Regional Talent Development Initiative Grant Program

Program Summary

The Regional Talent Development Initiative Grant Program - now Opportunity Now Colorado – is an $85 million grant program creating transformative change for Colorado's workforce.

Opportunity Now Colorado allows Colorado to fund both new and proven programs that “seed transformative change” specifically through intentional alignment and collaboration between Colorado’s secondary, post-secondary, and workforce ecosystems focused on enhancing the economic mobility of Colorado’s learners and earners and thereby helping Colorado’s communities recover from COVID-related economic disruption. 

Enacted by HB22-1350, the program seeks innovative solutions to meet Colorado’s workforce needs through industry and education collaboration.

For important updates please sign up for the mailing list and check out opportunitynow.co to access grant information, important upcoming dates and events.





Program dates:

OEDIT division:

OEDIT has formed a Steering Committee that will provide guidance in the development of the grant application and execution process. The steering committee will consist of leaders from business, K12 education, postsecondary education, and workforce development. We have eight members of the committee and one advisor. OEDIT is proud to announce the following individuals that are members of or advisors to the steering committee:

Member/Advisor First and last name Member/Advisor Title
K12 Advisor Patty Quinones Retired St. Vrain Deputy Superintendent
2-yr College Representative Landon Pirius Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, Colorado Community College System (CCCS)
4-yr Institution Representative Janet Lopez Board of Trustees Member, Fort Lewis College; Senior Director of Policy, Partnerships & Learning, The Denver Foundation
Higher Education Representative Sarah Hughes Chair, Colorado Commission on Higher Education
Foundation & Higher Education Representative Wayne Taliaferro Strategy Director for Student Success, Lumina Foundation
Nonprofit Representative Roger Low Founder & CEO, Colorado Equitable Economic Mobility Initiative (CEEMI)
Higher Ed. & Healthcare Representative Tawny Espinoza Vice President of Business Development at Community Hospital and Adjunct Professor at CO Mesa University
Business Representative David Eddy Colorado Site Director, Boeing
Business Representative Josh Scott Businessperson and Vice Chair, Colorado Commission on Higher Education

Regional Talent Development Initiative Grant Program Steering Committee

DateTimeAgendaPublicly Accessible LinkMeeting Notes
September 9, 20222:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.9/9/22 AgendaMeeting link1350 Steering Committee Meeting Notes 9/9/22
November 7, 20222:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.11/7/22 AgendaMeeting Link

1350 Steering Committee Meeting Notes 11/7/22


November 29, 20229:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.11/29/2022 AgendaMeeting Link

1350 Steering Committee Meeting Notes 11/29/22


December 19, 202210:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.12/19/2022 AgendaMeeting Link

1350 Steering Committee Meeting Notes 12/19/22


January 18, 20239:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.01/18/2023 AgendaMeeting Link

1350 Steering Committee Notes 1/18/2023


February 14, 20239:00 a.m. - 11:3002/14/2023 AgendaMeeting Link

1350 Steering Committee Note 2/14/2023


April 19, 202311:00 a. m. -1:1:30pm04/19/2023 AgendaMeeting Link

1350 Steering Committee Notes 4/19/2023


July 31, 20239:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.07/31/23 AgendaMeeting Link

1350 Steering Committee Notes 7/31/2023


January 30, 202410:00 a.m.- 11:30 a.m.1/30/24 Agenda, (PDF)Meeting Link

1350 Steering Committee Notes 1/30/24, (Google Doc)



OEDIT has formed a Selection Committee through recommendations of Steering Committee members and broader input as outlined in statute. Selection Committee members shall review grant applications in accordance with the processes and criteria specified by the Steering Committee and approved by the Office (OEDIT) and shall make grant award recommendations to the OEDIT based on those processes and criteria. 

The Selection Committee will be broken into smaller groups to review specific grant tracks, including Scale, Seed, and Planning.

Respective Area Name Organization/Title
OEDIT Representative Leslie Hylton-Hinga Director of Special Projects, Business Funding & Incentives, OEDIT
OEDIT Representative Rachel Rose Senior Manager of Strategy and Analytics, OEDIT
Steering Committee Member Janet Lopez Board of Trustees Member, Fort Lewis College; Senior Director of Policy, Partnerships & Learning, The Denver Foundation
Steering Committee Member Josh Scott Businessperson and Vice Chair, Colorado Commission on Higher Education
Steering Committee Member Sarah Hughes Chair, Colorado Commission on Higher Education
Business Representative Azarel Madrigal Executive Director, First Southwest Community Fund
Business Representative John Ikard Chairman, FirstBank
Business Representative Barbara Myrick President, B&M Construction, Inc.
Community Representative Curtis Englehart Executive Director, Grand Junction Economic Partnership
Community Representative Donna Lynne Chief Executive Officer, Denver Health
Community Representative Curtis L. Esquibel Director of Communications & Community Engagement, Boettcher Foundation

Regional Talent Development Initiative Grant Program Selection Committee and Subcommittees

DateTimeAgendaPublicly Accessible LinkMeeting Notes
April 13, 202312:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.4/13/23 AgendaMeeting link4/13/23 Notes
April 26, 20234:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.4/26/23 AgendaMeeting Link4/26/23 Notes
April 27, 20239:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.4/27/23 AgendaMeeting Link4/27/23 Notes
April 27, 202311:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.4/27/23 AgendaMeeting Link4/27/23 Notes
April 28, 20231:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.4/28/23 AgendaMeeting Link4/28/23 Notes
May 17, 20231:30 p. m - 4:30 p.m.5/17/23 AgendaMeeting Link5/17/23 Notes
May 18, 202310:00 a.m - 12:00 p.m.5/18/23 AgendaMeeting Link5/18/23 Notes
January 29, 20242:00 - 3:00 p.m.1/29/24 AgendaMeeting Link

1/29/24 Notes

Presentation, (PDF)

The grant administration team will be led by Common Group and in collaboration with Mile High United Way, Strada Education Network, and WestEd. This grant administration team will work closely with OEDIT and the Steering Committee to deliver:

  • Development of the grant program strategy, including target outcomes and methods
  • Marketing and outreach of the grant program
  • Technical assistance and customer support for grant applicants
  • Grant administration and compliance
  • Evaluation of the program, including performance and outcome measurement

Common Group

Common Group is a social impact consulting firm focused on education and economic opportunity. Bringing expertise across K-12, higher education, workforce development, and employer hiring and talent practices. Common Group supports foundations, non-profits, institutions, and state agencies to achieve greater impact through research, advisory, and fund management services.

Mile High United Way 

Working side-by-side with the community, Mile High United Way takes on critical human services issues facing residents across Metro Denver and throughout Colorado. Through strategic community programs, Mile High United Way helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses, connects jobseekers directly with employers and professional development resources, hosts career and resource fairs, and empowers early childhood education professionals to advance in their field. This year, Mile High United Way is celebrating its 135th anniversary as the first United Way in the world.

Strada Education Network

Strada Education Network is a national social impact organization devoted to research, philanthropy, and solutions that align education and careers.


WestEd is a nonpartisan, nonprofit agency that conducts and applies research, develops evidence-based solutions, and provides services and resources in the realms of education, human development, and related fields, with the end goal of improving outcomes and ensuring equity for individuals from infancy through adulthood.

On August 15, OEDIT held an information session to provide an update on the progress of implementation.

Below are materials from that meeting:

Regional Talent Development Initiative Grant Program Overview and Progress Update     


View All Programs