Colorado First to Launch New Career Pathway Tool for Students and Working Adults

Coloradans are pioneers at heart. Some of us not only grew up here but have families who were among its early settlers. It is no surprise then but always still a coup when our state achieves a number one ranking or is selected to pilot a program. Being the first state in the nation to utilize a unique career pathway tool is not only a testament to our current robust education and business climate but also to our commitment to future generations. Launch My Career Colorado will help students, working adults and businesses connect in novel ways for a sustainably-thriving workforce and economy.

Launch My Career Colorado,, is a project of U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Center for Education and Workforce; Gallup, Inc.; and the American Institutes of Research College Measures partnership. Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry (CACI) is leading the charge in Colorado. CACI hosted the launch event held June 9, 2016 at History Colorado.

Carol D'Amico, Executive Vice President of National Engagement & Philanthropy, USA Funds, made opening remarks about helping consumers make good decisions about investment in higher education. Keith Pearson, Chair-Elect on CACI’s Board of Directors & President of McLane Western, discussed the demonstration of value from said investment in higher education in its variety of formats from a traditional Bachelor’s degree to an Associate’s degree to certificates and industry certifications.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper then took to the podium and noted how this tool aligns the wide variety of interests represented among the crowd of more than 125, from businesses to policy advocacy organizations to education administrators to workforce development specialists. This kind of alignment across the board focusing on a strong workforce can get Colorado through the turbulence that other states may face. Furthermore, the Launch My Career Colorado webtool itself will reveal to its users the economic reality of our decisions over the course of entire careers.

The webtool’s lead researcher, Mark Schneider, President of College Measures division of American Institutes of Research, then gave an overview of the tool and how it will cultivate more successful graduates through three main components: connecting to “hot jobs” as tailored to our state, emphasizing “hot skills” that companies around here want in its employees, and illustrating the return on investment (ROI) that can be expected in relation to the lives that users want, respectively. The system, which has components for students as well as currently-working adults, asks some specific and thought-provoking questions about lifestyle expectations and compares those expectations to career pathway projections. Schneider will speak about the tool in depth on Connect and Collaborate Radio at 1690 AM on Tuesday, June 14, 2016 from 4-5 p.m.

There was then a roundtable discussion moderated by Brandon Busteed, Executive Director, Education & Workforce Development, Gallup, Inc. Participants on the roundtable included Scott Laband, President, Colorado Succeeds; Matthew Gianneschi, Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Staff, Colorado Mountain College; Ray Johnson, Citizenship & Corporate Affairs Manager, IBM; and Jennifer Sobanet, Acting Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer, Colorado Department of Higher Education.

Robin Wise, President and CEO of Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain, Inc., concluded the webtool launch luncheon by sharing powerful stories of some of their 136,000 students who have already tried Launch My Career Colorado. It provides inspiration and “practical hope” so that students and their families can make the most advantageous investments in higher education.

Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance and Colorado Business Roundtable (COBRT) applied for and were chosen as grant recipients to ensure that our members and more utilize this valuable tool. COBRT is invested in education and workforce development as a Key Issue in our commitment to a business-friendly Colorado. Our vision for implementing a feasible, COBRT-led communications strategy to educate Coloradans on the need for better career pathways to in-demand jobs through the use of College Measures webtool is a vision which unites our existing initiatives as well as future strategic goals. 

The webtool is available right now, and we encourage all of our members to check it out whether from the perspective of employers, parents, job-seekers or life-long learners. Please remember that being pioneers in this effort also means that we will be the first to discover if certain improvements need to be made. If you have any specific feedback, be sure to use this form to inform the developers. 

Be sure to tune in on Tuesday, June 14, 2016 from 4-5 p.m. at 1690 AM for COBRT’s Connect and Collaborate Radio, with Launch My Career Colorado’s lead researcher Mark Schneider as our special guest.