Work accomplished under the original Boulder Together program pillars
- Overseeing recruitment of medical assistant (MA) apprentices at local healthcare providers for the second cohort of the Boulder Chamber’s registered MA apprenticeship program. The program is in partnership with Front Range Community College and Workforce Boulder County and provides a practical solution to recruiting and training a high-demand position in our region. As the sponsor, the Boulder Chamber serves as the intermediary and partners with local healthcare companies to offer the opportunity.
- Working with Careerwise Colorado to expand the presence of youth apprenticeships in Boulder County through BVSD and SVVSD. Modern youth apprenticeships connect students to career opportunities / training while still in high school and provide employers with talent. Recruitment for the 2021 – 2022 school year has begun, and there are opportunities to host a student in the following industries: manufacturing, IT, business operations, financial services, healthcare, real estate, and hospitality. Contact Corine Waldau at email@example.com if you want to learn more.
- Convening local sector partnerships to talk about the industry and community impacts of COVID-19 and identifying key initiatives within each sector to assist with short- and long-term recovery. Tech Talent Boulder is meeting July 28th and Boulder County Healthcare Sector Group is meeting August 6th. Professional Services, Restaurant, and Manufacturing will be scheduled soon, along with other industry discussions led by the Boulder Chamber to inform economic recovery efforts.
- Promoting participation in virtual job fairs to match hiring companies with dislocated workers. Congressman Joe Neguse is hosting a Virtual Job Fair on August 12th in partnership with Workforce Boulder County. Businesses hiring multiple positions are encouraged to participate and can contact the Boulder Chamber for more information.
- Participated in statewide Reenvisioning Retail (virtual) Conference put on by the Colorado Workforce Development Council, which convened the retail industry and public partners to work together on shared problems and move towards future forward mindsets and solutions.
- Coordinating BOCO Talent Collaborative booth participation at NOCOM 2020, a virtual trade show in August for manufacturers in the northern front range. This annual event brings hundreds of manufacturers, job seekers, and public partners together in support of our manufacturing industry.
- Exploring additional online certification programs that can be offered within Boulder County. The goal is to provide upskilling and stackable credential options for individuals seeking employment in one of Boulder’s technical industries.
- Working with BOCO Talent Collaborative partners on a potential community-wide job and career pathway portal that is white-listed for Boulder. The goal is to provide one resource for businesses to access in order to connect with local partners, including high education, workforce, and K-12. Conversations are still in early phases with multiple vendors.
- Placed five medical assistant (MA) apprentices at local healthcare providers for the first cohort of the Boulder Chamber’s registered MA apprenticeship program. The next cohort will begin in late Summer 2020.
- Engaging with Colorado Workforce Development Council to bring healthcare industry sector partnerships together (virtually) to build behavioral health career pathways and refresh statewide healthcare career pathways. Regional forums will be held virtually April 13, 20 and 27.
- Rebranded the Boulder County Business Response Team as BOCO Talent Collaborative, a partnership of local partners in workforce development that meets monthly to collaborate on workforce needs.
- Sponsored the 2020 Youth Job Fair on March 10th in partnership with Workforce Boulder County, BVSD and SVVSD. Hundreds of teenagers from both districts engaged with over 30 companies about summer and part-time job opportunities.
- Designed a 10x10 vendor booth for the BOCO Talent Collaborative for NOCOM 2020, which has been delayed until June 11, 2020. Booth will provide Boulder County manufacturers with local resources and an opportunity to interview and hire Boulder County displaced workers.
- Transitioning Skillful Talent Series to online, interactive sessions focused on the current workforce conditions in Boulder region. First set of virtual programs will be held in April 2020.
