Talent Accelerator Grant Awardees Announced

May 7, 2020 - In April, the CWDC awarded nearly $250,000 in Talent Accelerator Grants to five communities focused on upskilling frontline workers. Over the next year the Talent Accelerator communities will pilot innovative approaches to skill development and career advancement for incumbent frontline workers in the retail, hospitality, and food and beverage industries. 

The innovative pilots being supported include:

  • Aims Community College: Focusing on continuing education of entry level and low-level supervisors in the brick and mortar retail industry. Aims will also be working alongside Employment Services of Weld County with a recruitment partnership to prepare retail employees for transitions to new retail employers. 
  • ARC Thrift Stores: Developing an Emotional Wellness in Retail certification that will provide training to help grow individual employees’ communications and management skills. 
  • Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountain: Providing individualized navigation services as part of their approach to upskilling incumbent service sector workers who are refugees and immigrants. Participants will not only have guidance from a Career Navigator, but will also be participating in cohort-based soft skills and career advancement trainings.
  • Pikes Peak Workforce Center: Working to serve incumbent workers and adult education learners through collaboration with the Pikes Peak Library District, D11 Adult Ed, and Catholic Charities to develop a customized training that meets industry needs. 
  • Vail Valley Partnership: Hosting multiple incumbent worker skills-based training seminars that will focus on best practices for customer interactions, service training, and professional skills development for the hospitality and retail industries. 

This work is being completed as part of the Lives Empowered initiative.

Lives Empowered brings together retail businesses interested in working collaboratively to increase economic mobility for frontline workers across Colorado and contribute to a strong economy. Lives Empowered is made possible by a $4.1 million grant from Walmart to the Colorado Workforce Development Council.