In June, Governor Polis and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) announced the first 46 recipients of the Opportunity Now Colorado grant program to support the creation and expansion of innovative workforce and talent development initiatives across the state. Of the 46 recipients, the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce was the only chamber in the entire state to be selected as a grantee.
This grant is strategically designed to help bridge the gap between Colorado job seekers and in-demand, high-skill, high-wage occupations. This will help connect local residents with the skills and experience sought by the state’s growing industry partners. This will unlock access to well-paying jobs that elevate both individuals and the overall economy.
The Grand Junction Chamber and all grant recipients are working to create and grow long-term partnerships between educational institutions, industry leaders, and employers to develop the current and future workforce across Colorado.
The goal and emphasis are placed on programs that create intentional pathways between one phase of education or employment to another and foster opportunities for regional “learners and earners” to be more economically mobile.
We are planning on using our grant dollars to help enhance our Find Your Future partnership in Mesa County. Find Your Future is a website platform for youth and adult job seekers to find opportunities and resources in the Grand Valley that will allow them to connect to different pathways that will help them achieve a livable wage.
Candace Carnahan, Grand Junction Chamber President & CEO recognized the impact of this grant saying, “We are thrilled to be provided this opportunity to expand our current career exploration resources under Find Your Future with these grant funds. By increasing awareness with parents and educators of the programs available to help our youth find their future workforce passions, we take another step towards strengthening the pool of skilled workforce for the essential jobs we as a community must sustain.”
Find Your Future is a partnership between the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, the Mesa County Workforce Center, D51, Colorado Mesa University, and CMU Tech. We will have the ability to focus on populations that have been disproportionately affected by economic barriers.
As we work to spread the word, we will be completing outreach to students and job seekers to notify them of opportunities to “find their future”. We will continue to collaborate with local economic partners and local organizations to utilize our funding to supplement or create any opportunities that may be lacking or gaps that need to be filled. For more information, reach out to David Proctor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970-263-2916.