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“Colorado is known for pioneering and developing new ideas and programs that keep our state’s economy booming. Unemployment in our state may be down, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to stop launching new initiatives to put more Colorado families on the path to a stronger more secure economic future. We’re going to keep working to improve the quality of life for everyone in our state.” - Katie Griego, Director of the Division of Employment and Benefits at CDHS

About Us

Launched in January 2018, Colorado Works Subsidized Training and Employment Program (CW STEP) helps connect at-risk populations who are eligible for basic cash assistance from Colorado Works—Colorado’s federally funded program providing temporary cash assistance for needy families—with crucial professional work experience and opportunity. This interagency collaborative program connects Coloradans facing significant barriers to employment with job opportunities.

CW STEP helps connect vulnerable parents receiving Basic Cash Assistance through the Colorado Works program with critical professional work experience and opportunity

CW STEP is administered on a local level with state contractors working with county departments of human services and community-based resources to offer a variety of services to help boost workforce development. Through a competitive application process evaluating services offered and relationships with local community leaders, businesses and stakeholders four local area contractors were chosen to operate the program from Jan. 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019.

  • Front Range Alliance servicing Arapahoe, Douglas, Boulder, Larimer, El Paso, Teller, Jefferson and Weld counties;
  • Goodwill Industries of Denver servicing Denver County;
  • Discover Goodwill of Southern and Western Colorado servicing El Paso and Teller counties;
  • Rio Grande County Department of Social Services servicing Conejos, Mineral and Rio Grande counties;
  • Hilltop Community Resources, Inc. servicing Mesa County.

The program helps participants work toward earning a living-wage, securing permanent employment and creating a brighter economic future for their families. Participants will learn valuable skills to prepare for careers in industries with a demonstrated shortage of qualified workers, creating unique opportunities to fill employment gaps and drive Colorado’s economy forward.

If you're a business that would like more information on how you can fill your positions with qualified CW STEP participants, contact us here

Program Goals

  • Assist Colorado Works jobseekers to attain permanent employment paying livable wages jobs through subsidized training and employment opportunities, including subsidized employment including transitional jobs, apprenticeships, on-the-job training, and paid internships.
  • Increase employment outcomes among Colorado Works jobseekers.
  • Increase the number of jobs filled in industries with demonstrated shortages of qualified workers.

Program Features

CW STEP will offer several areas of support for job-seekers who participate, including:

  • Subsidized Employment: time-limited, wage-paid work that helps chronically unemployed or underemployed individuals establish work history and develop workplace skills with a goal of obtaining unsubsidized employment.
  • Transitional Jobs: a form of subsidized employment combining real work, skill development and support services to help participants overcome substantial barriers to employment.
  • On-the-Job Training: combines productive work with the provision of knowledge and skills essential to full, competent performance on the job. The employer and worker/participant engage in a training plan with the goal of full employment in the position.
  • Apprenticeships: an employer-driven, experiential learning model combining on-the-job learning as a paid employee with related classroom instruction in order to increase one’s skill level and wages.
  • Internships: designed to expose the participant to the work environment, requirements and behavioral expectations of a particular occupation or industry.