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Larimer, Weld OK regional workforce-development pact

FORT COLLINS and GREELEY – Agencies in Larimer and Weld counties have reached an agreement to collaborate on workforce-development services.

The Northern Colorado Workforce Development Partnership memorandum of understanding, which Jacob Castillo, director of the Larimer County Economic and Workforce Development Department described as the “first of its kind between the two agencies,” was approved on Tuesday by the Board of Larimer County Commissioners and on Wednesday by the Weld County commission.

The MOU outlines the alignment of strategic regional workforce initiatives between Castillo’s department in Larimer County and Employment Services of Weld County.

In a news release, Castillo noted that “increasing diversity, business activity and population growth in Northern Colorado now cross political jurisdictions” in Larimer and Weld counties,, and therefore, “a collaborative approach to serving the community in both counties is more efficient and consistent, especially with workforce mobility between the two counties.”

He said the new pact builds on an economic-development agreement signed in 2019 between the two counties and Upstate Colorado Economic Development Corp.

According to the text of the MOU, “one of the ways in which we can align our efforts to deliver better customer service is through coordinated industry outreach that focuses on the shared industry clusters of Northern Colorado and builds on the existing sector-partnership model. By working closely with existing and new businesses, we believe we can connect people to meaningful work and businesses to the resources they need to be successful.”

The agencies agreed in the memorandum to work together on strategic regional initiatives including: alignment of workforce-development plans; data collection, analysis and distribution; industry exposure and career exploration; work-based learning initiatives; addressing systemic barriers to employment; talent attraction, retention and development; targeted messaging and outreach efforts; and streamlined access to business services and resources.

The agencies also agreed to look at specific opportunities to market workforce-development opportunities to businesses and job seekers in the region, including through such work-based initiatives as internships and apprenticeships as well as connecting with underserved and underrepresented populations and offering business training and workshops.

As part of their collaborative outreach efforts, the agencies and partners are expecting up to 300 area business leaders to attend a symposium on attracting and retaining top talent. The event, “Solving the Talent Equation”, will be held next Tuesday at the Aims Community College Welcome Center, with registration from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and sessions from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Sponsors of the event include economic health agencies in Fort Collins and Greeley, Aims Community College, the Colorado Workforce Development Council, Vestas Blades of America, Breeze Thru Car Wash, and chambers of commerce from Fort Collins, Greeley and Loveland.

Source: BizWest