January 25, 2012

(Denver) – A key component of the House Democrats’ 2012 jobs package passed its first legislative test today when Rep. Daniel Kagan’s Skills for Jobs Act was approved unanimously by the House Education Committee.

The bill, HB12-1061, directs the state Department of Higher Education to work with the state Department of Labor and Employment to produce detailed projections of the state’s workforce needs, using data already collected by the state and federal governments.

Armed with the projections, educators will know what jobs are in demand and companies will know what’s coming through the education pipeline. Businesses will make better HR planning decisions, schools will better tailor their course offerings to market conditions and students will make better decisions about what careers to pursue.

“We already collect most of this information,” said Rep. Kagan (D-Englewood). “To go to all the trouble of collecting it, collating it, and not putting it out there for the use of the public, is folly.”

A spectrum of business groups spoke in support of the bill, ranging from Green Industries of Colorado to the conservative National Federation of Independent Businesses.

In an earlier action this morning, the House gave final passage to SJR12-008, a resolution sponsored by Rep. Kagan calling on the United States Patent and Trademark Office to open a patent office in Denver.

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