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2009 June 1 - 12:00 am

MONEY TREE: Colorado Gov. Signs Bill Bolstering Job Training Programs at Colleges

Colorado Gov. Signs Bill Bolstering Job Training Programs at Colleges

DENVER (AP) — Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter signed two of the top-priority bills for job creation and business development from this session of the state Legislature.

The bills will strengthen job-training programs with industry and community colleges and provide tax incentives to companies that create new jobs.

Ritter signed another bill that will require homebuilders to offer prospective homeowners the option of having their home pre-wired for solar energy and heating.

“We’re facing an unprecedented economic downturn. Everyone is struggling. That’s why we’re focusing on jobs,” Ritter said as he signed the bills, surrounded by business leaders at Denver’s World Trade Center.

The community college measure will build on legislation passed last year to create partnerships between businesses and community colleges to train workers for renewable energy jobs.

Current training programs are restricted to employees who already have jobs and are getting new skills. The new legislation will create training programs available to anyone.

The jobs bill, meanwhile, will allow companies to apply to the Colorado Economic Development Commission for a state income tax credit for creating at least 20 new jobs in urban areas or five new jobs in rural areas that pay wages above the local average.

Democratic Sen. Rollie Heath said the bill will attract new companies to Colorado to put people to work.

Mike Kazmierski, president of the Economic Development Council of Colorado Springs, said last month, 250 families a day in Colorado experience job loss. He said the bills will provide significant help attracting new jobs.

“This is a game changer,” he said. 

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