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Workforce Readiness Goals

    Help Us Reach our GOALS

    Some of our goals are easier to measure than others.

    Looking at Veterans, in Colorado in 2013, 10.3 % Percent of the Population were Veterans and the Post-9/11 Veterans' Unemployment Rate was standing at 7%. That’s better than the national 9% rate but not as good as we can do.

    As to the Long-Term Unemployed, 172,400 Colorado residents were unemployed during March 2014, down from a recent high of 246,700 in October 2010. But there are still 61,300 more people unemployed in Colorado than when the recession began. We are the gateway to employment for these folks and we need to be sure that our hiring practices aren’t excluding the long-term unemployed.

    Approximately 10% of the working age population of Colorado has a disability.

    Overall, People With Disabilities in Colorado have better employment rates than people with disabilities nationwide. However, within Colorado, people with disabilities continue to lag far behind those without disabilities. In Colorado, 43.5 % of individuals with disabilities have jobs, a rate 7.6 % higher than the national 35.9 % employment rate for people with disabilities. The employment rate for Coloradoans with disabilities is 40 % lower than the employment rate for Coloradoans without disabilities.

    All in all, we have over 23,000 people with disabilities looking for work. We are the gateway for these people.

    Putting People with Criminal Records to Work

    A lot of companies have a blanket policy that excludes anyone who’s had any contact with the criminal justice system. That’s easy for the company but hard for society.

    About one in three Americans has some kind of criminal record, including arrests that did not lead to convictions, according to the Department of Justice. And the National Employment Law Project estimates that one in four Americans–65 million people–has a record that would show up on routine background check.

    The best way to avoid recidivism is for people to have a job. We need to insure that our hiring practices are screening out only those who deserve to be and not everyone who has come into contact with the law.

    It’s a little tougher to measure our success in Dropout Prevention, although we can see it at a regional or State level.

    And the good news is that we are making progress. The high school graduation rate has topped 80 percent for the first time in U.S. history — and if states can keep up their rapid pace of improvement, the rate could hit 90 percent by 2020, according to federal data released in May.

    The improvement has been driven by steep gains among African-American and Hispanic students and by progress in shutting down hundreds of troubled urban schools dubbed “dropout factories.”

    But the battle isn’t won yet. A look at Denver’s stats shows Denver Public Schools graduating just 59% of their students within 4 years.

    As HR practitioners, we are in a unique position to help students see the link between their studies and their future.

    Let’s Talk About Making Better Workplaces

    The When Work Works Awards recognize exemplary employers for making work “work” with workplace flexibility.

    We can certainly know the number of worksites applying for the WWW Award for Workplace Flexibility and we can see those winners. The truth is that we had an embarrassingly small number of employers apply for the award.

    We’re sure that Colorado has more than its fair share of innovative employers and we’d like to see them get their due.

    We’ll be posting stories from our WWW Award winners throughout the year.

    We need your help in reaching all our workforce readiness goals!

    Let us know when you have a success story to report or if you would like to volunteer your time and talents towards any of our efforts.

    Send your news to

    You can start the volunteer discussion with an email to