Colorado’s Future Workforce Strengthened by Bipartisan Legislative Leadership

Colorado’s Future Workforce Strengthened by Bipartisan Legislative Leadership

With strong bipartisan support, Colorado House members are expanding the Career Development Success Program to ensure students graduate high school prepared with skills, experience and knowledge for success in high-demand fields.

The House Education Committee approved House Bill 1266 on Monday. It now heads to the state House Appropriations Committee for consideration.

“Results from the first year of the pilot program are in and the findings are clear: there is a strong demand for work-based learning in our schools. Colorado Succeeds strongly supported the passage of the Career Success pilot in 2016 because it helps the state meet labor market demands and prepares Colorado students for success after high school.”

Kelly Caufield, Director of Policy, Colorado Succeeds

The two-year pilot program has been wildly successful with nearly 30 school districts receiving a $1,000 bonus for each student who graduated with an industry credential in an in-demand field, completed a work-based learning experience or completed a computer science AP course.

In just one year, the number of students earning industry credentials increased by 60 percent in participating districts. The demand has outpaced the funds provided with the 2016 law. And nationally, students participating in career-focused programs are more likely to graduate high school.

HB 1266 extends the program through 2024 and helps ensure more equitable sharing of funds statewide.

“Colorado lawmakers understand that students need to graduate equipped to face the challenges of successfully entering the work place. Career pathways, like those successfully supported in Colorado, will meet labor market demands and prepare more students for success in college, in careers and in life.

“I want to thank bill sponsors Representative James Wilson, Representative Daneya Esgar, Senator Owen Hill and Senator Nancy Todd for working across the aisle to ensure more Colorado students have a path to the American dream and Colorado businesses have the workforce to drive the state’s economic engine.”

Tom Greene, Western Regional Advocacy Director, ExcelinEd in Action

For more information on the value of College and Career Pathways, visit ExcelinEd’s policy library.