Polis Signs Bills to Boost Skills Training and Crime Prevention and Jobs Initiatives

DENVER, CO-– Governor Polis today signed two bills that will expand and provide resources to proven job training programs. 

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment First initiative has successfully helped Coloradans who receive SNAP benefits obtain new skills, increase self-sufficiency  and reenter the workforce. HB21-1270, sponsored by Representatives Tony Exum and Yadira Caraveo, leverages $3 million in state funds to draw down an additional $3 million in federal funds to provide a total of $6 million for employment support and job retention services, such as skills training services, to SNAP recipients. The funds may also be used to support work-based learning opportunities and expand third-party partnerships to extend the SNAP employment and training program’s reach.

“Today, we are putting funding toward a proven initiative that helps some of Colorado’s most vulnerable workers learn new skills and fill good jobs,” said Rep. Tony Exum, D-Colorado Springs. “The bill the governor signed today will offer more Coloradans the opportunity to get back to work and to help our economy bounce back.”

“Colorado can forge a more equitable recovery from the pandemic by boosting workforce training initiatives that help people fill the jobs that are being created as businesses bounce back,” said Rep. Yadira Caraveo, D-Thornton. “This program reaches primarily lower-income workers to provide critical skills training that can help them reenter the workforce, and I’m proud the governor signed this bill today to expand the program to more Coloradans.”

HB21-1215, sponsored by Reps. David Ortiz and Richard Holtorf, R-Akron, expands an existing pilot program known as the Crime Prevention Initiative that provides grants to community-based organizations to reduce crime and recidivism and promote community economic development. The program will also train formerly incarcerated people in business, finance and entrepreneurship and those who graduate from the program will receive access to loans to start their own small business.

“The Justice Reinvestment Crime Prevention Initiative has a proven track record of success, and I’m excited to see it expand to new parts of the state with the bill the governor signed today,” said Rep. David Ortiz, D-Littleton. “This initiative prevents recidivism and crime by connecting former inmates with jobs, entrepreneurial tools and funding opportunities to help them start a business and fulfill their second chance while boosting local economies.”  

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