Statewide digital navigator program
- office of future work
(1)On or before January 1, 2023, the office shall create a statewide digital navigator program. The purpose of the program is to address digital inequities that prevent youth and adults from securing employment. To address digital inequities, the program may provide services and supports, including access to digital technology, computer and technology skills training, and affordable internet service through the employment of digital navigators. The office shall, through an application process, select at least one administering entity to administer the digital navigator program. The digital navigator program will deploy digital navigators to:
(a)Intentionally left blank —Ed.
(I)Conduct outreach to target populations in need of internet access, hardware, software, and digital skills;
(II)Provide technology and literacy support to target populations; and
(III)Connect target populations to resources in order to remove barriers to training and employment;
(b)Make referrals to and facilitate enrollment of target populations in:
(I)Digital literacy classes and workshops;
(II)Reskilling, upskilling, and next-skilling opportunities;
(IV)Basic literacy or numeracy instruction or tutoring;
(V)Workforce development services; and
(VI)Work-based learning opportunities, including work-based learning opportunities created in section 8-83-602;
(c)Connect target populations to low-cost internet programs and resources;
(d)Identify and help distribute the necessary technologies to target populations;
(e)Provide ad hoc basic digital skills support to target populations, including:
(I)Setting up a computer;
(II)Connecting a device to the internet; and
(III)Assisting people in completing a job search, creating a profile through the my Colorado journey platform administered by the work force development council, creating an account with the connecting Colorado students grant program created in article 103 of title 23, and applying for public benefits through online applications;
(f)Serve as on-the-ground data collectors to provide a detailed picture of Colorado community needs to inform the office and its partners described in subsection (3) of this section on where additional resources should be invested; and
(g)Align and coordinate with other navigator programs and service providers.
(2)In order to be considered by the office for selection as the administering entity of the digital navigator program, an entity shall submit an application to the office, in a form and manner established by the office, that:
(a)Demonstrates the entity’s record of conducting outreach to a target population or multiple target populations;
(b)Outlines how the entity plans to partner with community organizations that include a public school, a public or multifamily housing authority, a library, a health-care provider, a community college or other institution of higher education, a state library agency, a public workforce center, and any other nonprofit or governmental community support organization, as applicable, to accomplish the purposes of the program; and
(c)Describes the entity’s administrative capacity to successfully administer the program.
(3)The office shall work collaboratively with other offices and divisions in the department, the department of higher education, the department of education, the Colorado broadband office created in section 24-37.5-903, the department of human services, the office of e-health innovation in the governor’s office, and the office of economic development to identify and support diverse partners and employers.
(4)Intentionally left blank —Ed.
(a)The office shall share outcomes of the program with partners described in subsection (3) of this section and collect data concerning the program that includes:
(I)The outreach activities conducted;
(II)The number of individuals served by the navigators and the de-identified demographics of those individuals, including race, geographic region or zip code, and whether the individuals meet low-income criteria as determined by the department; and
(III)Any outcomes and data to measure the success of the program, including skills attainment and employment attainment.
(b)The office shall include the outcomes shared and the data collected pursuant to this subsection (4) in the presentations required by section 8-83-602 at the hearings held under the “State Measurement for Accountable, Responsive, and Transparent (SMART) Government Act”, part 2 of article 7 of title 2.
(5)For the 2022-23 state fiscal year, the general assembly shall appropriate two million dollars from the general fund to the department for use by the office for the purposes of this section. Any unexpended money remaining at the end of the 2022-23 state fiscal year:
(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.
(6)The executive director of the department may promulgate rules to implement this section.
Section 8-83-603 — Statewide digital navigator program - office of future work - rules - appropriation,
https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-08.pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).