Work-Based Learning or Bust: Colorado Legislation Backs Employer-Led Talent Initiatives

March 14, 2024

By Kylie Parks, Arvada Chamber Director of Talent Pipeline Development

In May of 2022, the Colorado State Legislature passed Senate Bill 22-140, creating the Work-Based Learning Incentive Program. The goal of the $3 million program was to increase and expand the number of work-based learning opportunities available to youth and adults across Colorado by providing monetary incentives to employers to create new, or enhance existing, work-based learning programs. 

In 2023, the Arvada Chamber of Commerce was fortunate enough to be selected as one of the intermediaries for the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s pilot program. We have successfully dispersed $214,000 to 29 businesses throughout the Jefferson County region and surrounding area, and plan to max out funding with employers in the pipeline by the May 2024 deadline.  

This funding has truly supported engaging employers and exposing them to expanding their workforce strategy through all of the opportunities in Work-Based Learning and connecting them to important regional partners such as Jeffco Public Schools, and the Jeffco Business and Workforce Center. Other intermediaries throughout the state included: Colorado Succeeds, the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce, the Fort Collins Chamber of Commerce, and the Colorado Restaurant Association. 

As the pilot grant program comes to an end, we are excited to see the workforce legislative package recently announced by Governor Jared Polis.  This package includes a focus around building apprenticeships, connected to Colorado Technical Education and supporting additional initiatives for the healthcare, education, and military family workforce.  You can read the full announcement of this package, here. 

So what does this mean for employers? Now is the time to build your Work-Based Learning plan into your workforce strategy! The Arvada Chamber is here to help with a half-day workshop to support you with connecting to funding and partners and creating a plan.  Join us in the next G.R.O.W. Jeffco workshop, by registering below!


G.R.O.W. Jeffco Work-Based Learning Workshop

April 24, 2024 | 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Red Rocks Community College – Lakewood Campus
13300 W 6th Ave, Lakewood, CO 80228


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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