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Workforce Development and Customized Training

Colorado First and Existing Industry Job Training Grants
- Program Overview -

Transforming Colorado’s workforce through customized training, the Skill Advance program offers State funding for Colorado First and Existing Industry customized 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) customized training grant 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) customized training program provides funding for incumbent worker training and supports established Colorado businesses by adapting to new technology and preventing layoffs.

Requirements/Eligibility Rules
  • All grant-funded training must be for full-time (32 hours/week), non-seasonal, non-retail employees who have significant career opportunities, require substantive instruction, and are eligible to work in the U.S.
  • All training must be short-term and customized to the business’s specific needs.
  • Grantees must pay an average wage of at least $13.50/hour in urban counties and at least minimum wage in rural counties.
  • Learners must sign an affidavit to certify their participation in grant-funded training.
  • Grantees must contribute a minimum of 40% (cash or in-kind) to the total costs of grant-funded training.
  • Training must be customized to specific business needs and related to substantive resume-building and transferable skills.
  • 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.
  • An on-site company visit may be conducted by Skill Advance Colorado program administrators.
Other Program Elements
  • The program fiscal year is the same as the State’s: July 1st through June 30th.
  • Funding is disbursed to community colleges for reimbursement to grantees after training completion.
  • Disallowed training includes company orientation, personality assessments, strategic planning, project planning, and non-customized training available at local colleges, workforce centers, and public service providers. Consulting services and federally or state-mandated training (e.g. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) / Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) are not eligible for grant funding.
  • Training funds requests are capped at $150,000.00 per application; total training funds are capped at $200,000.00 per grantee per fiscal year. Grants are contingent upon available funding.
  • Colorado First grant applications may be submitted every year.
  • Existing Industry grant applications will be considered every other year (i.e., EI funds awarded FY 2021, not eligible to apply in FY2022, eligible to apply FY2023).

If Trinidad State cannot provide the training your employees need, we can work with you to identify a trainer. For more information, contact Donna Haddow at Trinidad State College (719) 846-5724 or via email.

Skill Advance grant 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.