Tracy Kraft-Tharp was elected in 2012 to represent House District 29, which includes north and east Arvada and the Jefferson County portion of Westminster. She is vice chair of the Business, Labor, Economic & Workforce Development Committee and sits on the Transportation & Energy Committee.
During the 2014 legislative session Rep. Kraft-Tharp sponsored legislation to continue boosting Colorado’s economy by extending the ReHire Colorado program through 2017. The program provides job coaching, training and transitional job opportunities to under- and unemployed Coloradans.
Rep. Kraft-Tharp’s focus on jobs and the economy includes her Advanced Industries Export Acceleration Act, a 2013 law that provides consultation and training to Colorado companies trying to find global markets for their products, as well as a bill to promote aircraft manufacturing in Colorado.
She also worked on bolstering the state’s mental health system, by sponsoring bills to create a coordinated, statewide behavioral health crisis response system and to study ways to improve the state’s civil commitment statutes.
Rep. Kraft-Tharp has more than 25 years’ experience in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. She began her career as a middle school teacher, but soon moved on to become a youth counselor in a juvenile detention center and later was a social worker, working with at-risk children and their families. She went on to manage the Women in Crisis battered women’s shelter and the Gemini House, an adolescent crisis shelter in Jefferson County.
Rep. Kraft-Tharp owns a small consulting business working with nonprofit organizations and small businesses to improve their strategic planning, budgeting and management.
In addition, Rep. Kraft-Tharp taught Applied Legal Issues and Social Welfare Policy in Metro State University’s Social Work department and at Regis University in the Masters in Nonprofit Management program.
She has served on the Jefferson County School District Strategic Planning and Advisory Council, the City of Arvada Citizens Capital Improvement Project Committee, the City of Arvada Human Services Council and the grant review committee for Energy Colorado. In addition, she has served on the boards of the Urban Peak Housing Corporation, Jefferson Hall and the National Network for Youth Services. She is an active member of the Colorado Business and Professional Women, the League of Women Voters and Jeffco PTA.
She received her Masters in Social Work and law degree from the University of Denver.
Rep. Kraft-Tharp and her husband, Vern Tharp, live in Arvada.