Walmart grant to fund workforce efforts

A $500,000 grant will help fund efforts to develop the Colorado workforce.

The  Colorado Workforce Development Council announced it received the grant from Walmart to support the Advancing Individual Ownership of Assets and Career Determination initiative. The initiative will help job seekers more easily define and share their professional qualifications online with employers, access better data to select quality training providers and enroll in training that leads to employment in high-demand occupations. The initiative also will help employers identify workers with skills and credentials that meet their needs.

The effort will enable more Colorado residents — specifically those from historically marginalized populations — to obtain education and training to help them pursue careers and economic prosperity.

“We are excited to support these important efforts in Colorado as we collaborate across the workforce ecosystem to improve economic outcomes for workers,” said Sean Murphy, director of opportunity at “We aim to increase equitable access to economic opportunity. Critical to that goal is ensuring that job seekers and workers can clearly and easily define their education, experiences and skills to prospective employers. This work in Colorado will help inform similar efforts nationwide.”

Digital infrastructure will enable any Colorado resident to access a learning and employment record — an online record that documents their skills, credentials, education and work experiences. Once the information is contained in a digital wallet, residents can authorize their information to be verified and shared across learning management systems, educational platforms, human resource systems and more.

The creation of a digital wallet will strengthen connections between employers in need of talent and workers with job-relevant skills to ease hiring challenges and make hiring processes more efficient. One recent report estimated it costs an average of $4,700 and takes an average of 54 days to find new hires.

“Equipping individuals with digital records of their own verified skills puts the power of training and work decisions back in the hands of workers,” said Renise Walker, assistant director of systems innovation at the Colorado Workforce Development Council. “At the same time, it enables employers to make effective and informed hiring decisions based on the skills required to fill a position.”

Through a collaboration with Credential Engine, the initiative also will make it easier for Colorado residents to assess which training providers offer training.