Office of the Future of Work

The Office of the Future of Work


The world of work is changing, propelling some to greater heights while leaving others behind. Globalization, advances in technology, demographic shifts, and other factors leave many wondering whether we, as a society, are ready to face the many challenges tomorrow’s economy will bring. That’s why the Office of the Future of Work (OFW) was created: to understand, prepare for, and develop policy and programmatic solutions to foster an economy that works for everyone in Colorado. The OFW shapes an equitable economy of the future and ensures that Coloradans are equipped with the necessary education, training, skills, and tools to fully participate in the labor force.

The office, created by an Executive Order from Governor Polis on September 4, 2019 and codified into law in SB23-051: Conforming Workforce Development Statutes in March 2023 also seeks to raise awareness about the future of work. To accomplish its goals, the office works in partnership with other state departments, convenes summits with diverse stakeholders across regions, and establishes task forces and working groups. 

Read the Executive Order          Read SB23-051 

On June 23, 2021, Governor Polis signed HB21-1007: State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA) into law, codifying the state's commitment to increase access to earn-and-learn programs that lead to high quality jobs and to build the talent pipeline that industry needs.

In August 2021, CDLE announced the OFW will lead the implementation of HB21-1007 and the apprenticeship expansion efforts currently funded through the following federal discretionary grants:

With oversight of the SAA and expansion of registered apprenticeships, the OFW will play a direct role in ensuring more Coloradan workers and businesses have access to high-quality apprenticeship programs that create a future-ready talent pipeline.

Meet the OFW Team




What is the future of work?

The future of work refers to the changing demographics, globalization and other market forces on the work we do and how we do it.

Globalization & Market Forces

  • Global interconnectedness, shifts in supply and demand, trade, and government priorities continuously shape the nature of work.

  • The growth of alternative work arrangements and other implications of the fissured workplace

Technological Advances

  • Automation, artificial intelligence, and digitalization will impact every job and displace some requiring new skills and mindsets from all workers.

Demographic Shifts

  • Colorado is aging rapidly and diversifying. A successful future of work depends on the ability of all Coloradans to connect to opportunity.

The OFW will focus on three areas of exploration:

  • Modern worker protections and benefits

  • Identifying programs, tools, best practices, and resources to support individuals, employers, and communities succeed in the future of work

  • Understanding the future of work for target populations often left behind in the current economy

Modern worker protections and benefits

Worker protections and benefits need to reflect the needs of a modern workplace and workforce to ensure that they have the support they need to weather today and tomorrow’s economic changes. In considering how these protections and benefits can best benefit Coloradans, the OFW explores:

  • How to increase access to critical worker protections

  • How we can improve the quality of today’s low-wage, high-value occupations such as our direct care workforce

  • How we can better understand the on-demand economy and support its workforce

Transformation planning for all

The changing nature of work requires that Colorado’s workers, employers, and communities take a proactive approach to ensure their success. The office builds awareness of what the future of work means for workers, employers and communities, and connects Coloradans to tools and strategies they can thrive. To do so, the OFW focuses on:

  • Defining the key skills and mindsets that will serve individuals in the future of work

  • Ensuring all Coloradans are equipped with the necessary education, training, skills, competencies

  • Identifying key factors for community resilience in the face of economic shifts and supporting efforts to develop those factors across the state

  • Understanding the needs of small- and medium-sized businesses, underserved populations, and diverse regions in their digital transformation journey

Support for underserved populations

The OFW recognizes that Colorado’s workers come from diverse economic, racial, ethnic, national, and educational backgrounds and have different barriers to success. To ensure that the office serves all Coloradans, it is dedicated to:

  • Understanding the needs different populations in diverse locations can prepare for the future of work, and how the office can support them

  • Understanding how different populations use service programs, and how these programs can be improved

  • Aligning and promoting programs to better serve underserved populations

The OFW will initially focus on how it can align with and inform existing and emerging efforts to support New Americans, people with disabilities, mid-career professionals, people who have been involved with the justice system, and mature workers.

The entirety of the OFW’s work is guided by three considerations, which emphasize the importance of:

  1. Acknowledging regional diversity: Colorado’s diverse communities have unique and distinct needs.

  2. Focusing on the needs of left behind Coloradans: Many Coloradans feel left behind by Colorado’s economy.

  3. Building with the end user in mind: To ensure that the office’s work is effective and useful, policy, programs, and other solutions are designed with the end-user front and center.


Reports & Deliverables

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