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Workforce Shortages in Northern ColoradoIn Northern Colorado, there are simply more jobs than capable workers. As a community we must begin addressing workforce shortages in Northern Colorado with strong measures, or our economy may very well suffer. Many have recognized the importance of this challenge, including those in the Northern Colorado business community.  

To work toward a solution to maintain a viable workforce in Northern Colorado, a team of area businesses and community partners recently created Talent 2.0. This team has come together to “address the challenges of workforce development and accessibility to workplaces faced by the Fort Collins-Loveland MSA.” An MSA is a metropolitan statistical area and in this case, the Talent 2.0 team is studying the MSA of Northern Colorado. Talent 2.0 is made up of a variety of entities including local chambers of commerce, workforce centers, and economic development groups.

We all know that a viable workforce is a key ingredient of any healthy and growing economy. As Northern Colorado expands, many businesses and communities in this region have realized the importance of developing and maintaining a talented pool of employees. Talent 2.0 is working to study employment and employee trends in Northern Colorado and has invited many partners to work collaboratively to reduce barriers to work, like childcare and transportation, while improving the workforce through education and training opportunities.

To really understand the workforce in Northern Colorado and inform the team’s work, Talent 2.0 has released a Workforce Strategy Report. The goal of this report centers on giving the cities in Northern Colorado, including Loveland and Fort Collins, the information necessary to develop a workforce capable of meeting the needs of businesses around our community, while identifying barriers to full employment to keep our economy viable.

This comprehensive report highlights many important challenges facing the Northern Colorado business community, including:

  • “Over the last five years, the Fort Collins–Loveland economy added almost 20,000 jobs but only 11,000 workers. This imbalance, combined with low unemployment and high underemployment, has resulted in many employers having difficulty finding the talent they need.”
  • “Over the next five years, employers will have at least 28,000 openings to fill. The labor force adds only about 2,000 to 3,000 workers each year. As a result, the labor market will likely tighten.”
  • “Almost one-quarter of all workers in the MSA are 55 or older. With the upcoming wave of retirements, employers will need to start succession planning now in order to prepare for the loss of those key individuals.”

With these findings, the Talent 2.0 team aims to develop “a dynamic labor market with a strong talent pipeline that supports employers’ current and future needs

and provides residents with good career options and opportunities to improve their skills.” To do so, the team is working to address three main focus areas to increase access to full-time employment and a skilled workforce for businesses. These initiatives include increasing access to a talented workforce for area businesses; improving alignment of education, training, and workforce resources to better prepare the workforce; and finally, removing barriers that currently keep people from seeking full-time employment.

The Digital Workshop Center in Fort Collins, Colorado, has partnered with Talent 2.0 to upskill our local workforce. We offer training and educational resources to ensure job seekers and employees alike have the skills necessary to adequately complete the job. Digital Workshop Center classes and certificate programs are offered to corporate groups or individual learners alike, helping to upskill our workforce to meet the growing needs of our economy.

The Digital Workshop Center is committed to helping people get job skills, not degrees. We firmly believe that providing valuable educational opportunities is a major component of protecting and growing our local economy, and we’re proud to be on the Talent 2.0 team, working to reduce the gap in a skilled workforce in Northern Colorado to enhance our community for all. Contact us today to learn more about our educational resources and training programs.