DENVER -Today, Governor Hickenlooper signed House Bill 1272. This bipartisan legislation, sponsored by Senator Linda Newell (D-Littleton), will help save employers money by extending the Colorado Enhanced Approved Training Program until 2014. The Colorado Enhanced Approved Training Program provides unemployment benefits to unemployed citizens currently enrolled in approved jobs training programs. This legislation will help unemployed citizens looking to retrain, expand their skills, or enter into a new field receive aide until they find employment. It will also save employers the cost of paying salary to a worker while they are training. In 2012 Colorado employers paid nearly $20 million to bring 5,761 workers from out of state because the state didn’t have workers with the skills necessary to fill those vacancies.
Senator Newell offered the following comment on House Bill 1272:
“This legislation will provide people with the opportunity to train for new jobs, or learn how to start their own business. It will also help employers find qualified workers. In our recent tough economic times, many Coloradans have found themselves out of work. People need jobs, and businesses need a workforce with the latest skills. I’m grateful to get this program started.”
House Bill 1272 expands the definition of approved job training programs to include employer-based or entrepreneurial training programs. House Bill 1272 also requires the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to improve outreach efforts to ensure that traditionally underserved populations are informed about the availability of enhanced unemployment benefits. HB 1272 is projected to increase employment outcome goals by at least 75 percent, the employment rate for participants.
This bill was sponsored in the House of Representatives by Representative Robert Ramirez (R-Westminster) and Representative Crisanta Duran (D-Denver).