Our Workforce Development Recommendations: Research, Standards and Practices

Our 2024 Policy Platform focused heavily on workforce development. The platform emphasizes two key themes: researching the workforce landscape and supporting workers. Explore our recommendations for researching the workforce landscape below, and our recommendations for supporting workers in Part I!

Our Recommendations

  1. Local Economic Development Studies of Energy Transition Impacts

    To ensure the shift to cleaner energy in Colorado is fair and benefits everyone, we suggest that lawmakers ask OEDIT (Office of Economic Development and International Trade) to study which communities are most affected by policies to reduce carbon emissions. We recommend creating an “Impacted Community Fund” to help these communities explore different ways to strengthen their local economy and reduce their dependence on the fossil fuel industry

  2. Increase Climate Transparency and Accountability

    Large companies that do business in Colorado should be required to share how much greenhouse gas they release into the environment to increase transparency and encourage them to take responsibility for their impact on the environment

  3. OEDIT Evaluation of Existing Programs

    We recommend that lawmakers conduct a comprehensive study of all state workforce programs to ensure resources are used effectively.

  4. Suncor Refinery Future Options Analysis

    Since 2019, seven refineries shuttered their doors, leaving behind environmental concerns and economic uncertainties. To safeguard the future, we recommend that lawmakers proactively study the possibilities for the Suncor refinery. This isn’t just about preventing economic fallout; it’s about caring for the communities affected and ensuring a responsible transition.

  5. Implement Just Transition Study Findings

    Building on the progress made in HB23-1074, the workforce transitions study commissioned by the Office of Future of Work, we encourage lawmakers implement the programs and policies recommended by the study’s findings.

  6. Divest PERA From Fossil Fuels

    PERA, Colorado’s public workers’ pension fund, could have earned 21.7% more if it had divested from fossil fuels from 2012 to 2022. PERA’s investment of $2 billion in fossil fuel companies poses financial risks for its members as fossil fuel companies lose value.

  7. Streamline Permitting and Strengthen Labor Standards for Renewable Development

    In 2022, California tackled obstacles to renewable energy projects by creating a state-level permitting pathway, overcoming local opposition driven by fossil fuel interests. Colorado faces similar hurdles, with misinformation and intimidation hindering urgent renewable projects. Lawmakers should adopt a state-level permitting system, streamlining the process and countering industry influence. Strengthening labor standards, building on SB23-292, is crucial for all new renewable projects.

By implementing the workforce development suggestions in our crowdsourced policy platform, Colorado can navigate the challenges of a tight labor market, address critical workforce shortages and propel the state towards a sustainable, inclusive and prosperous future. To get involved in advocacy or the creation of next year’s policy platform, join The Coalition or reach out to the Director of The Coalition, Jolie Brawner.