Colorado Comeback bill invests millions into renewable energy job training
DENVER, CO– The House today passed Representative Dominique Jackson and Brianna Titone’s bill to invest $5 million into job training and workforce development for the energy sector on third reading and final passage. The bill is part of the Colorado Comeback state stimulus, a package of legislation that will invest roughly $800 million into helping Colorado recover faster and build back stronger. The bill passed by a vote of 40-23.
“Renewable energy is a booming sector that is good for the planet and good for Colorado’s economy,” said Rep. Dominique Jackson, D-Aurora. “This bill makes a sizable investment to ensure that Coloradans, especially workers displaced by COVID 19 and communities of color, have the tools they need to make a career out of clean energy. The Colorado comeback is on its way, and green jobs are coming with it.”
“The energy jobs of the future are renewable, and today we voted to prepare Colorado’s workers to take them on and thrive,” said Rep. Brianna Titone, D-Arvada. “By investing in job training and workforce development in the renewable energy sector, we’re building back stronger and ensuring our economy reflects both our values and the market trends of the future.”
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.