Governors from nineteen western states will be focus on workforce development challenges during the next year. Bente Birkeland has more from the Western Governors Association meeting.
The group is in Denver this week to discuss apprenticeship programs and ways to prepare high school students for jobs of the future. Many western states like Colorado have low unemployment rates. Governor John Hickenlooper says that can make it a challenge to attract new businesses, but he says the state needs to work with companies. For instance should Colorado win the bid for Amazon’s second headquarters.
This is a large corporation. It does have some social responsibility and our job is to find out how could they help us. They have the capacity to take something like the workforce training programs and helping us figure out ways to ramp them up much more rapidly.
Many other western states don’t qualify to compete for Amazon because they don’t have a large enough population center. Hickenlooper says he wants to work with states like Wyoming and South Dakota to create a direct pipeline so those residents could get some of the Amazon jobs remotely, should Colorado win the win.