Think Big Conference Recap | B.O.L.D. 2026

September 05, 2023

By Kylie Parks, Arvada Chamber Director of Talent Pipeline Development

Happy Workforce Development Month! 

Last week on August 28th, Arvada Chamber President and CEO Kami Welch and I had the opportunity to speak at the Think Big Youth Conference in Loveland CO, hosted by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. The event was focused on workforce topics such as technical assistance for WIOA, work-based learning, registered apprenticeship, sector strategies, best practices, and more. Workforce centers, the State of Colorado, and other youth representatives were in attendance. 

Kami kicked off our set of discussions with a presentation titled “Glitches in the Talent Game.” This talk highlighted the importance of network weaving and why it’s critical for us to put egos to the side and work together to solve the talent system. One attendee highlighted that “a lot of systems have changed so quickly, the bad systems have been exposed.” When bad systems are in place, there is a lack of clarity, chaotic structure, inconsistent results, and wasted resources. When a good system is in place, it showcases a clear purpose, consistency and reliability. A recent Edelman Trust Barometer highlighted that the best outcomes are when Government and Business work together! We have to work together. 

Through the Colorado Gives Foundation, Danielle Varda and her team at Visible Network Labs are currently working to create a partnership map for talent in Jefferson County. This will allow us to see what work is being done, by who, across the community to increase the way we collaborate together on solving one of the nation’s biggest issues: Talent.

Kami and I tag-teamed the second topic and discussed “Whose Job is it to Fix Our Talent System?” The spoiler is it is business. While we know there is a lot of pressure on businesses to not only keep up with their day-to-day changing business environment, they are now more responsible for being a part of the talent solution. We did not say that businesses had to do it on their own, but they have to be at the table with partners to ensure the programs and tools created by partners align with their growing needs. Sector Partnerships in alignment with Talent Pipeline Management is something that will bring these two together. 

Bottom line: if we all want businesses to do better than we must create the solutions TOGETHER!

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. Learn more about our talent challenges and work here.


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