2022 RMWDA Conference Showcases Energy & Innovation in Colorado’s Workforce System

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Nov. 1, 2022 - Last month on Oct. 17-20, numerous staff members from the CWDC attended the Rocky Mountain Workforce Development Conference (RMWDA) in Vail to learn, share knowledge, and network with other workforce professionals from across the state. Innovation and energy was high throughout the conference as attendees were excited to collaborate and connect face to face during the first in person RMWDA Conference in several years. 

Multiple different agenda tracks allowed for learning about diverse topics throughout the week, including business and economic development, grant management, career services, serving special populations, and more. Keynote sessions from speakers Josh Davies, Ed Tate, and Walter Simmons inspired attendees to “move full steam ahead” with trust, productivity, and innovation to advance the workforce system and help all Coloradans prosper. On Tuesday night, individuals and organizations who have been exceptional champions, advocates, and partners of the workforce system were also honored at the RMWDA Awards. Congratulations, and thank you, to all the award recipients!

Throughout the conference, CWDC staff presented during nine different sessions to share their knowledge with attendees:

  • During the pre-conference session, Renise Walker, Lee Wheeler-Berliner, and Erin Young spoke with Manny Lamarre from USDOL, Joe Barela with CDLE, and Jessica Valand with Results for America about advancing job quality and equity.
  • Bobbie Wolfe presented with Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) about how trade associations like CHA have used stimulus funding to build innovative workforce training opportunities that center racial equity in program design. 
  • Tony Smith and Erin Young led a session with Larry Schlang from Working Metrics about the Good Jobs Pilot and using data to improve job quality. 
  • Thomas Hartman and Susan Paulsen led a deep dive into the updated version of My Colorado Journey that was released in August 2022 and discussed how professionals can use the platform to provide meaningful Colorado-centric career guidance.
  • Renise Walker facilitated a discussion with Pikes Peak Workforce Center and CDLE reps who shared lessons learned for local areas looking to implement job quality into their work with businesses and job seekers. 
  • Amy Chambers and Linc Hulbert with CDLE led two sessions about managing grants & compliance: Preparing for an American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Audit and Managing State & Local Fiscal Recovery Funding (SLFRF) Grants. 
  • Susan Paulsen facilitated a session about the Career Ladder Identifier and Financial Forecaster (CLIFF) tool and how it helps Coloradans make informed career choices. She was joined by reps from Arapahoe/Douglas Works! and the Atlanta and Kansas City Federal Reserves to share their CLIFF insights.
  • Jessica Maiorca led a session about talent finance and how to sustain funding for workforce training after ARPA ends. 

During breakfast Thursday morning, CWDC Managing Director Lee Wheeler-Berliner also hosted the first annual RMWDA Morning Show to highlight “stars” from the conference and send off attendees with energy and enthusiasm for the work moving forward. Check out the highlights in the video below, and thank you to everyone who planned and participated in this great event!