Press Release: Colorado Workforce Development Council Releases 10th Annual Talent Pipeline Report

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(DENVER) – The Colorado Workforce Development Council (CWDC) released its annual Colorado Talent Pipeline Report on Friday, December 15th, 2023. The 10th edition analyzes issues related to the supply of and demand for talent in Colorado and recommends strategies to support economic prosperity in every corner of the state.

In 2023, Colorado’s economy is stronger than the national economy with a lower unemployment rate and a higher labor force participation rate, compared to national averages. At the same time, the need for talent in the job market remains at historically high levels and many employers are struggling to find the talent they need to manage thriving businesses.

The report was launched at a virtual event Friday morning attended by more than 400 people and hosted by CWDC Chair Jonathan Liebert. The event included key data insights from lead author Dr. Caitlin McKennie, talent pipeline economist for the CWDC and the Colorado Department of Higher Education; an overview of the policy recommendations from Lee Wheeler-Berliner, managing director of the CWDC; and closed with a panel discussion.

“Colorado has one of the top economies in the country, but the demand for skilled workers continues,” said Wheeler-Berliner. “This report informs our ongoing efforts to ensure all Coloradans have access to career-connected education and training that prepares them to succeed in the workforce and meet the needs of employers.”  

The panel, Implications of the Talent Pipeline Report for State Agencies: Discussion with State Agency Leadership, was moderated by Liebert and featured Executive Director Joe Barela, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment; Executive Director Dr. Angie Paccione, Colorado Department of Higher Education; Commissioner of Education Susana Córdova, Colorado Department of Education; and Executive Director Eve Lieberman, the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

2023 Talent Pipeline Report

The 2023 Talent Pipeline Report identifies the areas of growing demand and opportunity, key features of the current labor force, and strategies to balance the supply and demand equation for talent. It also highlights top jobs in Colorado — jobs with high annual openings, above average growth, and a good wage. 76% of top jobs in 2023 require a credential beyond high school.

In order to equip workers and learners with the skills they need to advance and help businesses thrive, it will be critical for Colorado to:

  • Strengthen support for employers’ talent development strategies,
  • Increase the availability of career-connected learning opportunities,
  • Improve our state data systems, and
  • Invest in high-impact opportunities for workforce development in areas such as the infrastructure workforce, advanced manufacturing workforce, and rural workforce.

Last year Colorado dedicated $38 million to support zero cost training for early childhood and K-12 educators, fire and forestry professionals, construction workers, law enforcement officers, and nurses through the Career Advance program. The state also invested $25 million in scholarships to pursue postsecondary education and training opportunities, and $5 million to support work-based learning in high school. The 2023 Talent Pipeline Report represents the state’s ongoing commitment to data-driven decisions as well as continuing to advance innovation in our talent development strategies to better meet the needs of our businesses, job seekers, workers, and learners.

The Colorado Workforce Development Council develops the Talent Pipeline Report in partnership with the Colorado Departments of Higher Education, Labor and Employment, Education, Human Services, Local Affairs, and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. You can access the Talent Pipeline Report in full, the report overview, and all appendices on the CWDC website.

About the Colorado Workforce Development Council
The Colorado Workforce Development Council (CWDC) is a Governor-appointed, public-private partnership with the purpose to advise, oversee, and integrate the work of the Colorado talent development network. The vision of the CWDC is that every Colorado employer has access to a skilled workforce and every Coloradan has the opportunity for meaningful employment, resulting in individual and statewide economic prosperity. The CWDC’s mission is to enhance and sustain a skills-based talent development network that meets the needs of employers, workers, job seekers, and learners for today and tomorrow.