“Colorado Pay It Forward” Launch Event Highlights Innovative Workforce Solutions

February 07, 2024

By Kylie Parks, Arvada Chamber Director of Talent Pipeline Development

On February 1, the Arvada Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Colorado Gives Foundation, hosted a special event to celebrate how Jeffco employers, training providers, and funders are working together to help learners land in-demand jobs without debt. The event officially launched the Colorado Pay It Forward Fund and highlighted related initiatives that are creating a better tomorrow for all.

Arvada Chamber President & CEO, Kami Welch, opened the conversation by highlighting our B.O.L.D. 2026 work and reviewing the overall goal of aligning community resources to a shared vision of strengthening the talent pipeline. Kami cited the Edelman Trust Barometer showcasing “the best societal outcomes are when business and government work together. When these two work together, that partnership is four times more likely to yield optimal results than a business alone.”

Talent innovations highlighted at the event included the Colorado Pay it Forward Fund, which finances Colorado’s best talent pipelines, and stackable credentials that streamline the learner journey to great jobs.

Julie Stone, Investment Director at Gary Community Ventures highlighted how the programs supported by the Pay It Forward Fund offer zero-interest working capital loans to training providers. The fund is partnering with organizations such as CrossPurpose, ActivateWork, Climb Hire, Career Dash, and others in the future. Participants in the programs spoke about how it has changed their lives completely and has offered hope for what’s ahead. These programs are all highlighted on betterofferco.org.

Ben Gerig, Director of Workforce Pathways with Colorado Succeeds, presented on stackable pathways in the skilled trades and how this process can be followed for multiple industries. The Colorado Succeeds Blueprint showcases the steps to creating stackable pathways by leveraging talent collaboratives (for us, Sector Partnerships), and then moving into critical demand planning, credential requirements, and building out quality in-demand pathways.

The call to action for all attending was to get involved where they can. Employers have a ton of opportunities to partner with BetterOffer training providers or hire graduates. Businesses also have an opportunity to join the sector partnerships or join the Colorado Succeeds Business Coalition.

If you are interested in learning more about the Arvada Chamber’s efforts in the workforce space, please explore all opportunities on our website or reach out to Kylie Parks, Director of Talent Pipeline Development kylie@arvadachamber.org

Photos provided by McLeod9 Creative

B.O.L.D. 2026 is a five-year regional economic strength and resiliency initiative of the Arvada Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber developed BOLD 2026 in consultation with private and public sector leaders and partners in Arvada, Jefferson / Adams Counties, Metro Denver and the state of Colorado. One goal of B.O.L.D. 2026 is to grow our talent to meet the needs of employers and job seekers.


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