DENVER, CO (STL.News) Governor Jared Polis welcomes U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh to Colorado, as the Secretary visits the state on Wednesday. The visit follows Secretary Walsh’s recent announcement of the Department of Labor’s “Good Jobs Initiative,” a coordinated effort by the Biden-Harris administration to improve job quality nationwide with the implementation of the landmark Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Governor Polis was one of the first governors in the country to support this new law.
“In Colorado, we are focused on creating good jobs, and strengthening our communities and economy through innovative approaches to workforce development, including apprenticeships, so I am proud to welcome Secretary Walsh to our beautiful state. We are making transformative change, growing our existing workforce, and ensuring all workers and families in Colorado can thrive,” said Governor Jared Polis.
Tomorrow, Gov. Polis, along with Senators Bennet and Hickenlooper will join Secretary Walsh at Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce to bring awareness to Registered Apprenticeships. Governor Polis will also join both senators and Secretary Walsh at Metropolitan State University to tour the campus’ advanced aerospace manufacturing lab and discuss the importance of apprenticeship programs to expand job training opportunities and in particular open up access for women and students of color to succeed in any field they choose — from construction and advanced manufacturing to childcare, healthcare, and hospitality.
Governor Polis has signed legislation which set Colorado on a path to become a State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA), allowing for more flexibility and faster approval when applicants register for programs. Colorado has been awarded more than $11 million in federal expansion grants from USDOL’s Office of Apprenticeship, and most recently a $10 million State Apprenticeship Expansion, Equity, and Innovation. The Polis administration also negotiated the State’s first labor agreement with Colorado WINS.
Colorado’s unemployment rate is the lowest since the pandemic began, and our recovery rate of 89.3% percent exceeds the U.S. rate of 84% percent. Colorado supports over 34,000 direct private aerospace employees and an aerospace cluster supporting more than 240,000 jobs, Colorado is home to the highest concentration of private aerospace employment in the nation. Over the past five years, direct employment has grown over 30% statewide.
The Polis administration has invested in on-the-job training to support our most in-demand jobs in healthcare, education, transportation, manufacturing, IT and energy sector and has grown the number of apprenticeship and work-based learning opportunities by 500% over the past three years. Today, more than 12,000 Colorado adults and youth learn and train through work-based learning models.