Press Release: Colorado’s Office of New Americans Establishes a Global Talent Task Force

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For Immediate Release | September 2, 2022

DENVER - The Office of New Americans (ONA) within the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) has established a Global Talent Task Force (GTTF). This task force will review existing workforce pathways and consider opportunities to improve economic integration for New Americans in Colorado.

On June 3, 2022, Governor Jared Polis signed SB 22-140 into law.

This law tasked ONA to establish a GTTF to review pathways for global professionals and skilled workers living in Colorado to obtain credentials that will help them return to work in their professional field or occupation. The GTTF will also be reviewing current workforce related efforts to identify opportunities that, as SB 22-140 states will, “increase the ability of the state to harness the skills of New Americans.”

“Ensuring that New Americans have the opportunity to return to work in their professional field or occupation, and maximize their talent, skills, and experience, is not only beneficial for those specific individuals and their families, but for all of Colorado,” said Dee Daniels Scriven, the Director of ONA. “I am thrilled to see Colorado take steps towards making this more of a reality.”

The legislature mandated the GTTF be composed of 24 members. The 12 appointed members from the state senate, house of representatives, the Governor’s office, and state agency officials include:

  • Senator James Coleman, Senate President Appointee
  • Senator Nick Hinrichsen, Senate President Appointee (representing rural communities
  • Senator Larry Liston, Senate Minority Leader Appointee
  • Representative Iman Jodeh, Speaker of the House Appointee
  • Representative Barbara McLachlan, Speaker of the House Appointee (representing rural communities)
  • Representative Richard Holtorf, House Minority Leader Appointee
  • Misti Ruthven, Governor Appointee
  • Katherine Keegan, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment Designee
  • Nate Brown, Colorado Department of Regulatory Affairs Designee
  • Beverly Jones, Colorado Department of Higher Education Designeev
  • Allyson Garcia, Colorado Department of Education Designee
  • Dr. Lisa Roy, Colorado Department of Early Childhood Executive Director

Interested community members submitted applications, and following a panel review, 12 were selected to participate on the GTTF as a representative in the following category:

  • Dr. Anisa Ben Idris, internationally trained professional
  • Sarah Kitonsa, internationally trained professional
  • Jessica Manrique, internationally trained professional
  • Lorena Garcia, community based organization
  • Ola Kukoyi, community based organization
  • Deborah Young, community based organization
  • Allie Needham, provider of a work based learning program
  • Tanya Rippeth, employer that is participating in a work based learning program
  • Dana Bustamente, in-demand industry
  • Janelle Johnson, in-demand industry
  • Dr. Landon Pirius, local district college/university
  • Lisa Taylor, Colorado Workforce Development Council

By December 31, 2023, the GTTF will present a report with its recommendations of how to increase Colorado's ability to harness the skills of New Americans to the Governor and the General Assembly. For more information about the Office of New Americans, please visit cdle.colorado.gov/offices/office-of-new-americans