- Spread community awareness of the need to hire older workers and increased visibility for the 55+ Job Fair on October 15th being put on by City of Boulder, Boulder Chamber and Workforce Boulder County
- Convening the State of Colorado’s first Professional Services Sector Partnership on October 23rd to bring together banking, finance, legal, marketing, and mortgage industries and allow industries to pinpoint challenges they want to tackle locally
- Represent business community through Boulder Valley School District’s strategic planning process, serving on task forces specifically tied to programs, partnerships and skills
- Launched a restaurant sector group in Boulder to discuss the issues local businesses see around talent attraction and retention
- Offered two Healthcare Career Exploration Fairs in Boulder and Longmont to bring awareness to the community on the type of occupations and trainings that are available within the healthcare industry
- Began individualized competency-based hiring workshops for the City of Boulder in September and will continue quarterly to increase awareness and practice through the City
- Increased education for business around the importance of hiring older adult workers through a Workforce Development Lunch & Learn panel that involved Changing the Narrative, Workforce Boulder County, The Boulder Chamber, and the City of Boulder’s Senior Services
- Actively increasing apprenticeship opportunities in the region through Careerwise youth apprenticeships and Boulder Chamber-sponsored apprenticeship opportunities
- Administered the participation, meetings and deliverables for the Boulder / Broomfield Tech Sector Partnership and Boulder County Healthcare Discussion Group, including the rebranding and website development for the Boulder / Broomfield Tech Sector Partnership in conjunction with the Denver Metro Tech Partnership.
- Delivered the full Skillful Talent Series, a competency-based hiring training, to over 40 companies in the Boulder County region. Many of the participants are already beginning to apply skills-based practices into their hiring, onboarding and retention practices and are “widening the funnel” of potential applicants for jobs available.
- Attended NOCOM 2019 highlighting hundreds of manufacturing companies and partners in northern Colorado, including several from Boulder County, and secured a booth for NOCOM 2020 on April 9, 2020 to showcase manufacturing in Boulder.
- Participating in Impact on Education’s Program Advisory Committee for Boulder Valley School District.
- Host Techtonic Academy’s Boulder-based information sessions about the their tech apprenticeship program and cohort graduations at the Boulder Chamber.
- Began a “Work”ing Lunch and Learn series to help inform businesses about resources available to assist in talent needs. The May presentation on “Getting an Intern from CU” will be followed by other topics, such as DEI, Hiring 55+, Disabilities, Apprenticeships, Externships, working with K-12 and much more.
- Invited to participate on the Boulder Valley School District’s Strategic Action Planning Team for Initiative 5a, focusing on the district's plan to engage partners.
- Collaborated with workforce partners to deliver key projects to the Boulder County Healthcare Discussion Group, including the offering of a 6-month Medical Assistant Apprenticeship through Front Range Community College, a comprehensive list of healthcare training programs and allied health workforce data project.
- Partnered with St. Vrain Valley School District to invite technology, aerospace and biotech/medical companies to tour the new Innovation Center and learn about district career development, work-based learning and STEM initiatives.
- Collaborated with partners in the Boulder County Business Response Team to plan the Boulder County Youth Job Fair on March 21st. Over 70 companies, representing more than 1,500 jobs in Boulder County, are signed up to participate in the job fair on CU Boulder’s campus.
- In partnership with Workforce Boulder County and Skillful Colorado, launched Skill Works series in January 2019, a competency-based hiring training series for Boulder area businesses. After selling out initial series, we are offering another round April 3 / April 10 and planning additional trainings throughout Boulder County in 2019. For more information on the next program offering, visit https://business.boulderchamber.com/events/details/skill-works-101-102-16489.
- Introduced Careerwise Colorado and St. Vrain Valley School District to launch the youth apprenticeship program in Fall 2019. CareerWise Colorado is building a statewide system of youth apprenticeships that create pathways for students to access high-demand, high-paying careers at leading Colorado companies. Student apprentices work toward high school graduation and earn postsecondary credit, industry credentials or both in their chosen career path in manufacturing, healthcare, tech or financial services. More information about CareerWise Colorado is available at www.careerwisecolorado.org.
- Facilitate industry-driven sector discussions to identify short- and long-term options that address workforce shortages in the region. Current sector discussions include the Boulder / Broomfield Tech Sector Partnership and Boulder County Healthcare Group. A Boulder County Manufacturing Industry Group will have its initial launch meeting in late April 2019.
- Received a CDLE grant to bring a team of four, including two industry representatives, to the 2019 Next Gen Sector Academy in Austin, Texas. Boulder team learned from sector partnerships from around the nation and strategized with eight other Colorado sectors to increase the effectiveness of the partnerships.
