automation future workforce

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has chosen the week of Sept. 20 to highlight its efforts to prepare Coloradans for the future of work in recognition of Workforce Development Month.

“Our economy is changing rapidly, continuously transformed by automation, artificial intelligence, digitalization, globalization, and a host of other factors,”  Katherine Keegan, director of CDLE’s Office of the Future of Work, said in a news release. “In this environment, many Colorado workers and employers feel uncertain about how to adjust to the evolving needs of the market. Workers worry that they won’t have the skills to ensure their financial stability while employers are struggling to find the talent they need to grow. Our job is to support both in order to ensure Colorado’s future shared prosperity.”

These future-of-work trends existed before the pandemic, the release said, "which is why the Office of the Future of Work was created in 2019 through an executive order" from Gov. Jared Polis, "charged with understanding, preparing for, and developing effective policy and programmatic solutions to respond to the changing economy."

One of the office’s main goals is to increase employers’ adoption of apprenticeship programs and increasing worker participation in these programs. “Apprenticeships help employers equip workers with the exact skills their organization needs; workers also benefit, as they are able to earn a paycheck while learning in-demand skills,” said Keegan. “As workers and employers look to the future, the number of people following non-traditional career pathways such as those provided by apprentice-ships will increase.”

The office is also prioritizing advancing digital literacy and inclusion, as digital literacy and internet access are considered “super social determinants of health.” 

Another area of focus is the office’s Remote Work Initiative, created in partnership with the Colorado Workforce Development Council, the Office of Economic Development and International Trade, and the Economic Development Council of Colorado. The initiative, according to the release, "will help Coloradans compete in remote work environments, strengthening Colorado’s ability to attract jobs, secure talent, and retain a location-neutral workforce."

During the week, CDLE will be highlighting upcoming trainings, events and resources to help both employers and workers learn more about future-of-work trends as well as the Office of the Future of Work. To keep up with CDLE, workers, employers, and others can follow the agency on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

Information about the month and the themed weeks, including upcoming trainings and events, as well as resources for both job seekers and employers, can be found on the Workforce Development Month website.

For a comprehensive list of upcoming events, visit CDLE’s website.