Work-based learning incentive program
(1)Work-based learning incentive program.
(a)On or before January 1, 2023, the department, in consultation with the commission, the office of economic development, the department of education, the department of higher education, the state board for community colleges and occupational education, local district colleges, the work force development council, and area technical colleges, as defined in section 23-60-103, shall establish a work-based learning incentive program to provide monetary incentives to selected employers to create high-quality, work-based learning opportunities that benefit adults and youth.
(b)In administering the incentive program, the department shall strive to create an equal proportion of work-based learning opportunities for youth and adults and to select employers and work-based learning intermediaries with the goal of increasing the number of youth and adults participating in work-based learning. The department shall select work-based learning intermediaries that:
(I)Demonstrate expertise in and a continued commitment to connecting, educating, and coaching employers regarding work-based learning opportunities for adults and youth, such as a chamber of commerce, a nonprofit entity, an industry association, a local workforce area, a registered apprenticeship program, or a local government entity;
(II)Work within and across the state to partner with multiple employers; local education providers, institutions of higher education, or other educational entities; and other public and private entities to facilitate work-based learning experiences;
(III)Support employers in implementing work-based learning in collaboration with the commission and in alignment with the work-based learning quality expectations developed in subsection (5) of this section; and
(IV)Support employers in learning about the work-based learning quality expectations and share best practices for meeting the work-based learning quality expectations developed in subsection (5) of this section.
(a)Through an application process, select employers and at least two work-based learning intermediaries to participate in the incentive program with the goal of maximizing regional diversity and engaging the optimum number of employer participants in high-demand industries as determined by the annual Colorado talent report prepared pursuant to section 24-46.3-103 (3);
(b)For the purpose of providing incentives to employers to provide work-based learning opportunities to youth and adults, allocate money directly to employers and to work-based learning intermediaries;
(c)Outline performance expectations for work-based learning intermediaries and employers participating in the incentive program that include the authority of the department to discontinue an entity’s participation in the incentive program if the entity fails to meet the expectations;
(d)Outline a scale for the amount of money awarded to an employer based on criteria such as the duration of work-based learning experiences, the number of participants, geography, business size, and other factors;
(e)Collect data concerning the incentive program that includes:
(I)The work-based learning intermediaries participating in the incentive program;
(II)The number of employers participating in the incentive program;
(III)The number of work-based learning opportunities provided by employers and the number of work-based learning hours completed;
(IV)The number of work-based learning opportunities that led to a job in the respective industry;
(V)The number of youth and adult participants in the incentive program, including employees, interns, apprentices, or other individuals who participated in the incentive program;
(VI)The de-identified demographic information of the individuals participating in the incentive program, including race, geographic region or zip code, and whether the individuals meet low-income criteria as determined by the department; and
(VII)Any outcomes and data to measure the success of the incentive program, including outcomes related to employers that participated in the incentive program and subsequently adopted work-based learning as a business practice beyond the incentive program’s duration;
(f)Ensure that youth and adults are made aware of opportunities for them to learn in the workplace at the same time as earning an income through the incentive program;
(g)Provide technical assistance and planning assistance to employers and work-based learning intermediaries regarding the work-based learning quality expectations developed in subsection (5) of this section; and
(h)Beginning in 2023 and each year thereafter, submit a report compiling the data collected pursuant to subsection (2)(e) of this section to the senate business, labor, and technology committee and the house of representatives business affairs and labor committee, or their successor committees, during the hearings held under the “State Measurement for Accountable, Responsive, and Transparent (SMART) Government Act”, part 2 of article 7 of title 2.
(3)Selection as a work-based learning intermediary.
(a)Demonstrate the entity’s record of connecting employers with local education providers, institutions of higher education, or other training providers such as registered apprenticeship programs;
(b)Outline how the entity plans to bring employers, local education providers, institutions of higher education, or other training providers such as registered apprenticeship programs together to accomplish the purposes of the incentive program;
(c)Outline how the entity will meet or exceed the quality expectations for work-based learning established by the office pursuant to subsection (5) of this section; and
(d)Submit any other information deemed appropriate by the department, including an attestation of a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace.
(4)Responsibilities of work-based learning intermediaries.
(a)Start-up management costs for employers to create work-based learning programs, including training for employers to establish and manage a work-based learning program;
(b)Developing and providing personalized participant supports, including transportation assistance, and partnering with other entities to provide access to or referrals for supportive services, learning supports, financial advising, and other types of support to ensure adults and youth can participate in work-based learning;
(c)Educating employers on how to work with local education providers and institutions of higher education to create career-connected learning partnerships;
(d)Training costs, including enrollment, registration, and course fees for participation in classroom training and certifications aligned with work-based learning;
(e)Providing incentives for employers who participate in the delivery of education services;
(f)Any services, resources, and support identified by employers to support work-based learning that align with the purposes of this section, including fostering regional partnerships by sector or industry and hiring a business coach or other individual to act as a liaison between a work-based learning intermediary and employers receiving incentive payments; and
(g)Ensuring alignment with and avoiding duplication of existing programs and, where practicable, leveraging existing resources.
(5)Work-based learning quality expectations.
(a)On or before September 15, 2022, develop work-based learning quality expectations for youth and adults, taking into consideration:
(I)How the expectations align with employer needs;
(III)The potential outcomes of work-based learning opportunities for youth and adults;
(IV)Opportunities to award educational credit or payment for work-based learning experiences;
(V)Alignment with the minimum standards set by the federal department of labor or the state apprenticeship agency, where applicable; and
(VI)Graduation and completion rates of the programs, where applicable; and
(b)Review and revise the work-based learning quality expectations every five years, including consideration of:
(I)The relevance of and innovations in work-based learning;
(II)Whether work-based learning is dynamic and responsive to the needs of business and education partners;
(III)How the work-based learning experiences align with employer expectations for adults and youth in high-wage, high-demand jobs; and
(IV)The quality of work-based learning provided to participants in the incentive program.
(a)Does not revert to the general fund or any other fund;
(b)May be used by the department in the 2023-24 state fiscal year without further appropriation; and
(c)Shall not be used for any purpose other than the purposes set forth in this section.
Section 8-83-602 — Work-based learning incentive program - creation - rules - appropriation,
https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-08.pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).