Workforce

Talent is the most powerful incentive a state can offer and directly impacts a company’s bottom line. Colorado has one of the nation’s most educated, technically savvy workforces contributing to its strong position in a broad range of industries. Our young, skilled and growing workforce makes a critical contribution to the vitality of the Colorado economy. World-class educational programs and research facilities, as well as a state commitment to supporting customized job training programs, assure that our workforce skills will remain cutting edge, allowing employers to compete in a global economy.

Highlights about Colorado's workforce in our key industries:

  • Advanced Manufacturing: During 2012, more than 600 degrees in the field of precision production were awarded in Colorado, an increase of more than 250% from a decade prior.
  • Aerospace: With more than 2,400 employed, there is a 60% higher concentration of aerospace engineers in Colorado than the U.S. as a whole.
  • Bioscience: In 2012, nearly 2,500 degrees were awarded in the field of biological and biomedical sciences, more than a 50% increase from a decade earlier.
  • Defense & Homeland Security: While over the past decade military occupations have decreased nationally, in Colorado, military occupations have increased by nearly 12,500.
  • Energy & Natural Resources: Colorado has nearly a 270% higher concentration of mining and geological engineers than the U.S. as a whole.
  • Financial Services: From 2004 to 2013, those employed as securities, commodities and financial services sales agents increased in Colorado by nearly 43%.
  • Food & Agriculture: People employed as farmers, ranchers and other agricultural managers have increased by more than 10% over the last decade.
  • Health & Wellness: With the addition of more than 4,000 jobs over the past decade, health care support occupations increased 33% in Colorado – the most of any major occupational grouping.
  • Infrastructure Engineering: There are more female civil engineers in Colorado (1,400 in this discipline) than any other field of engineering.

Source: EMSI Analyst, 2014.2

Colorado workers are also exceptionally productive, consistently ranking in the top ten for per capita gross state product. Forbes Magazine recently deemed Colorado to have one of the two best labor pools in the country. Colorado has the highest amount of collaborative workspace (including incubators, accelerators and coworking spaces) per one million people, according to Deskwanted, GmbH.

Education

Coloradans are among the nation’s most highly educated populations, ranking 2nd in the number of citizens with a bachelor’s degree. Our colleges and universities offer a broad range of business, management, engineering and technical degrees, and most graduates remain in Colorado to pursue their careers.  

Investing in primary education is critical to ensure that the youth of today are prepared to be the workforce and leaders of tomorrow. Colorado supports this through the P-20 education innovation, which includes college and career readiness and educator effectiveness, as well as the pre-K-12 accountability.

In academic year 2012-2013, a total of 52,715 degrees and certificates were awarded.  This includes 10,136 certificates, 8,728 associate degrees, 24,766 bachelor’s degrees and 9,085 graduate degrees.  

In the Colorado higher education system, there are over 470 institutions, educating approximately 400,000 students. Click here to see a list of all higher education institutions in Colorado.

Educational Attainment  High School Graduates  College Graduates
Colorado  88.7% 35.5%
U.S.  84.2% 27.2%

 

Colorado Job Training Programs

Bridging the gap between business needs and future employees is critical to ensure long-term success of a business.  Colorado offers two customized job training programs for companies that are locating or expanding in Colorado to ensure that the local workforce has the required technical skills:

  • Colorado First Customized Job Training Program provides job training funds to assist individual businesses in designing specialized training programs. Colorado First is intended for companies that are relocating to Colorado or hiring new employees. Group training for small businesses with similar needs is available. Learn more
  • Colorado Existing Industry Job Training Program provides assistance to established Colorado businesses in order to remain competitive. Learn more

For more information on these job training programs, contact Jessica Erickson