Weekly Policy Update: State Legislators Introduce Bill to Extend Innovative Industries Internship Program
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 03/06/2020
State legislators introduced a bill this week to extend the Innovative Industries Internship Program for another five years. The program was created in 2015 to meet the critical needs of Colorado’s local economy in finding qualified talent for innovative industry-related businesses. Through the program, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment awards matching grants of up to $5,000 per intern for on the job training in one of the eight innovative industries, which include:
- Advanced Manufacturing
- Energy & Natural Resources
- Information Technology
Since its creation, the program has been highly utilized by the bioscience industry. It has been particularly beneficial for smaller companies, allowing them to attract and hire top candidates and offer competitive wages. The program has also been pivotal in supporting Colorado’s work-based learning continuum and providing students or recent graduates with hands-on experience in innovative, start-up related sectors.
One of CBSA’s policy priorities for the 2020 legislative session is to advance workforce development initiatives that create a talent pipeline for our state’s growing life sciences ecosystem, and that includes ensuring the innovative industries internship program is extended. CBSA is working closely with other industry associations to make sure legislators understand the value of the internship program for students, small businesses, and Colorado’s growing economy.
House Bill 1346, Extend Innovative Industries Workforce Development, is sponsored by Rep. Shannon Bird and Rep. Lisa Cutter in the House and Sen. Pete Lee and Sen. Dennis Hisey in the Senate. It has been scheduled for a hearing in the House Business Affairs & Labor Committee on April 1.
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