Herald Reports on Project RUN

In a comprehensive analysis, the La Plata Economic Development Alliance has identified several skill-set gaps in Southwest Colorado’s workforce. The Alliance, in partnership with Fort Lewis College (FLC), has unveiled a groundbreaking plan to enhance the region’s skilled labor workforce. Project Rural Upstart Network (RUN) introduces micro-certifications to bridge skill gaps. A $1.2 million startup award from Opportunity Now Colorado supports Project RUN.

The Alliances’s analysis reveals challenges in recruiting and retaining high-caliber employees. Over 55,000 jobs were posted in the region between Jan 2021 and Oct 2022, highlighting workforce demands. “It’s getting harder and harder to recruit and bring people in,” says Michael French, “It’s easier to train people that already live here than try to find housing for people that we bring in from outside the community.”

The collaboration aims to address labor shortages and employee retention by offering specialized courses, particularly in high-demand sectors like healthcare. Read the full coverage in the Durango Herald to understand how the Alliance and FLC are pioneering solutions for a robust workforce in Region 9.