Lives Empowered

Lives Empowered Training Academy

These online training programs will strengthen essential skills, such as customer service, and provide you with an industry recognized credential that can help you move up in your career. 

Enrich Financial Services

85% of workers report that they are concerned about their finances. The Enrich platform provides free access to financial education and resources to ease the financial stress employees face.

WorkLife Employee Services

WorkLife provides support services to help your employees conquer their personal challenges so they can fee supported, productive, and engaged while at work. 

Retail Career Pathways

Explore career pathways in retail, hospitality, and food & beverage to discover the education and skills required to pursue a career in the industry and advance your career goals.

What's New?

Business Solutions for Training and Supporting Frontline Employees

This compilation of case studies highlights the innovations and successes of Colorado’s retail, hospitality, and food and beverage employers. Nine organizations are profiled to highlight their unique approaches to training and supporting their employees. View the resource.

Upskilling Case Studies

Diverse organizations and employers implement upskilling to improve employee retention, facilitate career advancement, attract new talent, and increase customer satisfaction. The case studies highlight the upskilling approaches of various Colorado organizations to help provide a scalable model for upskilling the frontline workforce that can be replicated by other entities across the state. View the case studies

Reenvisioning Retail 2021

Reenvisioning Retail 2021 took place on April 14-16 and highlighted equitable strategies for economic recovery and opportunities for upskilling, reskilling, and redeploying displaced workers. View session recordings, slides, and other resources from the event.

Lives Empowered

Frontline service workers make up one in seven employees in the United States. With the onset of COVID-19, the critical necessity of these workers has been brought to the forefront. To support these individuals and the economy, the initiative will work to ensure equitable upskilling and retention strategies that build mobility are more widely spread.

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.


Reenvisioning Retail - Event Materials

Colorado Retail Landscape Analysis

Lives Empowered One-pager for Businesses

Colorado Tourism Office: Colorado Concierge Training Platform (free)

Professional Hospitality Career Path Certification Training

Lives Empowered Stakeholder Webinar


On Dec. 4, 2018, the Colorado Workforce Development Council became the first state government entity to receive a $4 million dollar investment from Walmart to support workforce development through the Lives Empowered initiative. Over the next three years, the CWDC will work with local and regional communities to support and sustain the launch of up to 10 retail sector partnerships committed to piloting upskilling training for incumbent retail workers.

To learn more about the Lives Empowered grant announcement, check out the following links:

Lives Empowered Press Release

Lives Empowered Launch - Event Recap

Lives Empowered Launch - Full Video

$4M Walmart grant will seed program to train Colorado retail workers for better jobs - Denver Business Journal

Walmart Foundation Donates Millions For New Training Program In Colorado - CBS Denver

Walmart Announces More than $4 Million in Support to the State of Colorado to Empower the Retail Workforce - Business Wire


Colleen Wohnoutka, Business Engagement

Bobbie Wolfe, Upskilling


Why Retail?

Retail is a springboard to greater economic opportunity in Colorado.

By the numbers:

  • 51 of 64 Colorado counties project growth in retail during the next decade
  • Colorado is the eighth fastest-growing state for jobs in retail
  • 99% of retail businesses employ fewer than 50 people
  • 71% of hiring managers appreciate employees with retail experience
  • 60% of retail store employees are promoted within 10 months of being hired into an entry-level position
  • On average, retail workers make $38K per year