(April 20) – Rep. Daneya Esgar’s bipartisan bill to extend a program to prepare students for middle-skill jobs won final House approval today.

The House voted 47-14 for HB18-1266, sponsored by Rep. Esgar, D-Pueblo, with Rep. Jim Wilson, R-Salida. It would extend a pilot program begun by her in 2016 to incentivize school districts to offer industry credential-granting training programs, apprenticeships and internships and AP computer science courses. The $1,000-per-pupil bonuses were quickly oversubscribed.

“These incentives made a difference, with a 60 percent increase in credentials granted,” Rep. Esgar said. “But clearly the demand is there to do much more. These are good-paying jobs and employers are standing in line to fill them.”

HB18-1266 extends the pilot through 2024 and requires school districts to provide notice to all students about the availability of the program, which is intended to produce more Coloradans qualified in a wide variety of middle-skill positions such as phlebotomists, auto repair specialists and emergency medical technicians.

The bill is headed to the state Senate.

 

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