- Participate in Road to Work Boulder, helping the non-profit members through a strategic planning process to identify a collaborative mission, outcomes and a process to interact more cooperatives with businesses in the region.
- Researching and attending best practice programs in the State of Colorado related to career pathway education, such as Get into the Guts of Healthcare and Manufacturing Rocks!, and work-based learning programs.
- Corine Waldau served on a panel at the TalentFound Quarterly Meeting to highlight how Chambers can be effective partners with economic development and workforce agencies in achieving workforce development goals.
- Successfully launched the Boulder Together workforce development initiative at the Boulder Economic Summit, an event attended by over 400 individuals.
- Helped convene the Boulder County Business Response Team, a small sub-group of the Boulder County workforce system representing K-12, business, economic development, community colleges, university, and the workforce center to discuss potential solutions to individual employer or industry-wide talent needs.
- Launched the industry-driven Boulder / Broomfield Tech Sector Partnership and received a State of Colorado $30,000 grant award to further fund the tech sector partnership’s growth.
- Exploring work-based learning opportunities in high demand industries and career opportunities with partner organizations, including apprenticeships and internships.
- Work the City of Boulder and Workforce Boulder County to host annual job fairs to support the economic mobility and vitality goals for residents and employers and to give businesses greater access to a qualified and diversified workforce.
Since Boulder Together launched in 2018, the City has added 247 affordable housing units, with significant housing under development. Many of these new units are multi-family apartments and condos that will help workers and families of more modest means attain housing in the community.
Our support of key housing initiatives includes discussions in about the Gunbarrel area as well as key sites in Central Boulder.
The Boulder Chamber is participating in the East Boulder Subcommunity Working Group, which will provide recommendations to City Council in the coming months about increasing housing options in that area of town.
- Developed a Housing Study to assess the current inventory of workforce housing, as well as the community’s needs for the future. While the distribution of the study has been postponed due to COVID-19, we will send it to employers throughout the region, leveraging our broader Northwest Chamber Alliance partners, which represent 3,600 businesses and 370,000 employees in Boulder and Broomfield Counties. We look forward to learning how the health current crisis impacts housing dynamics, and also hearing about housing needs of the future.
Working with community partners on a Housing summit, now slated for this fall. Planning is underway with leaders from Boulder Together as well as partners from the Northwest Chamber Alliance, a coalition including the Boulder, Broomfield, Louisville, Lafayette, Longmont, Superior and Latino Chamber of Boulder County. Topics will include process improvement opportunities, such as those identified in the Development and Permitting process survey. In addition, panelists will discuss regulatory opportunities, as well as financing mechanisms. We will continue to keep you apprised as the details of this event come together. If you have additional suggestion or feedback, please contact Lori.Call@BoulderChamber.com.
Launched a survey to identify opportunities to streamline the City of Boulder’s development and permitting process.
- Worked with City of Boulder Planning and Development Review staff, members of the development community and others involved with this type of work to build a survey that will help assess the current processes and identify areas of opportunity; survey is underway, and results will be leveraged to identify baseline metrics and future areas of focus
- Contracted with two local communication firms, Vermilion and MAPR, to help advance our goal to increase communication to the community to help people understand the downstream ramifications of housing scarcity; campaign advocates that our community include housing options for teachers, health care providers and individuals at varying socioeconomic levels
- Working in concert with the private and public sector to convene a stakeholder meeting to discuss housing financing mechanisms, low-cost/no cost opportunities to improve efficiencies and building costs, and regional zoning and other best practices
- A housing study will be kicked off shortly to determine workforce housing needs to serve Boulder; focus will address the current workforce housing baseline and goal, and further delineating how many employees want to live in Boulder
- Advocated support to legislative delegation for HB19-1319 Incentives Developers Facilitate Affordable Housing and HB19-1322 Expand Supply of Affordable Housing—signed by Governor.
- Initiated strategic collaboration with County and City leadership on Regional Housing Partnership goals.
- Advocated for annexation of University of Colorado South Campus in Biz West and provided ongoing support for CU South and its opportunity to expand housing inventory.
