA)- State funding to support secondary Career and Technical Education Programs
Eligible agencies qualify for funding based upon their State plans and annual revisions approved under Perkins IV, section 122.
Secondary CTE programs who effectively complete the program approval process
Victoria Crownover, Perkins Manager
Colorado P-TECH: Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools in Colorado
P-TECH is an innovative partnership between a school district, a community college(s), and one or more local high growth industry employer(s). As such, students graduate with both a high school diploma and an industry-recognized associate degree in a Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) focused high-growth industry, in addition to gaining relevant workplace skills.
P-TECH is open to all students grades 9-14, with a special focus on encouraging enrollment of students who are socio-economically and racially diverse, the first to attend college in their family, English language learners, and students with disabilities. Requirements include: High school diploma + high-grown industry recognized associate degree. Industry recognized pre-apprenticeship and other certificates can be earned in addition to associate degree. Must have a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) focus that is informed by current and projected industry standards. Must receive workplace experiences and training (mentoring, job shadowing, internships, pre-apprenticeship training).
Yrs 1-3: District/Charter School PPR
Yrs 5-6: State-based PPR Students are eligible to allocate the College
Opportunity Fund stipend per college credit hour taken.
Students enrolled in 5th or 6th yr of high school at a PTECH school or program are eligible for f/t funding if they are scheduled for a minimum of one class in the semester.
Mary Anne Hunter
Approved Schools Website
Governor’s Summer Job Hunt
State Apprenticeship Expansion Grant (USDOL)
Federally-funded grant to expand apprenticeship programs state-wide
Participating workforce centers may subsidize up to $3000 per participant for apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship training.
Student Re-engagement Grant
The Student Re-Engagement Grant Program assists local education providers in providing educational services and supports to students to help them maintain engagement and/or support re-engagement at the secondary level.
Funding may be used to support activities and strategies focused on student engagement and student re-engagement and improvement of Postsecondary Workforce Readiness performance indicators
Max $ per Candidate
Colorado Department of Education
Work Training Experiences
Planned structure learning for career exploration funded 100% through WIOA
Employee must be enrolled into WIOA program before the start date of the WTE. Cannot exceed 12 weeks, 25 hrs. maximum per week, and position pays state minimum wage or more. (Local workforce Centers may vary in funding.)
Max $ per Candidate
$6,000 (Local areas may vary)
100% paid wages through WIOA funding WE State Requirements
Grant application to CDLE
WORK Act Grant
A 6-year state matching grant designed to increase awareness of, enrollment in and completion of Colorado’s skilled worker training programs.
This grant is for any government or nongovernment entity that offers or plans to offer a skilled worker training program and has partnered with industry sectors. A training program must be an:
- accredited educational training program,
- occupational education training program,
- apprenticeship, or
- similar training program
This opportunity does not include funding for bachelor’s or higher degrees.