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April 20, 2023

Martinez’s Bipartisan Bill to Bolster Career Pathways, Strengthen Workforce Sails Through Committee

DENVER, CO – The House Education Committee today passed Representative Martinez’s bipartisan bill to help graduating high school students afford the training they need to land jobs within good-paying, in-demand fields. 

“We’re breaking down the financial barriers students face after graduation, boosting our workforce and creating strong pathways to in-demand careers,” said Rep. Matthew Martinez, D-Monte Vista. “This legislation provides a $1,500 scholarship to graduating students for universities and community colleges, trade schools, apprenticeship programs and on-the-job training so they can jumpstart the career of their dreams. I’m proud to sponsor this bipartisan bill that will foster meaningful career planning while helping meet Colorado’s growing workforce needs.” 

SB23-205, sponsored by Representatives Matthew Martinez and Don Wilson, passed committee unanimously. This bill would create a Universal High School Scholarship Program to make it easier and more affordable to access postsecondary education and training opportunities for Colorado students.

The program will provide each qualifying applicant  with a scholarship up to $1,500 to take to any approved training provider in Colorado, from apprenticeships and on-the-job training to trade school, community colleges, and colleges and universities. This transformative financial support has the capacity to serve 15,000 graduating students in the class of 2024, more than 25 percent of all high school graduates statewide.

Scholarships are available to Colorado residents who graduated from a Colorado high school or earned a high school equivalency credential in the 2023-2024 academic year, completes the state or federal financial aid application, submits the scholarship application, and has not received a grant or other scholarship.

On April 3, the First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, visited the Colorado State Capitol to discuss SB23-205 and other pieces of legislation that prioritize workforce training and uplift aspiring professionals to pursue quality career paths by breaking down financial barriers to earning a degree or credential to increase the workforce and grow Colorado’s economy.

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