Stimulus Funding to Advance Colorado’s Economic Recovery

The state has received funding to advance Colorado’s economic recovery in the wake of the pandemic; much of the funding is provided through HB21-1264, titled “Funds Workforce Development Increase Worker Skills.” The bill was signed by Governor Jared Polis on June 23, 2021, and seeks to improve outcomes for learners and workers, including underserved populations, by promoting partnerships and helping to prepare Coloradans for well-paying, quality jobs of the future. Learn more about the bill and view the current list of HB21-1264 funded organizations.

HB21-1264 Funded Organizations

The following organizations have received funding via HB21-1264 to implement programs and activities to help advance Colorado’s economic recovery.

Capacity Building Evidence-based programming and evaluation: CEEMI - $125,000

Career Navigation and Coaching Collaborative Promotion: Graduate! Network - $150,000

Career Navigation and Coaching Collaborative Training: Radicle - $262,880

Business and Industry Support - Trade Association Training Programs

  • Colorado Advanced Manufacturing Foundation - $310,000
  • Colorado Contractors Assoc. $310,000
  • Colorado Hospital Assoc. - $160,000
  • Colorado Hotel and Lodging Assoc. - $300,000
  • Colorado Technology Assoc. - $310,000
  • Construction Education Foundation of CO - $310,000
  • Housing and Building Assoc of CSprings/Pikes Peak - $300,000

Grant Management Capacity Building: Colorado Resource Center - $300,000

About HB21-1264

To advance the state’s economic recovery in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, Governor Jared Polis signed HB21-1264, whose purpose is to improve outcomes for learners and workers, including underserved populations, by promoting partnerships and helping to prepare Coloradans for well-paying, quality jobs of the future. The bill’s objectives include:

  • Investment in Career and Technical Education (CTE) to develop high-wage, demand-driven training;
  • Encourage the growth of short-term programs to meet post-pandemic demand;
  • Invest in Local Workforce Boards across the state so they can better partner with employers, Workforce Centers, apprenticeship programs, and others to respond to the needs of their communities; and
  • Funding to enhance the statewide workforce ecosystem, including grants for statewide workforce innovation initiatives, to be dispensed by the Colorado Workforce Development Council (CWDC).

The bill appropriates $75 million from the American Rescue Plan’s federal funds; the Colorado Department of Education will use $5 million for adult education; $10 million will go towards CTE facilities and equipment; and $60 million will be distributed by the CWDC. The execution of this legislation will build on the data in the Talent Pipeline Report and work to achieve the overarching goals of the state and local areas to support Coloradans. For an overview of HB21-1264 and the workforce stimulus funding, watch this 4-minute video.

Overview of $60M in Funding through CWDC

HB21-1264 invests a total of $75,000,000 for talent development, including $60M through the CWDC in two specific areas: $25M for Investments in Reskilling, Upskilling, and Next-skilling Workers, and $35M for Work Force Innovation Act. 

$25M - Investments in Reskilling, Upskilling, and Next-skilling Workers

$25,000,000 Total:

  • $20.75M allocated to Local Workforce Boards
  • $3M competed out to community-based organizations by CWDC
  • $1.25M for outreach, promotion, digital platforms, and statewide licenses

Learn more about Investments in Reskilling, Upskilling, and Next-skilling Workers

$35M - Work Force Innovation Act

$35,000,000 Total:

  • $17.5M allocated to Local Workforce Boards, who will be competing out these funds to eligible entities
  • $13.3M for statewide initiatives through CWDC
  • $4.2M for evaluation, implementation, and administration

Learn more about Work Force Innovation Act

Additional HB21-1264 Resources
  • HB21-1264: Overview and bill text of HB21-1264 Funds Workforce Development Increase Worker Skills.
  • HB21-1264 Fact Sheet: Background information, funding breakdown, and anticipated impacts of the $25M in funding in HB21-1264 that is a component of the Colorado Recovery Plan.
  • HB21-1264 Amendment Fact Sheet: Background information, funding breakdown, and anticipated impacts of the amendment that added $50M in federal funding to HB21-1264 through the American Rescue Plan. 

Ready to Rise - Stimulus Outreach Campaign

In September 2021 Colorado launched a statewide campaign to support job seekers, workers, and students in getting the skills, training, work experience, and support services needed for in-demand jobs and careers. The campaign, Ready to Rise, funded by HB21-1264, raises awareness of the opportunities available to individuals through the Colorado Recovery Plan. The Ready to Rise campaign directs people to a central landing page on My Colorado Journey to connect individuals to work, education, and training. View the press release.

Background & Partners

With the passage of several stimulus bills as part of the Colorado Recovery Plan, there is a need to efficiently connect individuals -- job seekers, students, those who are underemployed -- with stimulus opportunities as quickly as possible. Colorado state agencies are partnering on the Ready to Rise campaign with the goal of raising awareness of opportunities and helping individuals connect with those opportunities to expand their skills and secure good jobs. This campaign will run September 2021 to early January 2022.

This effort is a partnership among the Colorado Workforce Development Council, the Colorado Departments of Higher Education, Human Services, and Labor and Employment, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative, Office of Adult Education Initiatives - Colorado Department of Education, and Serve Colorado - Governor's Commission on Community Service.

Access the Ready to Rise Public Content Library for promotional materials. For additional questions about the campaign or how to get involved, please contact

    Current Legislation

    Keep up with current workforce-related legislation by visiting our legislation tracker, where you’ll find the latest updates on bills’ statuses, or visit our Current Legislation page. To get updates delivered to your inbox, sign up for our weekly legislative update.

    Learning Opportunities

    The CWDC offers a variety of resources to support Colorado's talent development network. Visit this page for a list of available, no-cost resources, including technical assistance training, guides and frameworks, case studies, communities of practice, and a glossary of terms related to talent development.