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Popular Program Preparing Colorado Students for High-Demand Professions Will be Expanded

More Colorado students will soon have access to career-focused paths that prepare them for high-paying jobs in high-growth fields.

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed House Bill 1266 on Tuesday, expanding the popular Career Development Success Program.

During a two-year pilot program, nearly 30 school districts have received a roughly $500 bonus for each student who earned an industry certification in an in-demand field.

In the first year, the number of students earning industry certifications increased by 60 percent in participating districts with demand exceeding the funds provided with the 2016 law.

Not only does the program help the state meet labor market demands, similar programs nationally have increased the graduation rate as well.

HB 1266 extends the program through 2024 and helps ensure more equitable sharing of funds statewide.

“Greater access to work-based learning in schools is a win for Colorado students and local employers alike. The Career Development Success Program’s expansion will help thousands more Colorado students acquire the skills and credentials needed for success in Colorado’s high-growth, high-paying jobs.


“We are thankful for the leadership of this legislation’s bipartisan sponsors and look forward to partnering with more school districts to offer these valuable opportunities.”


Scott Laband, President of Colorado Succeeds


“Preparing students for life after high school graduation is one of the paramount challenges our nation is facing. Expanding the Career Success Development Program prepares students for high-paying jobs and high-growth fields. It also increases GPAs and high school graduation rates as more students benefit from the value of having a clear path toward success in college and careers.


“I want to thank the bipartisan group of lawmakers who supported this legislation and our partners including Colorado Succeeds and so many others.”


Patricia Levesque, Chief Executive Officer, ExcelinEd