2015 Colorado Ready to Work Package

House Democrats spearheaded a bipartisan package of legislation to expand training and educational opportunities for Coloradans so our state’s workforce can fill the jobs of the 21st Century.

Post-Secondary & Workforce Readiness Coordinator (HB15-1170) – Reps. Kraft-Tharp & Wilson, Sens. Hill & Heath
Creates a statewide coordinator who will work with schools and businesses to help young Coloradans nearing high school graduation decide which post-secondary path is right for them – a four-year college, a community college, or a career and technical education program. Students will be encouraged to take the next step up the education ladder, but will not be shoehorned into a four-year college, which is not the right answer for every student.

Innovative Industries Internships (HB15-1230) – Reps. Lee & Foote, Sens. Cooke & Heath
Creates an internship/apprenticeship program in engineering and R&D-intensive companies. Participants in the program would gain real-world work experience and occupational skills and employers would provide training tailored to their real-world needs.

Enhanced Unemployment Insurance (HB15-1231) – Reps. Esgar & Kraft-Tharp, Sen. Merrifield
Continues a program that allows the long-term unemployed to obtain enhanced unemployment insurance benefits while they participate in an approved skills training program. The program is a cost-effective way to help displaced workers gain important skills and move off the unemployment rolls and onto a payroll.

P-TECH (HB15-1270) – Reps. Duran & Foote, Sens. Woods & Todd
Creates partnerships within different industries to offer a combination of internships, mentoring and school courses in information technology and STEM fields. Graduates will have both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree, which they can then use to jump-start a bachelor’s degree or take directly into a career.

Mobile Learning Labs (HB15-1271) – Reps. Lontine & Hamner, Sens. Marble & Donovan
This program brings the community college classroom to the workplace. RV-sized vehicles will come to a company’s parking lot to deliver training programs to employees right where they work. The mobile learning labs will reduce employee travel time and scheduling hassles while delivering training that is tailored to the specific needs of the company. The mobile learning labs are modeled on a successful Pueblo Community College program.

Career Pathways (HB15-1274) – Reps. Garnett & Melton, Sens. Woods & Kerr
Directs the state workforce development council to coordinate with companies to design more career pathways — a combination of education and training programs, work experiences and counseling — for critical occupations in growing industries.

Career & Technical Education Programs and Concurrent Enrollment (HB15-1275) – Rep. Winter, Sens. Marble & Heath
Allows high schools to provide coursework and credit to students who are participating in apprenticeship programs leading to post-secondary certifications and tech careers. Provides scholarships to help pay for some of the most in-demand career and tech programs.

WORK Act (HB15-1276) – Reps. Pabon & Williams, Sen. Cooke
Creates a grant program to close a significant information gap – the lack of public awareness of the good jobs that already exist, as well as the programs that will help Colorado workers gain the skills needed to fill those jobs. Grants will help outreach, recruiting and training efforts of organizations offering skilled worker training programs.

County Workforce Development Programs (SB15-082) – Reps. Moreno & Lawrence, Sens. Marble & Hodge
Authorizes Colorado’s 64 counties to establish workforce development programs to provide financial assistance to the counties’ high school graduates who pursue post-secondary education or training. Counties would be able to offer property tax credits or rebates to local taxpayers who contribute to the fund.