The Skill Advance Colorado Job Training Grant (formerly the Colorado First and Existing Industry Grant) helps businesses and nonprofits create customized job training for employees.
- develops Colorado’s workforce
- builds workers’ transferable skills
- improves workers’ resumes and long-term employment opportunities
The funds are broken down into Colorado First funds and Existing Industry funds. Colorado First grant funds customized training only for net new hires at companies relocating to or expanding in Colorado. Existing Industry grant funds customized training to help established Colorado companies and nonprofits remain competitive in their industry, adapt to new technology, and prevent layoffs.
Your organization may apply for up to $150,000 in each request. Total training funds are capped at $200,000 per organization per state fiscal year (July 1 to June 30). Grant maximums for each program are:
- $1,400 per full-time employee for Colorado First customized job training
- $1,200 per full-time employee for Existing Industry customized job training
We alongside the Colorado Community College System jointly administer this program. Participating colleges manage the program.
For: Businesses and nonprofits
Amount: Up to $150,000 per application and $200,000 per organization per fiscal year
Application period: July 1 to March 31
OEDIT division: Business Funding and Incentives
Companies and nonprofit organizations need to:
- pay an average hourly wage of at least $13.50 per hour in urban counties and at least minimum wage in rural counties
- contribute a minimum of 40% (cash or in-kind) to the total cost of grant-funded training.
- exist in, expand in, or be relocating to Colorado
Businesses relocating to or expanding in Colorado may apply for the grant every fiscal year. Existing Colorado businesses may apply for the grant every other fiscal year. The State fiscal year runs July 1 through June 30.
- needs to be created for full-time (at least 32 hours per week), non-seasonal, non-retail employees who have significant career opportunities, require substantive instruction, and are eligible to work in the U.S.
- may not include net new hires funded during the previous fiscal year
- needs to be customized to specific company needs and related to substantive resume-building and transferable skills
- may not begin until both we and program administrators and the Colorado Community College System approve your training application
Training that is not eligible includes, but is not limited to:
- company orientation
- non-customized training available at local colleges, workforce centers, and public service providers
- federal or state-mandated training (for example, Occupational Safety and Health Administration or Commercial Driver’s License)
Window to apply for grant: July 1 to March 31
Deadline to complete training: May 21
Final reports due: Within two weeks after completing training
Applications open for this grant every July and close at the end of March the following year. The application process is below.
- Contact the Skill Advance Colorado college representative at your local community college.
- Your representative will work with your organization to submit your paper application to the Colorado Community College System.
- You will receive a decision notice two weeks after you submit your application.
The total grant award generally includes an 8% administration fee (minimum of $1,000 minimum and $12,000 maximum) for the college. Cluster grants include up to a 10% administration fee. Cluster grants are grants for training at more than one company.
To avoid training and budget changes, plan ahead with your program manager. After your training budget is approved, you may change it once. Before changing the training, you will need to submit the new training budget form for the state program administrators to review and approve.
Your changed budget may not exceed the original grant amount. Changes from the original approved training plan may reduce the amount of your grant award.
You will need to return funds if:
- fewer employees participate in the training
- the actual training cost is lower than the cost on the approved training budget
To receive the grant funds, you will need to submit a final report to CCCS within two weeks after you complete the training. You will need to include worker profiles for all participating employees.
Workers need to sign an affidavit to certify their participation in grant-funded training. Affidavits require:
- learner signatures
- a signature by an authorized company representative confirming review of identification documents that qualify workers to receive Colorado state benefits