Charles serves as CCLP's Deputy Director of Research, using data and research to support our efforts to stand with diverse communities across Colorado in the fight against poverty. Staff page ›

Mar 11, 2022

Recent articles

2022 Legislative Wrap-Up

This year’s legislative session has been an intense one to say the least, but with many positive results for Coloradans experiencing poverty. Major priority bills required research, testimony and support from CCLP — as well as our partner organizations, and our...

Somewhere, a place for us…

Mobile homes are some of the last remaining affordable housing. In the face of increasing vulnerability, HB1287 could help protect them.

Talent Equity Agenda is a roadmap to promote equity in Colorado’s top jobs

by | Mar 11, 2022

Each year, the Colorado Department of Labor, the Colorado Department of Higher Education, the Colorado Department of Education, and the Colorado Workforce Development Council release a Talent Pipeline report that identifies areas of opportunity and demand in Colorado’s labor market and highlights outcomes of certain statewide workforce development programs. The report also identifies occupations in Colorado that it considers to be “top jobs,” or those that meet three criteria: a projected high number of net annual openings (greater than 40); an above average projected growth rate over the next 10 years (greater than 10%); and an hourly wage above $31.19 per hour for Tier 1 top jobs or above $16.35 for Tier 2 top jobs. Based on these factors, the report identifies 77 top jobs at Tier 1 and 122 top jobs at Tier 2 in Colorado for 2021.

Not only will our state need more workers to fill these occupations over the next ten years, they are also jobs that pay a wage that could support a family of three (one working adult, one non-working adult, and one child) if Tier 1 or a single individual if Tier 2 according to the Talent Pipeline report.[i] In other words, these are jobs that allow Colorado’s workforce to support themselves and their families.

The report identifies these occupations in order to help job seekers understand the skills and qualifications they will need to find a job that is well paying and is in demand among employers. We can also use these top jobs to understand who in Colorado currently works in one. Using the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, we estimate that 14.9% of employed Coloradans worked in a Tier 1 top job, while 14.6% worked in a Tier 2 top job in 2019.[ii] In this blog post, we will dive deeper into the racial and ethnic distribution of Coloradans across different occupations, including those that fall into Tier 1 or Tier 2 top job categories.

We believe this data shows that Colorado must focus on creating equitable education and workforce development systems, particularly as we contemplate how best to use federal recovery dollars that have flowed into the state due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Colorado Workforce Development Council has already identified a number of areas where it can support equity in its Talent Equity Agenda. As we show in our latest issue brief, the racial and ethnic distribution of Coloradans is not equal. White Coloradans are disproportionately more likely to hold a Tier 1 top job than other racial and ethnic groups in the state. Implementing and building on the recommendations in the Talent Equity Agenda will be essential to ensure that any Coloradan, regardless of their race or ethnicity, is able to pursue and obtain the job they desire.

Read CCLP’s full Issue Brief on Race Equity in Colorado’s Talent Pipeline in our resources library.

[i] McKennie, Caitlin. 2021 Colorado Talent Pipeline Report. Colorado Workforce Development Council (2021). Accessed from https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BT7nWA5mVA3qjmR92WKUMyeoRJAF8o6T/view on 8 February 2022.

[ii] Colorado Center on Law and Policy analysis of 2014-2019 5-Year American Community Survey microdata obtained from IPUMS USA: Version 11.0. IPUMS USA, University of Minnesota, www.ipums.org.

Recent articles

2022 Legislative Wrap-Up

This year’s legislative session has been an intense one to say the least, but with many positive results for Coloradans experiencing poverty. Major priority bills required research, testimony and support from CCLP — as well as our partner organizations, and our...

Somewhere, a place for us…

Mobile homes are some of the last remaining affordable housing. In the face of increasing vulnerability, HB1287 could help protect them.