Seven Bills Focused on Filling High-Demand Jobs, Saving Coloradans Money on Training and Education, and Strengthening Colorado’s Robust Workforce Become Law
After the legislative session ends, Governor Jared Polis typically maintains a busy schedule of bill signings, and this year is no exception. On Tuesday, May 16, that schedule included the signing of the bipartisan HB23-1246 Support In-demand Career Workforce at Colorado Mountain College (CMC) in Salida, during a day-long schedule that began in Centennial, traveled to Colorado Springs, Salida, and Alamosa.
“Colorado’s strong workforce supports our economy, and it was great to be in Alamosa, Centennial, Colorado Springs, and Salida today as we continue to take bold action to improve opportunities for Coloradans and fill in-demand jobs,” said Polis. “Zero-cost credentials and flexible scholarships for graduating seniors will save people money, and we are stepping up to fill in-demand jobs and connect hardworking Coloradans to advanced training and education.”
Present for the signing in Salida were the bill’s sponsors; House Speaker Julie McCluskie and Representative Rose Pugliese, Senators Janet Buckner, and Perry Will.
HB23-1246 directs the Colorado Board of Community Colleges and Occupational Education to administer the in-demand short-term credentials program (program) in order to support the expansion of the number of available and qualified professionals who are able to meet Colorado’s in-demand workforce needs. Among the in-demand fields, are nursing, early childhood and K-12 education, fire and forestry, law enforcement, and construction trades. This bold and innovative initiative will save people money on training and education and fill in-demand jobs.
The bill appropriates $38.6 million from the general fund for this program. The board is required to allocate funds to community and technical colleges, area technical colleges, local district colleges, and Colorado Mesa University to provide assistance to students for eligible expenses that support their enrollment in eligible programs. If unexpended resources exist, the funds must be used to pay for a student’s housing, transportation, or food expenses.
The bill requires the office of future work to provide grants to registered apprenticeship programs that provide training in the building and construction trade at no cost to apprentices. The bill appropriates $1.4 million from the general fund for this grant program.
The bill appropriates $5 million from the general fund to create two new short-term degree nursing programs at community or technical colleges.
Beginning the day on the Front Range, the governor signed two bills: HB23-1212 focused on apprenticeships and HB23-1074 to Study Workforce Transitions To Other Industries. Then in Colorado Springs, Polis signed SB23-065, known as the Career Development Success Program, sponsored by Senators Paul Lundeen and Jeff Bridges, and Representatives Shannon Bird and Don Wilson.
Later this afternoon, the Governor will travel to Adams State University in Alamosa where three bills await his signature:
SB23-205 Universal High School Scholarship Program – Representatives Matthew Martinez and Don Wilson, Senators Jeff Bridges and Paul Lundeen
HB23-1261 No Requirement For Selective Service Higher Education – Representatives Barbara McLachlan and Matthew Martinez, Senators Janet Buckner and Byron Pelton
HB23-1088 Veterans Mental Health Session Reimbursement Program – Representative Martinez and Senator Hinrichsen.