WORKNOW facilitates community-centered hiring on infrastructure projects to improve economic self-sufficiency for local residents and to provide project contractors with a pipeline of local workers in craft and professional service positions. Through an alliance of existing organizations that integrate training and community resources to support comprehensive construction career readiness, WORKNOWensures that working families living in communities directly affected by enterprise economic development projects benefit from those project opportunities.
To achieve this objective, WORKNOW operational strategies include:
- Find and prepare workforce for construction industry opportunities—including craft, office and professional service
- Integrate and scale supportive services, particularly access to child care to support working families with effective and seamless navigation assistance
- Resolve barriers that prevent people of color and women from finding and keeping good construction jobs
- Provide technical assistance and best practice dissemination to drive policy and practice to foster inclusive economies and effective career-building pathways
WORKNOW emerged from a series of stakeholder roundtable sessions hosted by the Colorado Department of Transportation. The partnership addresses several issues impacting workforce service delivery, including:
- High duplication of efforts
- Limited shared measures of success
- Siloed funding environments and limited alignment across work support and training organizations
- Low-income working parents being stalled by service barriers
- Local employers unsure how to find and build skilled workers
- Substantial shortage of construction workers needed to deliver projects according to project schedules and budgets
Colorado Resource Partners (CORE) is an alliance of organizations that integrates training and community resource partners for comprehensive construction workforce readiness and career success. CORE presents the employment platform, WORKNOW to place, retain and advance workers in this industry. We help people find and keep good construction jobs. This collaborative came together because of a shared commitment to ensure that families living in communities directly affected by construction projects can access the employment and skills development opportunities those projects provide.
An alliance of existing organizations came together to work in a new way to ensure that families living in communities directly affected by construction projects benefit from them. These partners include—Community College of Denver’s Center for Workforce Initiatives, the Office of Economic Development’s Denver Workforce Services and its sub-contractors, Denver Housing Authority, Focus Points Family Resource Center, Mi Casa Resource Center, Denver Area Labor Federation, DenverWorks, mPowered, and WorkLife Partnership. In addition, training partners build foundational and technical skills and include community-based training programs, registered apprenticeships, community and technical colleges, and trade associations. CORE/WORKNOW is not a static partnership and welcomes training or resource partners that share the collaborative objectives and commitment to collective vision, impact and evaluation.
Not really. WORKNOW improves awareness and access to existing programs and services. What is new is coordinated access points for job seekers, current construction workers, and contractors, resources and tools to support and expand local service programs, and a trained corps of navigators working to address individual and family self-sufficiency in a holistic way. Our private, public, and non-profit resource partners all know that none of us can meet our daunting workforce and family resource needs alone.
They’re part of the answer, which is about empowering all interested residents with income and opportunity growth. While unemployment is low in our region, the rates of unemployment are substantially higher in some neighborhoods. We know that construction industry jobs, particularly on public projects, offer high-wage, high-growth pathways, and we believe that raising family income is one component to sustaining families.
WORKNOW and its training and resource partner organizations want to improve how we all help people find and keep good construction jobs. The partnership measures impact through data tracking on outreach activity, training completions, placement, and retention (both on a job and in the industry). At the individual and family level, metrics track income gains, skills development and increased access to resources. This data will be shared quarterly and annually through public venues to support program accountability and continuous improvement.