- Advocated to Boulder City Council for mixed-use housing options at Alpine-Balsam.
- Convening local housing (and commercial) development leaders to set priority focus areas for expedited planning review and permitting.
- Advancing regional workforce housing strategies through collaboration with Northwest Chamber Alliance with focus on public education, creative financing and regulatory reform.
- Provide critical input to City Council and staff on proposed use table updates and the opportunity zone moratorium as part of strategy to advance zoning that increases housing inventory.
- Strategized on federal housing funding opportunities with Senator Michael Bennet’s office and part of the effort to apply outside funding to achieving our Boulder Together housing goals.
- Tackled housing pressures and national solutions, as well as other key issues, in a Policy Roundtable discussion with Congressman Joe Neguse we hosted for our Boulder Together investors and other Boulder Chamber business leaders.
- In line with our goal of expanding understanding regarding the workforce housing challenges, we led a packed session with the local entrepreneur community during Boulder Startup Week that shared information and sought their input on solutions to addressing the ongoing pressures central to our Boulder Together pillars.
- We are working in collaboration with Boulder County’s government housing programs to plan the second county-wide affordable housing summit. We were invited to the table based on the success of our Northwest Chamber Alliance Affordable Workforce Housing Summit. We will work to infuse the suggested strategies for increasing the supply of workforce housing into the summit program.
Worked with the Northwest Chamber Alliance to prioritize the following three areas of focus for our regional workforce housing efforts:
Collect the true data on our workforce housing needs.
Work with the investment community, including interested banks and businesses, to develop a list of effective financing tools for workforce housing.
Work with our respective planning departments and outside experts to develop best practices for making planning review and permitting processes more time and cost efficient.
We are developing an implementation plan for each of these items, all of which are consistent with our Boulder Together priorities.
- The Boulder Chamber hired a new Director of Policy Programs, Lori Call, who will assume responsibility for implementation of Boulder Together’s Workforce Housing goals.
Convened the Regional Workforce Housing Summit through our partnership with the Northwest Chamber Alliance, applying the creative insights from a diverse mix of business leaders to develop solutions for our workforce housing challenges. See summary report of the proposed solutions.
Prioritizing the most effective ideas and solutions for addressing our regional workforce housing challenges with the Northwest Chamber Alliance, while also identifying the most effective solutions for the Boulder community.
Accepting proposals for implementing the planned workforce housing assessment, in order to determine the full scope and character of our workforce housing challenge.
Convened the leadership of our development community, the Collaborative Planning and Development Forum, to begin establishing metrics for our efforts to track progress in improvements to Boulder’s project review and permitting procedures.
Working with a diverse group of housing advocates and developers to create the Innovate for Impact proposal to establish procedures for neighborhoods, individuals and developers to propose pilot projects to City of Boulder to address affordable housing for Boulder area employees.
Identified process, technical assistance teams, review criteria, and have submitted overall proposal to City of Boulder’s Planning and Community Development Department for staff review and approval. Now recruiting project evaluator and seeking funding for Innovate for Impact project administration.
Working with University of Colorado Boulder, City of Boulder, the Department of Transportation and the Army Corps of Engineers in the annexation of CU South properties.
Reviewed CU South land use and flood control issues with CU staff heading up CU annexation process.
Organized meetings between impacted South Boulder neighborhood and Frasier Meadows residents, Board and staff.
Organized advocacy effort and education program from neighborhood and Frasier to City Council to adopt option for flood control configuration and allow forward progress towards annexation.
- Working with the City of Boulder and the Regional Housing Partnership in preparing profiles of local company employees including wages, expenses, types of housing for which the employee/family might qualify, and the availability of the affordable housing type by community.
- Continue to provide input to the City of Boulder’s initiative to more clearly define “community benefit” and establish policies and procedures by which qualifying projects and proposals may either be exempted from or facilitated through existing requirements.
- Due in part to Boulder Chamber advocacy efforts, an e-Scooter program will be implemented in East Boulder beginning in 2021.
