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Government Helping To Bridge The Skills Gap

DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado is facing a large skills gap when it comes to jobs in advanced manufacturing, technology and aerospace. The skills those jobs require are not the skills that Colorado graduates have.

Business, education, and government have come together to address the problem in several different ways.

The latest effort comes from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. It's developing a program called Linked, which will match liberal arts college students with projects at various businesses. Businesses will be able to submit a project, students will apply online, and then Linked and a third-party consultant will come up with a student team to meet the needs of the business proposal.

The Linked program will be project based, which means the students won't be done until the project is done. The students will also work with a third-party consulting firm through the length of the project, so as to lighten the burden on the business of having student workers.

"Of the roughly 40,000 undergraduate degrees that we generate in the state, about half of them are in liberal arts so we're focusing specifically on that to provide those students more access to what a business construct is like and to give businesses more access to that future talent pool," said Anna Ewing, COO of the state office.

The Linked program is in the pilot stage. From October 2017 to June 2018, the COEDIT will run 6-8 initial projects to get the ball rolling. They hope to have the online platform and all the kinks worked out by July of 2018.

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