Evaluates a pilot sector-based approach to workforce and economic development in Colorado to meet the needs of local business and to maintain the state’s economic competitiveness.
“Sector strategies have emerged as a promising model for economic development, inspiring experimentation, research, and scholarship over the last decade. Colorado was one of many states to embrace sector partnerships as a model for workforce and economic development. Colorado’s adoption of sector strategies reflected its recognition that new approaches are needed to ensure that the state has a skilled workforce to meet the needs of local business and to maintain the state’s economic competitiveness. Beginning in 2008, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) and the Colorado Workforce Development Council (CWDC) partnered to pilot a sector-based approach to workforce and economic development…[N]ine grantees received three years of additional funding to implement the strategies developed through the planning grants, and to advance their respective sector initiatives. These sector partnerships in Colorado presented a new model to shift the focus and the process of economic development in the participating regions and industry sectors. The new paradigm was driven by business and required regional collaboration and partnerships intended to benefit all stakeholders. Over time, employers came to the table with public partners and worked together to achieve common goals…Partnerships shared the common goal of creating a more skilled workforce. Other goals included creating new career pathways in the targeted sectors, increasing capacity and opportunities for training, and streamlining workforce center procedures to better meet the changing needs of business” (p. 3). (Abstractor: Author)