Colorado launched a statewide campaign to support job seekers, workers, and students in getting the skills, training, work experience, and support services needed for in-demand jobs and careers. The campaign, Ready to Rise, funded by HB 21-1264, aims to raise awareness of the opportunities available to individuals through the Colorado Recovery Plan and the $147 million investment through the legislation and other bills focused on addressing the economic impacts of the pandemic through connecting individuals to work, education and training.
A skilled workforce is key to a strong economy. In 2019, the lack of qualified talent in Colorado was one of the greatest inhibitors to business growth. These stimulus opportunities will help equip Coloradans with the skills the economy demands and will ensure that businesses can recover faster and grow stronger. A variety of programs combine financial support with additional services such as career planning and coaching, connection to careers or postsecondary education and training, and connection to community and public resources (such as transportation assistance, legal aid services, etc.).
“Whatever your previous education or training, upskilling opportunities can support you in gaining the skills needed for a good job,” said Joe Barela, executive director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. “The state is investing in Coloradans and Colorado communities. Through the Colorado Recovery Plan, there are opportunities to support you in making an investment in yourself now that will serve you and your family in the future.”
Unemployment continues to be higher than pre-pandemic. Emergency allotment benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to Colorado families totaled more than $631.7 million; those extra benefits are scheduled to end later this year, and about 100,000 Coloradans stopped receiving weekly unemployment checks after Sept. 4. This campaign comes as the state recognizes September as Workforce Development Month and Hunger Awareness Month, as people continue to face unemployment and underemployment, and families struggle to pay bills for other life necessities — such as housing, childcare, and medical care.
“CDHS is thrilled to partner on this effort to Power the Comeback and help Coloradans get back to work,” said Ki’i Powell, director of CDHS’s Office of Economic Security. “We are doubling down on Coloradans and their success. I look forward to more families participating in programs like SNAP, TANF*, and the other programs promoted by the Ready to Rise campaign, to find the help, support, and training they need and move on with their lives.”
“Seventy-five percent of Colorado jobs require a degree or credential past high school. We’re deploying these funds to get adult Coloradans, impacted by the pandemic, back to work, and giving those with some college and no degree, resources so they can finish what they started,” said Dr. Angie Paccione, executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education. “We’re certain that these programs will help more Coloradans activate their potential, pick their path, and reach higher than they ever thought they could.”
The campaign features TV and radio ads in English and Spanish, out-of-home placements at gas stations and laundromats, digital ads, social posts, and other components. The Ready to Rise campaign will run from September 2021 to early January 2022.