Workforce Incentives

Colorado’s job training programs provide $4.5M in grants per year to companies that are locating or expanding in Colorado.

Colorado First and Existing Industry Grants

Colorado First and Existing Industry Customized Job Training Programs support Colorado’s workforce development by providing grants to existing companies as well as those locating or expanding in Colorado. By reimbursing costs associated with job training, the programs increase transferable job skills that both support the company’s competitiveness and enhance worker’s resumes and long-term employment opportunities.

The Existing Industry program focuses on providing assistance to established Colorado companies in order to remain competitive within their industry, adapt to new technology, and prevent layoffs.

Focusing on companies relocating to or expanding in Colorado, the Colorado First program assists with training funds for net new hires.

Both programs are jointly administered by the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) and managed through participating colleges.

  • Companies must contribute a minimum of 40% (cash or in-kind) to the total costs of grant-funded training.
  • All grant-funded training must be customized for the company’s specific needs.
  • Training costs are reimbursed after training takes place.
  • An on-site company visit by OEDIT and CCCS representatives is required.
  • Companies must pay an average hourly wage of at least $13.00/hour in urban counties and at least minimum wage in rural counties.
  • Companies applying for and receiving Existing Industry program funds must offer health insurance to employees. Colorado First applicants are not required to offer health insurance if the company has been in business fewer than three years.
  • Federal or state mandated training (e.g. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) / Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is not eligible for grant funding.
  • Grant funded training must be for permanent, full-time (32 hours/week), non-seasonal, non-retail employees eligible to work in the U.S. who have significant career opportunities and require substantive instruction.
  • Applications are reviewed on a competitive basis. Factors considered are: customized job enhancing skills / number of learners / college training participation / state geographic representation / industry diversification / projected wage levels. Focus is placed on the following industries: advanced manufacturing, bioscience, aerospace, energy & natural resources, advanced technology, electronics, infrastructure engineering, and construction.
    • Examples of competitive training skills include: Lean manufacturing / information technology, such as SQL, HTML, JQuery, etc. / advanced financial analysis / quality management / welding / precision machining / bioscience
    • Examples of non-competitive trainings skills include: new employee orientation / MS Office / basic customer service / time management/ administrative assistant/ marketing