Dec. 7, 2020 - The Colorado Workforce Development Council last week submitted Colorado’s annual report on activities funded through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). In addition to providing a synopsis of activities during program year 2019, the report shares the successes of the first Combined State Plan under WIOA (2016-2019) and highlights the collaborative efforts and partnerships across the state that have yielded a positive economic impact for individuals and employers.
“In 2014, WIOA set forth a bold vision for an aligned public workforce system built on partnerships that delivers excellent customer service to both job seekers and businesses,” said CWDC Managing Director Lee Wheeler-Berliner. “Throughout our implementation of the first Combined State Plan, we have executed on that vision to strengthen our business-led system and enhance connectivity and partnership across programs.” As the COVID-19 pandemic increased demand on the public workforce system, this infrastructure and partnerships enabled Colorado’s system to demonstrate agility in meeting challenges and working towards economic recovery.
In addition to ensuring alignment and coordination of the state plan throughout the workforce system, the CWDC had many accomplishments and successful partnerships throughout PY2019, including:
- Collaborating with several state agencies and organizations to provide free and streamlined career advising training for more than 2,500 individuals through the Colorado Career Conversations Training Project;
- Joining the first cohort of workforce fellows sponsored by Results For America, along with the executive director or Workforce Boulder County, to enhance the use of evidence-based practices in the workforce system; and
- Supporting two local workforce area innovation pilot programs that tested new models for virtual service delivery and partnership across programs to support adult learners.
The report also highlighted successes from partners in local areas. Some of those include:
- Denver: Denver Workforce Services’ employer services team established a virtual job fair in Connecting Colorado on March 17, quickly engaging employers from essential industries. By the end of the program year, 83 employers connected with almost 3,000 job seekers.
- Mesa: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mesa County Workforce Center (WFC) created a virtual call center to help assist customers with all job-related and unemployment questions. Through this virtual call center they fielded 4,993 inbound calls and made 4,377 outbound calls. They saw 1,660 new jobs obtained through WFC services; $2,132,165 saved by employers utilizing WFC services; 83.5% retention rate; 30 customized hiring events; and 5,924 National Career Readiness Certificates earned.
- Tri-county: The Jefferson County Business and Workforce Center (BWC) business services team advocated for grant funds to develop a small business emergency grant program. The team worked around the clock with county attorneys and finance and public information teams to develop, promote, and process two grants supporting the local economy in less than three weeks. The BWC then created a Business & Economic Task Force to develop additional grants and strategies to support business and economic recovery. As a result, more than $2,000,000 was distributed to 400+ small businesses.
The Colorado Workforce Development Council produces the WIOA Annual Report in partnership with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE), including CDLE’s Workforce Development Programs and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and the Colorado Department of Education’s Adult Education Initiatives, among other partners. View the complete report. The WIOA Annual Report is published as an appendix to the annual Talent Pipeline Report which will be released on Dec. 8, 2020, and available on the CWDC’s website.