Opportunity Now Grants
Growing the Colorado economy “with jobs that cannot be outsourced, employee owned business creation and infrastructure to enable entrepreneurship in all parts of the state…” is part of the stated mission of Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT). Achieving and maintaining a resilient economy where Colorado residents “not only gets by, but thrives” is a worthy goal.
In order to support that mission, the 2022 legislative session created Opportunity Now (formerly HB22-1350). The Regional Talent Development initiative will fund new and proven programs that connect Coloradans to in-demand, high-skill, high-wage occupations. Growth requires a collective approach. As a result, Opportunity now is looking for innovative and collaborative projects to support with the $85 million dollars worth of grants they have available.
Opportunity Now Goals
- Meet key talent needs throughout all of Colorado
- Incentivize collaboration between education and industry
- Match Coloradans with in-demand jobs that pay living wages
You may be thinking that this all sounds great, but what does it have to do with New America College (NAC)?
We Got a Grant!
Applying for an Opportunity Now grant was a no-brainer for NAC. Our belief that speaking English is a key factor in economic mobility fits well with Opportunity Now’s drive to connect Coloradoans to high skill, high wage occupations. We are very proud to be a grant recipient – there were over 400 applicants for Phase 1 and only 46 received grants.
Right now we are focusing on the education, food and beverage and construction fields. We are teaming up with Denver Workforce Services for employment placement. NAC is also working with Teach by Tech on digital literacy. We continue to network for new employment partners to expand what we can offer our students. Specifically we are looking for partners in construction and the food and beverage industry. Please contact Megan Kobzej at email@example.com if you are interested in being a partner or know someone who would be interested.
Our goal with the Opportunity Now grant is to design the best program possible. And we have been working hard! Surveying almost 200 people during multiple events through the Denver Metro area gives us lots of information! We’ve gotten great thoughts on training and job opportunities. Stay tuned and find out what we discovered in an upcoming post!