- Micro-mobility Solutions: Successfully advocated for establishing a dockless shared e-Bike program city-wide to provide an additional mode for intercity travel for our workforce, as well as a low cost first and final mile solution that connects our regional commuters to their final destinations.
- SH 119/SH 7: Continued our advocacy efforts to secure federal infrastructure funding for our region in the next economic recovery package by re-affirming commitments from our U.S. Senate Candidates through direct conversations with our Northwest Chamber Alliance.
- RTD Service and Regional Transit Commitment: Directly advocated for our regional workforce commuters’ transit needs by assuring RTD must maintain its commitments to our region in the midst of regional analyzing regional service reductions.
- Funding for SH 119: Successfully protected funding that had been dedicated to the Northwest Rail and future SH 119 Bus Rapid Transit infrastructure improvements when it was at risk to be re-allocated elsewhere in the region by the RTD Board of Directors.
- State Highway 7/East Arapahoe: Significant state-level investments have been secured to begin improvements in State Highway 7/East Arapahoe corridor from Boulder to Brighton for our regional workforce commuters. Infrastructure improvements will begin with reconstruction of the I-25 and SH 7 interchange.
- State Highway 119/The Diagonal: Our advocacy continues in the SH 119 corridor from Boulder to Longmont as we ensure First and Final Mile solutions meet workforce and economic needs through a study currently underway. We continue in our advocacy towards the United States Department of Transportation for federal investments to further build upon the $40 million investment we secured from CDOT to begin the redesign of SH 119 & SH 52.
- On-Demand Micro-Transit Workforce Shuttles: As RTD continues to face hardship and uncertainty, we continue to engage in conversations with local mobility providers like Via Mobility Services, to deliver innovative on-demand micro-transit shuttle services which will serve our essential workers and job centers. Establishing these innovative services now will put solutions in place to further serve our workforce once economic activity increases. It is important that as our workforce commutes differently, we continue to identify gaps in transit service so we can effectively, efficiently and safely deploy micro-transit solutions that serve our workforce.
- Dockless e-Bikeshare Technology: Through successful advocacy to Boulder’s City Council, the Chamber was able to open our community to establish shared e-bike services accessible to all. This first and final mile advancement is a cost-effective method to deploy dockless e-bikes throughout all areas of the city for connecting commuters to regional transit service, or to their places of work and homes. This collaborative effort with the City of Boulder and with local operators, Boulder B-Cycle, brings a new service to our community that will have environmental and economic benefits.
- Advancing regional workforce mobility planning for our major transportation corridors in need of infrastructure improvements
- SH 119: Private-sector representative in the SH 119 Partnership to drive CDOT improvements; beginning with re-design and implementation of 63rd Street and SH 52 intersections and corridor-wide bikeway as first steps to improving the corridor.
- SH 7: Private sector voice on SH 7 Coalition to advance corridor-wide improvements; providing business community leadership in the East Boulder Subcommunity Plan to re-envision the corridor and meet workforce needs.
- Regional Transit: Successfully advocated to maintain regional transit service for the Bolder Boulder, and engaged in efforts to maintain regional transit service for corridors such as State Highway 7 – which is a key focus of our Boulder Together transportation planning efforts. The Boulder Chamber sent this letter encouraging the RTD Board to maintain service levels and testified in public meetings to reinforce these messages.
- Increase transportation funding and investments
- Lobbying congress & federal government agencies to secure federal investments to close the funding gaps to complete our regional corridor improvements and to include transportation funding in the federal stimulus packages that address the long-term strategies for economic stimulus post-COVID.
- Was a regional leader on a statewide letter to the Governor’s Cabinet, Legislative Leaders and the State’s Joint Budget Committee, to include transportation infrastructure investments as any part of a state-level economic stimulus package that results in our response to COVID recovery.
- Customized transportation solutions for Boulder's workforce
- Led a partnership team with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, University of Colorado and our partners at Via Mobility Services to apply for Department of Energy federal grants for supporting the implementation of our Boulder Together on-demand workforce shuttle service that will explore customized mobility solutions for Gunbarrel employers
- Collaborating with NREL to attract and deliver new, nationally innovative employer mobility solutions for Boulder businesses through additional federal granting opportunities.
