2020 Colorado Revised Statutes
Title 24 - Government - State
Article 46.3. Work Force Development
Section 24-46.3-104. Career pathways - design - definitions - legislative declaration.

(1) The general assembly hereby finds that creating industry-driven career pathways for education assists students in entering the work force and provides industries with the talent pipeline necessary to fuel Colorado's economy. Recognizing the need for the coordinated development of career pathways for students, the general assembly enacted section 24-46.3-103 in 2014, tasking the state council to work collaboratively with the department of higher education, the department of education, the department of labor and employment, and the Colorado office of economic development to create the talent pipeline development infrastructure for use in creating career pathways for students. Creating career pathways for growing Colorado industries with occupations in high demand will:

  1. Increase the number of Colorado citizens accessing postsecondary education and apprenticeships;

  2. Increase the number of Colorado citizens completing degrees, apprenticeships, andother credentials;

  3. Decrease the need for remediation at the postsecondary level;

  4. Increase entry into employment and increase wages over time;

  5. Create better transitions for students in the career pathways from high school, community colleges, or adult education programs to apprenticeships, higher education, or into the work force;

  6. Create better connections between postsecondary and work force readiness initiativesin high school and adult work force programs; and

  7. Through partnerships with industry, assist students in obtaining work experience andemployment during and after participation in educational programs.

(2) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:

  1. "Apprenticeship" means a registered apprenticeship program with a written plan thatis designed to move an apprentice from a low- or no-skill entry-level position to full occupational proficiency. The program must comply with the parameters established under the "National Apprenticeship Act", 29 U.S.C. sec. 50, as amended, and its promulgating regulations, and administered by the United State's department of labor's office of apprenticeship. An individual business, an employer association, or a labor organization sponsors a registered apprenticeship. Upon finishing a training program, the apprentice earns a "completion of registered apprenticeship" certificate, which is an industry-issued and nationally recognized credential that validates proficiency in an apprenticeable occupation.

  2. "Career pathway" means a series of connected education and training strategies andsupport services that enable individuals to secure industry-relevant skills and certification where applicable, to obtain employment within an occupational area, and to advance to higher levels of future education and employment.

  3. "Critical occupations" means top jobs or employment in jobs that lead to top jobs.

  4. "Growing industries" means industries that are projected to create new jobs annuallyfor at least the next ten years.

  5. "Partners" means, at a minimum, state agencies and organizations described in section 24-46.3-103, the state board for community colleges and occupational education created in section 23-60-104, C.R.S., and interested postsecondary education providers.

  6. "State council" means the Colorado work force development council created in section 24-46.3-101.

  7. "Top jobs" means jobs that have strong projected average openings per year for tenyears and pay a living wage as defined in the Colorado talent pipeline report prepared pursuant to section 24-46.3-103.

(3) (a) The state council, in collaboration with its partners and after consulting with local work force boards, and a task force within the department of education consisting of leadership from the department of education and superintendents of local school districts, shall design integrated career pathways for students within industry sectors identified in the annual Colorado talent report prepared pursuant to section 24-46.3-103 that are growing industries and that have critical occupations that are without clearly articulated career pathways.

(b) (I) In collaboration with its partners pursuant to subsection (3)(a) of this section, the state council shall:

  1. Design at least one career pathway that is ready for implementation by or before the2016-17 academic year for critical occupations in a growing industry; and

  2. Subject to available appropriation or money from other sources, design at least twocareer pathways that are ready for implementation at the beginning of each subsequent academic year for critical occupations in growing industries.

(II) Based on the top jobs listing in the talent pipeline report prepared in January 2014, the first three growing industries for design of a career pathway are construction and related skilled trades, information technology, and health care.

  1. Industry, through regional sector partnerships, and statewide trade associations shallreview each career pathway annually to ensure that the career pathway remains relevant to the industry and shall provide input for ongoing adjustments to the career pathway to meet work force needs.

  2. Career pathways designed pursuant to this section shall include:

  1. Apprenticeship and other work-based learning options when relevant to the careerpathway and available in the state;

  2. Direct alignment with postsecondary and work force readiness and individual careerand academic plans in high schools. The department of education and local school districts through postsecondary and work force readiness coordinators shall partner with the state council to achieve the alignment.

  3. Initiatives for adult and out-of-school youth when relevant to the career pathwayand available.

(4) In designing career pathways, the state council shall:

  1. Coordinate the career pathway work group made up of all partners' subject matterexperts to ensure that career pathways are comprehensive and integrated across secondary, postsecondary, work force, and industry education and training programs and to ensure that all partners are engaged in the design of the career pathways; and

  2. Use the sector partnership model and relationships with statewide trade associationsto ensure that all career pathways are industry driven and relevant. A career pathway shall not be designed without active industry engagement throughout the process, from the beginning of the process through the final career pathway that is ready for implementation.

  1. The state council and partners shall use the model developed to create the manufacturing career pathway pursuant to section 23-60-1003, C.R.S., including any improvements to the model based upon the implementation of the manufacturing career pathway. Consistent with the manufacturing career pathway, career pathways created pursuant to this section must have the components described in section 23-60-1003 (2), C.R.S., as they relate to the specific career pathway being created.

  2. Once a career pathway is completed pursuant to this section, the state council shallfacilitate outreach and training related to advising students on the career pathways for all partners involved in implementing the career pathway, as well as other local, regional, or state entities that are interested in promoting the career pathway to students.

  3. (a) Once a career pathway is completed pursuant to this section, the state council shall, subject to available appropriation or money from other sources, collaborate with the department of higher education and the department of labor and employment to create a microsite concerning the career pathway on a state-provided, free online resource. At a minimum, the following information must be included:

  1. Industry-sector career awareness;

  2. Salary and wage information for the industry-sector career;

  3. The industry-sector employment forecast;

  4. Information on programs within the career pathway, services provided, and financial aid opportunities for students; and

  5. Online student support services.

(b) The state council may use money appropriated by the general assembly pursuant to section 24-46.3-101 (13) or money from any other source to add additional information and tools to a career pathways microsite, similar to the information and tools provided in the microsite relating to the manufacturing career pathway.

Source: L. 2015: Entire section added, (HB 15-1274), ch. 196, p. 661, § 1, effective

August 5. L. 2020: IP(3)(b)(I), (3)(b)(I)(B), IP(7)(a), and (7)(b) amended, (HB 20-1396), ch. 138, p. 602, § 10, effective September 14.

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