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March 23, 2023

Bill to Prioritize Apprenticeships, Boost Colorado’s Workforce Passes Committee

HB23-1212 works to increase apprenticeship participation among graduating high school students

DENVER, CO – Legislation to boost Colorado’s workforce by helping graduating students access apprenticeship passed the House Education Committee today. 

“Connecting graduating students with apprenticeships in high-demand trade industries just makes sense,” said Rep. Eliza Hamrick, D-Centennial. “There are many critical industries, including the construction and building trades, that need more qualified workers. Our bill would make it easier for students to find, apply and partake in apprenticeship programs in these high-demand fields and graduate with a clear pathway toward a good-paying job.” 

“Apprenticeship programs give Coloradans the tools they need to get started in a high-demand career,” said Rep. Sheila Lieder, D-Littleton. “Through apprenticeship programs, students can save money on training and education while preparing for good paying jobs of the future. Our legislation makes apprenticeship programs in the trades more accessible to high school students, helps fill workforce demand and boost Colorado’s economy.”

HB23-1212 passed the House Education Committee by a vote of 10 to 1. This bill would direct the Office of the Future of Work, the Colorado Department Education and other state agencies to collaborate with schools and trade industries to create apprenticeship pathways for graduating students. HB23-1212 would also require the creation of an online job board for students,task the state with incorporating trades apprenticeships in career planning tools, and develop standards for individual career and academic plans for students registered in the program to better support job preparation. 

Colorado’s trade and construction industries are still experiencing workforce shortages following economic disruptions from the pandemic. This bill would help create a talent pipeline for graduating students to enter good-paying careers after graduation.

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