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Arapahoe County News

Posted on: April 8, 2021

Arapahoe/Douglas Works! program helps retrain, fortify H-1B workforce

SMP_CL_TEC-P_2021

Innovative resource for middle- and high-skilled H-1B careers

Colorado is a national leader in emerging technology and innovation. In recent years, before COVID-19, the state experienced rapid economic growth and historically low unemployment, leading to significant skill shortages. COVID-19 led to disproportionate unemployment in industries related to retail and tourism and is highlighting skills gaps that existed before the pandemic.

Denver Economic Development & Opportunity (DEDO) and its partners want to seize on this unprecedented opportunity to reskill and upskill Coloradans into high-demand sectors that are fundamental to the state and national economies, while also ensuring that individuals have access to career pathways that provide mobility in a post-COVID-19 world.

DEDO’s proposed Technology Employment in Colorado Partnership 2.0 (TEC-P 2.0) will develop the talent pipeline in information technology (IT), advanced manufacturing (AM) and transportation in alignment with middle- to high-skilled H-1B career pathways by building on past successes, innovative modes of training delivery, existing partnerships, and an innovative hub model that drives regional alignment across 10 of Colorado’s central counties and replication by Colorado’s workforce system throughout the state. Among the existing area partners are Boeing and TTM Technology.

TEC-P 2.0 is the second iteration of this program, which was very successful and ended in 2019. The program transformed the way local workforce areas align regional sector strategies in Colorado, creating sector initiatives within IT and AM, with an industry- and employer-driven approach to training and career pathway development. This led to employment for incumbent workers, the long-term unemployed and other unemployed individuals in middle- to high-skill jobs across these growing sectors.

TEC-P 2.0 will build on this work by expanding training to a broader range of unemployed and underemployed individuals in IT and AM, enlarging the target geographic area and adding a new sector, transportation—creating new sector partnerships and career pathways within that industry, which is expected to lead Colorado’s economic recovery as the state strives to lead in aerospace. With TEC-P 2.0, Colorado will build and reskill a workforce that is mobile, responsive to changing business needs and prepares individuals for the future of work.

Arapahoe/Douglas Works! (ADW!) is leading the charge in Arapahoe County to provide our business community with an upskilled workforce ready for placement. ADW! will receive a total of $900,000 to be used over the course of 4 years and will need to serve at least 132 clients through the TEC-P 2.0 program.

ADW! will work with partner businesses to identify custom skills needed to fill positions within their company. The agency also will source tailored training opportunities for program participants and aid the development of work-based learning opportunities for on-the-job training and provide support services for employment retention and continued success of new hires.

For more information, visit www.adworks.org.

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