The Collective Work


Regional Growth Has Brought Challenges

Even though there are more than 19,000 job openings in our region, 70% of high-demand, well-paying jobs require some level of post-high school education or training. Only 39% of adults in our region have post-high school education or training required by most well paying jobs
The challenge intensifies as the increased cost of living outpaces earnings, making it difficult for many to afford living here. This not only threatens affordability but also poses a significant challenge for employers and the economy. 53% of renters and 25% of owners are spending more than 30% of their income on housing
The soaring living costs impact talent attraction and retention, hindering the region’s ability to retain skilled workers. Each year, we need an additional 15K individuals earning skills and credentials towards good jobs to meet projected demands of employers in our region
Therefore, there is an urgent need to grow local talent pipelines to meet employer needs and create more pathways to good jobs, addressing the crucial issue of workforce development for sustained economic growth.

Sources: Colorado Talent Pipeline Report; US Census Bureau American Community Survey, Colorado Labor Market Information (LMI) Gateway, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)

Current Efforts Are Not Working

Despite the considerable resources and committed individuals who are already tackling various aspects of these challenges, our region’s challenges persist without significant improvement.  In fiscal year 2021, Colorado spent approximately $2,047 per capita on public assistance (approximately $11.9 billion)
Fragmented efforts and ineffective solutions prevail, primarily because we lack authentic engagement from those most impacted by these challenges in shaping effective solutions that address root causes Two in five Coloradans say they are worse off financially than they were a year ago
Many organizations doing work to address community challenges primarily track operational outputs, focusing on ‘how much’ and ‘how well.’ Few set goals and measure performance based on the actual difference made.  Without proactive measures, our region faces widening economic disparities, unmet workforce needs, and a strained community fabric

Sources: RMP voice and perspective reports; RMP progress in Community Engagement Spectrum, Colorado Health Foundation Pulse Pull, Urban Institute, Colorado State Demographer’s Office












We Are Focused on Four Key Contributing Factors

  Young people are not earning the skills and credentials they need to pursue good-paying jobs
The unavailability of housing that is affordable is disrupting the education, skill development, and employment of young people and their families
Decisions are being made without those who are most impacted, which perpetuates a cycle of ineffective problem-solving and hampers young people’s journey to economic and social mobility
Key work across the community often happens in silos and not aligned to addressing the things most affecting young people’s economic and social mobility journeys