Clean Energy Career Pathways ‘SPARC’ Committee’s Interest

Colorado Comeback proposal would invest millions in training for the renewable energy jobs of the future

DENVER, CO– The House Energy and Environment Committee today advanced Representative Dominique Jackson and Brianna Titone’s bill to invest $5 million into job training and workforce development for the energy sector. The bill is part of the Colorado Comeback state stimulus, a package of legislation that will invest roughly $700 million into helping Colorado recover faster and build back stronger. The committee vote was 8-5. 

“We’ve set bold renewable energy targets in Colorado, and this bill puts the state’s money where our goals are,” said Rep. Dominique Jackson, D-Aurora. “Market forces, consumer choices, and the pressing reality of the climate crisis are moving Colorado’s energy economy towards a cleaner, greener future. This bill will help us build back stronger by making sure that Coloradans, especially communities of color and those who lost jobs due to COVID-19, are prepared to take on the clean energy jobs of the future.”

“As the renewable energy sector continues to grow, exciting and profitable new jobs will continue to be created in our energy-rich state,” said Rep. Brianna Titone, D-Arvada. “As we come out of this devastating pandemic and work to build the Colorado Comeback, this bill will ensure that our workforce is able to capitalize on these new jobs and get started on the path toward a fulfilling and sustainable career. I’m confident that the SPARC program will give our economy just the jolt it needs to build back a stronger workforce.” 

HB21-1149 calls on the Colorado Workforce Development Council to work with local workforce boards, school districts across the state, the Colorado Department of Education, community colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher learning to create and implement a career pathway for students in the renewable energy sector. The bill invests $5 million into the career pathway so institutions of higher learning and workforce development authorities can implement what is known as the Strengthening Photovoltaic and Renewable Careers, or SPARC, program. 

The bill establishes that the career pathway developed by the Workforce Development Council should give priority to individuals with job losses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and that communities of color should also be prioritized.