- Exploring new sit down scooter technology to deliver a pilot that provides new innovative, first and final mile solutions for Boulder’s workforce in areas underserved by direct regional transit connections
- Expediting the implementation of improvements for State Highway 119/the Diagonal through the completion of the SH 119 BRT Feasibility Study
- Integrated business community input into the City of Boulder’s Transportation Master Plan to shape local funding strategies
- Leading local advocacy for Proposition CC to retain state revenues for transportation funding
- Developing strategies for transportation funding advocacy for the 2020 legislative session and regionally for the 2020 ballot
- Hosting and organizing multiple forums for assessing City Council candidates’ views on transportation investments and improving workforce mobility
- Attracting new transportation technology providers to Boulder for implementing mobility innovations that will directly provide services for our local workforce
- Leading efforts to explore new mobility options for different sections of Boulder: Gunbarrel (on-demand workforce shuttles) and Flatirons Business Park (e-Scooters)
- Successfully lobbied during the 2019 session of the Colorado General Assembly for the passage of House bills that approved the allocation of state revenues for transportation funding.
- Creating implementable mobility projects that serve our workforce through various potential technology platforms, such as autonomous vehicle technology, micro-mobility options and other innovations.
- Developing new analytical tools with national researchers for collecting transportation data to develop small scale solutions that offer immediate relief.
- Advancing comprehensive solutions for regional corridors SH 119/The Diagonal and SH 7/East Arapahoe that improve travel for all modes that can be funded and implemented.
- Convened regional partners, legislators and employers through a Boulder Chamber Policy Roundtable to define strategies for funding our workforce transportation needs through State, regional and local initiatives.
Provided regional business sector leadership in unveiling of the Mobility Choice Blueprint, positioning Boulder as a target community for the implementation of advanced mobility solutions.
Served as the representative of business interests in panel discussion with CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew to kick-off the City of Boulder’s Transportation Master Plan update process.
Represented the Northwest Chamber Alliance in Washington, DC lobbying campaign with a regional coalition of elected officials and transportation administrators, engaging members of the U.S. Congress, and federal agencies such the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, and the Federal Railroad Administration to advocate for funding Boulder-area transportation priorities, like capacity improvements for State Highway 119.
Exploring federal funding opportunities, like the soon-to-be-issued BUILD grants, as possible funding opportunity for our regional transportation infrastructure.
Advocated for increased state transportation funding along with our Northwest Chamber Alliance partners in State Capitol meetings with Governor Jared Polis, Colorado Department of Transportation Director Shoshana Lew, Speaker of the House K.C. Becker and other state legislative leaders. Assessing potential support for statewide de-Brucing measure to secure transportation resources.
Acting as a lead in collaboration with the University of Colorado and National Renewable Energy Laboratory to pursue federal funding to implement a pilot project in Boulder deploying advanced mobility technology to resolve first and final mile challenges for our workforce commuters.
Providing regional business sector leadership and representation for the planning of major transportation infrastructure improvements on SH 119/the Diagonal and State Highway 7 from Brighton to Boulder.
Providing regional business leadership on major Denver metro area initiatives, such as the RTD First and Final Mile Study, and the Mobility Choice Blueprint.
Representing the Boulder business community on regional coalitions such as the Northwest Chamber Alliance and in the SH 7 Coalition.
Successfully advocated for the prioritization of regional transportation investments that meet Boulder County’s workforce mobility needs with the CDOT Transportation Commission for the prioritization of our regional projects at the state level.
Convened forums on lessons learned from the 2018 Ballot Initiatives and alternative strategies for funding our state and regional transportation priorities.
Took a significant leadership role within our region to support the campaign for Proposition 110, Let’s Go Colorado, which would have established a statewide sales tax to fund transportation investments throughout Colorado - The result was Boulder County passing this initiative, while it failed at the state level.
Working in support of broadband infrastructure planning and funding to accelerate the adoption of advanced mobility technologies.
Convening a network of public and private sector partners to establish a coalition of transportation experts for implementing a pilot project in Boulder that uses advanced mobility technology to resolve first and final mile challenges.