In celebration of Workforce Development Month, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) has chosen the week of September 20th to highlight its efforts to prepare Coloradans for the future of work.
“Our economy is changing rapidly, continuously transformed by automation, artificial intelligence, digitalization, globalization, and a host of other factors,” said Katherine Keegan, Director of CDLE’s Office of the Future of Work. “In this environment, many Colorado workers and employers feel uncertain about how to adjust to the evolving needs of the market. Workers worry that they won’t have the skills to ensure their financial stability while employers are struggling to find the talent they need to grow. Our job is to support both in order to ensure Colorado’s future shared prosperity.”
The future-of-work trends Keegan enumerated existed before the onset of the pandemic, which is why the Office of the Future of Work was created in 2019 through an executive order from Governor Jared Polis, charged with understanding, preparing for, and developing effective policy and programmatic solutions to respond to the changing economy.
Chief among the office’s efforts is increasing employers’ adoption of apprenticeship programs and workers’ participation in these programs. “Apprenticeships help employers equip workers with the exact skills their organization needs; workers also benefit, as they are able to earn a paycheck while learning in-demand skills,” said Keegan. “As workers and employers look to the future, the number of people following non-traditional career pathways such as those provided by apprenticeships will increase.”
The office is also prioritizing advancing digital literacy and inclusion, as digital literacy and internet access are considered “super social determinants of health.” To ensure the health of its communities and economy, the office has taken strategic steps towards digital equity, which it defines as “a state in which all individuals and communities have the information technology capacity needed for full participation in our society, democracy, and economy.”
Another area of focus is the office’s Remote Work Initiative, created in partnership with the Colorado Workforce Development Council, the Office of Economic Development and International Trade, and the Economic Development Council of Colorado. The initiative will help Coloradans compete in remote work environments, strengthening Colorado’s ability to attract jobs, secure talent, and retain a location-neutral workforce.
During the week, CDLE will be highlighting upcoming trainings, events, and resources to help both employers and workers learn more about future-of-work trends as well as the Office of the Future of Work. To keep up with CDLE, workers, employers, and others can follow the agency on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
Information about the month and the themed weeks, including upcoming trainings and events, as well as resources for both job seekers and employers, can be found on the Workforce Development Month website.
For a comprehensive list of upcoming events, please visit CDLE’s website.
Next week’s theme is Advancing Colorado’s Economic Recovery. The pandemic has been difficult for Coloradans and the Workforce System remains committed to the Colorado Comeback, addressing economic recovery efforts in ways that cut through red tape and take a local approach to building stronger communities. This week, CDLE will highlight how workers and employers can build back better.