What We’re Watching: HB 1364

The Colorado Chamber has taken a lead role this year in promoting workforce development legislation to improve our talent pipeline across the state. This is a key component to the Colorado Chamber’s Vision 2033 action plan to improve the state’s business climate.

While discussions over the state budget are dominating the Capitol this week, the Chamber has also been working to advance these critical workforce priorities. Two important pieces to this agenda are House Bill 1364 and House Bill 1365. HB 1365 recently passed the House Finance Committee after testimony from President and CEO Loren Furman. This week, we’re watching HB 1364, which awaits a hearing in the House Appropriations Committee.

HB 1364 funds a financial study that would analyze the costs to provide students the opportunity to obtain college credits, industry credentials and work-based learning experiences. It also establishes an independent office to collect data and creates a longitudinal data system to track career trajectories of students and bolster data-sharing.

This proposal addresses one of the top priorities of the Chamber’s Education to Employment Alliance, which seeks to improve the talent development pipeline. The alliance released a report late last year outlining key legislative proposals and goals, including measuring outcomes through a longitudinal data system.

“Students have more pathways to careers than ever before— via K-12; traditional certificate, associate, or bachelor’s degree programs; short-term credential programs; apprenticeships; and workforce training and retraining initiatives,” the report states. “But there is not enough information about which paths are most effective. Similarly, employers must be able to identify quality programs to help them focus their talent-attraction efforts on the most effective options.”

HB 1364 is part of Governor Polis’ broader workforce package. The Colorado Chamber’s Labor and Employment Council voted to support HB 1364 last month.