Reflections on the CWDC’s January 2024 Council Meeting

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Feb. 14, 2024 - Last month CWDC members, guests, and staff gathered in Centennial for the January Council meeting to collaborate, experience interactive tours, and engage in networking discussions and presentations surrounding workforce initiatives.  

Day 1: Thursday, Jan. 18

Council members at Junior Achievement in the Daniels Fund JA Dream Accelerator roomThe initial day was divided between three diverse locations. The meeting began at Centennial Public Works with a presentation by speakers from Deloitte about the impact of artificial intelligence on the workforce, followed by a presentation on Colorado’s TechHub Designation for Quantum. Both provided key insights as to how Colorado will adapt to technological advances and the related growth of workforce needs.

Jessica Maiorca, CWDC innovative finance consultant, presented on Talent Finance: Moving Towards Statewide Impact. With the support of guest speakers, she reviewed Colorado Income Share Agreement (ISA) rules, the Talent Finance Design Workshop, and the Behavioral Health Talent Finance Project. Amber Phebus of Front Range Community College discussed their behavioral health program, and Julie Stone, Director of Family Economic Mobility at Gary Ventures, shared how the CWDC could leverage COPIFF infrastructure to multiply the impact of current state workforce spending by demonstrating the need to increase family economic mobility in Colorado.

The “Council Business” section on Thursday included a presentation about stackable credential pathways from Emily Millican with the Colorado Department of Higher Education, and Council members voted to approve the pathways as presented. Then CWDC Managing Director Lee Wheeler-Berliner shared the High Performing Board definition and a motion was passed to support the criteria. 

Attendees transitioned to the second location of the day, United Launch Alliance (ULA), an American aerospace manufacturer, defense contractor, and launch service provider that manufactures and operates rocket vehicles that launch spacecraft. A panel discussion was held in the launch room composed of members from ULA, True Anomaly, and iSpace. Panelists discussed workforce needs and how those needs relate to changing technology in their industry. After the panel discussion, ULA showcased a recent successful rocket launch.

The day closed out at Junior Achievement (JA) Rocky Mountain Free Enterprise Center in Greenwood Village. Tours were offered within the recently completed Robert and Judi Newman JA Finance Park and the Daniels Fund JA Dream Accelerator (pictured above). Networking during the reception provided a space for attendees to exchange ideas and gain fresh insights.

Day 2: Friday, Jan. 19

Keri Funkhouser presents on the WIOA State PlanDay two dawned with renewed energy as the meeting began at Weifield Group Contracting in Centennial. Here, presentations and the final “Council Business” session delved deeper into various topics. Keri Funkhouser, CWDC communications strategist, presented the 2024-2027 WIOA State Plan for final approval. After discussing the State Plan language and purpose, CWDC voting members passed motions on an additional waiver request and approval of the State Plan. 

CWDC Treasurer Baird McKevitt then presented financial updates for discretionary funds and stimulus dollars, including updates on stimulus funding through HB21-1264 and Wagner-Peyser investment. CWDC Consultant Thomas Hartman led a discussion on career pathways to close out Council Business. He presented the recommendations for new career pathways selected by the Education and Training Steering Committee, which included creative industries, financial services, and sciences, and a motion passed to approve the recommended pathways.

As the event drew to a close, attendees reflected on the meeting and the collaboration and shared learning experiences that unfolded over the past two days. The January Council meeting reaffirmed attendees’ commitment to learning, collaboration, and growth to continue the important work of the Council moving forward. 

Thank you to all our guests and local hosts for making the January 2024 meeting a success. Please visit the CWDC website to access Council meeting materials including agendas, slides, and minutes. January 2024 meeting materials will be available soon.