What We’re Watching: House Bill 1365

Workforce development is a key focus area of the Colorado Chamber’s 10-year strategic action plan to improve the state’s business climate. As part of that effort, the Chamber has been working closely with its partners in the Education to Employment Alliance to bolster our talent pipeline and elevate Colorado’s workforce.

The Education to Employment Alliance is a partnership between the Colorado Chamber, Colorado Inclusive Economy, Colorado Succeeds, the Colorado Technology Association, and Colorado Thrives. It was formed in October of last year with the goals of identifying and defining workforce gaps going unaddressed across Colorado, offering solutions to address these gaps effectively, and monitoring progress towards the implementation of these solutions.

One major initiative to come from these efforts is HB 1365, introduced in the House today, which aligns Colorado’s workforce development efforts through regional talent development plans. The legislation, titled “Opportunity Now,” is part of broad package of bills announced today at a press conference held by Gov. Jared Polis that will address workforce challenges in the 2024 session. The Chamber partnered closely with the governor’s office on this bipartisan legislation.

The bill would devote $3.8 million to the creation of a regional talent development grant program and tax credits for training programs designed to alleviate workforce shortages. The grant program would be administered by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, with awards going toward the launch of regional summits across Colorado. The bill requires short- and long-term plans to come from the summits to address the unique talent needs of Colorado’s local communities.

“This legislation will improve workforce outcomes statewide, connecting the right people from the business community, educational institutions, and government to identify the curriculum and skills needed to fulfill job opportunities across the state. This is a key component of the Chamber’s strategic priority to meet the workforce needs of our growing economy,” said Chamber President & CEO Loren Furman.

To view the bill, please click here.

More on Gov. Jared Polis’ full workforce package can be found here.