Northern Colorado Workforce System

In The Trenches of the Northern Colorado Workforce System

November 11, 2021

Eric Lea
Robert Half – Vice President
Talent 2.0 Executive Steering Committee Member

Have you ever thought about the workforce system in Northern Colorado?  It is complicated, and with many interested and invested partners – such as government, education, nonprofit, and private Industry – messaging and regionalism tends to get lost easily with each operating in their own lane.

Talent 2.0 has been a regional effort kicked off by many stakeholders in 2017.  This followed an extensive study on the region and the challenges around talent.   A couple of key findings from this report concluded the regional economy was adding more jobs than available talent by almost 50%.  This trend will get worse as our labor force ages and fewer workers participate in the market.

The work done to date has been a large undertaking to craft one voice for the workforce system in Northern Colorado, but the voice needs to start with the businesses.  Business leaders are in the trenches and hiring talent today will help grow their individual businesses and industries.  It all starts with the workforce.  Training, retention, attraction, and internal development are keys to both growing a business and a strong economy.

I am also proud to say we just kicked off our new Business Talent Advisory Council (B-TAC) last week.  This is a selected group of leaders from multiple industries that are hiring and developing talent in our backyard.  The group will also represent over 14 different industries within the regional economy such as manufacturing, childcare, education, healthcare, construction/trades, retail, hospitality to name a few.    Industry diversity for B-TAC is critical as each sector faces different challenges.  The intent for this group is very simple:  Talk, listen and learn from each other.  We will have other stakeholders from government and nonprofits in each monthly meeting just listening.  The feedback will be instantaneous and shared with many partners on the Talent 2.0 Steering committee.  There are many areas of pain in today’s market including the pandemic, housing, childcare affordability, transportation, and education around the work-based learning and upskilling the current and future workforce. The B-TAC group will help shape and lead the regional talent initiatives into the next decade.

I would also like to add we will be forming another advisory group in 2022 that will be specific to leaders within education.  This will include local school districts, community colleges, and universities, to name a few.   They also have challenges to educate our students of all ages for the workforce that include government compliance, funding, and content creation to match the needs of the regional economy.

I know we all have been frustrated in wanting to grow and expand our own careers but often don’t know where to start.  Our educators have a strong desire to make sure their content is relevant for today and tomorrow’s industry needs.  I know business and industry leaders want their workforce to have the right tools and skills to start and expand a career.  These advisor groups will work together and share ideas but most importantly get on the same page.

I can’t wait to report back in a year with the success of these advisory groups and the next steps to ensure we can continue to grow this great economy in Northern Colorado.

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