Workforce work remains after legislative session ends

DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis, speaking Thursday at the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce’s State of the State event in Denver, said he was proud of the accomplishments of state government leaders during the 2022 legislative session, but more remains to be done if Colorado’s economy is to remain one of the most competitive in the nation. 

“We always strive to do better,” the governor, who was celebrating his birthday Thursday, said while noting that Colorado is fifth in the country for jobs recovery since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States in 2020. “Fifth isn’t good enough. We want to be first.”

Jared Polis speaks before a crowd at the State of the State
Gov. Jared Polis delivered the keynote address at the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce’s State of the State event in Denver. Lucas High/BizWest.

Among the economic and business achievements Polis touted were a $600-million injection into the state’s unemployment insurance fund and the reduction in commercial property assessments for the first time in decades.”

It wasn’t all roses and rainbows for state lawmakers, who wrapped up their 2022 session this week, as Denver Metro Chamber senior director of government affairs Rachel Beck took aim at the legislature’s leftward flank, accusing some of the body’s more progressive members of failing to adequately support small businesses.

“There seem to be an alarming number of legislators who believe that they’re reining in huge companies,” she said, suggesting that those members’ efforts more often impact small businesses. 

Still, Beck said, “Even when we don’t agree, we appreciate your service.”

Much of the State of State event was devoted to looking ahead at future workforce challenges.

Polis said the state must continue to support high school students looking to score college credits and “blurring the line between high school and postsecondary education.”

Despite Colorado’s status as a hub of technology innovation, many of the highly skilled workers needed to bolster that status are imported from other states, University of Colorado Denver chancellor Michelle Marks said.

Myers-Briggs Co. regional head Ian Kristic stressed the importance of “durable soft-skills” such as communication, collaboration and creativity, while LinkedIn workforce development lead Jake Hirsch-Allen said employers must look beyond college degrees toward job candidates who bring skills- and experience-based assets to the table.

DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis, speaking Thursday at the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce’s State of the State event in Denver, said he was proud of the accomplishments of state government leaders during the 2022 legislative session, but more remains to be done if Colorado’s economy is to remain one of the most competitive in the nation. 

“We always strive to do better,” the governor, who was celebrating his birthday Thursday, said while noting that Colorado is fifth in the country for jobs recovery since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States in 2020. “Fifth isn’t good enough. We want to be first.”

Jared Polis speaks before a crowd at the State of the State
Gov. Jared Polis delivered the keynote address at the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce’s State of the State event in Denver. Lucas High/BizWest.

Among the economic and business achievements Polis touted were a $600-million injection into the state’s unemployment insurance fund and the reduction in commercial property assessments for the first time in decades.”

It wasn’t all roses and rainbows for state lawmakers, who wrapped up their 2022 session this week, as Denver Metro Chamber senior director of government affairs Rachel Beck took aim at the legislature’s leftward flank, accusing some of the body’s more progressive members of failing to adequately support small businesses.

“There seem to be an alarming number of legislators who…