Customized training resources
for business and employee success

Colorado First and Existing Industry Job Training Programs
FY 2023 Program Overview

Transforming Colorado’s workforce through customized training, the Skill Advance program offers State funding for Colorado First and Existing Industry job training reimbursement grants to strengthen business competitiveness and improve employment opportunities. Colorado First and Existing Industry grants are jointly administered by the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) and the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) and are locally administered by participating community colleges.

The Colorado First (CF) Job Training Program provides funds for net new hire training and focuses on businesses relocating to or expanding in Colorado and in need of training workers with the skills necessary to increase their productivity, to increase their wages, and to reduce their need for public support.

The Existing Industry (EI) Job Training Program provides funding for incumbent worker training and supports established Colorado businesses with adapting to new technology and preventing layoffs.

Fiscal Year 2023 incentive levels:  Per learner maximum annual funding (averaged across the training plan):  CF – $1,650, EI – $1,400

Requirements/Eligibility Rules

  • Skill Advance Colorado funding supports only Colorado businesses and employees. Employees funded by the CF and EI programs must be residing and working in Colorado at the time of training.
  • All grant-funded training must be for full-time (32 hours/week), non-seasonal, non-retail employees who have significant career opportunities, require substantive Grant-funded learners must be eligible to work in the U.S.
  • All training must be short-term and customized (contextualized/tailored content) to specific business needs and related to substantive, resume-building, transferable skills.
  • All training funded by Skill Advance Colorado must take place within Colorado.
  • Businesses are required to pay an average wage: In urban counties, businesses must pay at least $16.00 per hour. In rural counties, businesses must pay $13.00/hour before December 31, 2022 and $13.00/hour or minimum wage, whichever is higher, after December 31, 2022.
  • Training Attendance Forms and attestation of accuracy signed by the grantee must be submitted as documentation of training completion.
  • Grantees must contribute a minimum of 40% (cash or in-kind) to the total costs of grant-funded
  • Only for-profit business and non-governmental 501(c)(3) organizations are eligible to apply.
  • Grant-funded activities may not begin until the grant application has been approved by State program administrators.
  • On-site visits by college representatives are required for new grant applicants; an on-site company visit may be conducted by Skill Advance Colorado program administrators.
  • Businesses are eligible to apply for Colorado First grants every year.
  • Businesses are eligible to apply for Existing Industry grants every other year.

Additional Information

  • The Skill Advance Colorado program fiscal year is July 1 through June (Same as State fiscal year)
  • Funding is disbursed to community colleges for reimbursement to grantees. Grantees are reimbursed after training completion.
  • Funding is limited for training related to customer service, employer engagement and/or development, sales, marketing, and branding.
  • Skill Advance Colorado does not fund
  • training related to grantee/business orientation, personality assessments (i.e., DiSC, MBTI, CliftonStrengths, etc.), strategic planning, project planning, foundational/beginning/basic computer skills or office administration/productivity software (i.e., Microsoft Office Suite and Google Workspace), and non-customized training available at local colleges, workforce centers, and public service providers;
  • training related to federal and state mandated training (e.g., OSHA, Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)];
  • labor union-required or labor union-funded training; or
  • consulting services.
  • Training funds requests are capped at $150,000 per application; total training funds are capped at $200,000 per grantee per fiscal Grant awards are contingent upon available funding.

Grant Application, Training Completion, and Reporting Dates

State application submission period:  July 1, 2022 – March 31, 2023
Training completion deadline:  May 19, 2023
Final Reports Due:  Within two weeks after training completion

To apply for a job training grant, please contact your local Skill Advance Colorado community college representative.
For more information:  Kendra Rodriguez – Program Director or Tina Sauceda – Program Manager, Colorado Community College System