Workforce Development Roundup: Colorado tech jobs jump, Utah ‘coding’ clubs for girls, Oregon invests in construction

The Chairman’s Initiative of South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard is leveraging the region’s best thinking to bridge the gap between prospective workers and employers in the West. In addition to hosting workshops and webinars, WGA provides periodic updates on workforce development in western states. 

Arizona is expected to add more than 150,000 jobs in the next two years, based on projections by the state Office of Economic Opportunity. Construction and finance are the two “supersector” industries expected to see the largest percentage jump.  

Apprenticeship programs are gaining traction in Nevada, where construction, manufacturing and healthcare are booming. According to the Governor’s Office of Workforce Innovation, “By 2024, Nevada will have more than 600,000 available jobs, with approximately half of these jobs being newly created.” 

High school students in Kansas are gaining hands-on work experience through manufacturing internships to build career awareness, stimulate interest in good-paying, in-demand jobs, and strengthen the talent pipeline for the aircraft industry.

Colorado added an estimated 6,350 jobs in the tech industry in 2017, contributing $43.3 billion to the economy. The additional jobs mean that tech employment grew by 2.3 percent overall in 2017, the report says, the 10th-highest rate in the nation.  

Wyoming hunters, anglers and wildlife viewers supported more than 9,600 jobs and spent almost $800 million in 2016 according to a recent report. Travel, licenses, equipment, hospitality and guide services accounted for the biggest contributions.    

Beginning in fall 2018, nearly 50 coding clubs for girls will be launched in Utah schools, libraries and community centers. The partnership between Adobe, Dell EMC, Girls Who Code, Microsoft and the Utah STEM Action Center aims to raise awareness and visibility of technology careers among young women. 

Oregon construction firms are offering training opportunities, apprenticeships, increased wages, hiring bonuses and expanded benefits to attract and retain workers in the state’s competitive job market and replace the industry’s aging workforce.

Get the latest news about the West and its governors by following the Western Governors' Association on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


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