As business leaders, we know that our success is determined by the strength of our employees. One of the best ways to keep Colorado’s businesses thriving is to make sure that our students are fully prepared for what comes after high school, whether that means a technical certification or a professional degree. If you and your business would like to get involved in efforts to improve workforce readiness, let us get you connected.
By facilitating two-way communication and engagement between employers and educators statewide, we ensure that Colorado’s K-12 curriculum aligns with industry needs and future market demands. In particular, we’re increasing workforce capacity in Colorado’s high growth industries by advancing better access, stronger options, and higher quality offerings in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and Career and Technical Education (CTE).
Put another way, Colorado Succeeds is the one-stop clearinghouse to scale proven programs and practices statewide.
By 2020, 76% of Colorado jobs will require some post-secondary education; currently, only 22 of every 100 graduates achieve that credential. In other words, Colorado’s kids aren’t ready for Colorado’s jobs.
We know that post-secondary and workforce readiness programs, including STEM, effectively provide students with the skills they need to succeed in in-demand jobs. So, we’re leading statewide efforts to expand access to high quality STEM offerings. Many of these opportunities are available through the state’s robust Career and Technical Education system, which Colorado Succeeds explored in our report, Engineering the Future.
To expand STEM in Colorado, we shape public policy and educate policymakers. We also lead outreach and communications initiatives through member events and our Talent Task Force – a diverse coalition of business leaders committed to solving Colorado’s’ talent pipeline problems.
To further equip Colorado students with the necessary skills to compete in today’s job market, and to increase locally-sourced talent in high growth industries, we are champions for P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High School). The P-TECH model – which strengthens the link between high school, post-secondary education, and the workforce – has been effectively implemented in several states, producing career-ready graduates.
During the 2015 legislative session, we worked with our partners, including our member Ray Johnson of IBM, to pass a bipartisan bill to establish P-TECH schools in Colorado. The new law presents an exciting opportunity for the business community to help schools align with workforce needs. And already, Colorado employers and educators are laying the groundwork to open that state’s first P-TECH schools.
Future Forward Colorado
Colorado recently implemented new, higher academic standards to better prepare our students for success in a competitive global economy. To support educators, schools, and districts in this transition, Colorado Succeeds leads Future Forward Colorado – a business coalition to educate Colorado leaders about the importance of standards, transparency, and accountability for results.
Contact us for more information about Future Forward and for opportunities to get involved.