Today, the Colorado House of Representatives will be hearing HB-1310, which would create a pilot program for an emergency support services fund that community-based organizations and public agencies could draw on to serve people in job training programs or who are recently employed. This bill is the culmination of nearly two years of research and outreach across the state conducted by National Skills Coalition’s partners at the Skills2Compete Colorado Coalition.
For some Coloradans, emergency costs associated with child care, transportation, or an unexpected bill get in the way of completing job training. The emergency support services fund proposed in HB-1310 would make sure that these small-dollar financial challenges don’t impede training. It would give people who are in training, looking for work, or recently hired up to $400 a year to help cover costs associated with childcare, transportation, necessary work equipment, and other items. As such, the bill would be an important step in addressing financial barriers that can keep low-income Coloradans who want to train for middle-skill jobs from doing so.
Giving more Coloradans the financial support they need to train for jobs will help grow the skilled workforce. Middle-skill jobs account for 50 percent of Colorado’s labor market, but only 40 percent of the state’s workers are trained to the middle-skill level. Key industries in Colorado are unable to find enough sufficiently trained workers to fill these jobs. Closing this skill gap will help Colorado’s workers and businesses.
NSC supports HB-1310 since we believe that support services are critical to ensuring that people can complete training programs and find a good job.
For more information, please contact Kristopher Grant at the Colorado Center on Law and Policy at firstname.lastname@example.org