New Study Analyzes Return On Investment of City’s Workforce Development Stimulus Funding

Denver’s Workforce Development ARRA Funds to Net $27.7 Million for Regional Economy
Denver Office of Economic Development publishes 2011 Economic Impact Forecast, analyzing the return on investment of City’s workforce development stimulus funding


The Denver Office of Economic Development (OED) has released a new study, forecasting the regional economic impact of the City and County of Denver’s workforce development-related American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. Among its many findings, the study forecasts $27.7 million in earnings impact generated by regional workers by year-end 2011.


The publication, 2011 Economic Impact Forecast: An analysis of the return on investment of City and County of Denver workforce stimulus funding, is available online at


“This study affirms that our workforce development federal stimulus funds have resulted in much more than direct job creation,” said OED Deputy Director John Lucero. “These investments produce a significant multiplier effect for the regional economy, benefitting businesses through additional sales across numerous industries.”


The non-mandated study was conducted in order to measure the economic impacts of recent stimulus funds on the Denver-Aurora metropolitan statistical area between March 2009, and September 2010. The forecast focuses on quantifiable economic impacts of the $3.6 million in ARRA and Hire Colorado funding awarded to Denver for its adult programs. Among the study’s findings:


  • Job Creation: A forecasted minimum of 530 jobs will be created by year-end 2011. This includes 298 direct full-time placements to date and 232 forecasted indirect placements. Forecasted funding per job added to date is $6,811.
  • Business Earnings: $27.7 million in earnings impact generated by regional workers is forecasted by year-end 2011. Maximum return on public investment for earnings impact is estimated at $7.68 for each stimulus dollar invested.
  • Sales: $71 million effect on sales impact will have been generated by regional businesses by year-end 2011. Maximum return on public investment for sales impact is estimated at $19.79 for each stimulus dollar invested.


The workforce development programs funded placements in a number of industry clusters, including OED’s targeted workforce industries that include construction, energy, green jobs, health care and core growth (retail and hospitality). Top industries represented among direct job placements include: specialty trade contractors; professional, scientific and technical services; food service; merchant wholesalers; administrative and support services; hospitals; building construction; accommodations; ambulatory care; and nursing and residential care.


“Our federal stimulus programming simply builds upon our success in providing talent development services to businesses and job seekers each year,” said Jeff Fitzgerald, acting director of Workforce Development for the Denver Office of Economic Development. “This positive forecast is reflective of the incredible effort exerted by our staff to connect Denver businesses with access to labor, while assisting residents with skill development and conducting a successful job search.”


The study was based on preliminary placement data supplied by ARRA and Hire Colorado participants. Employment data was used to develop a frequency list of North American Industry Classification System codes, which were applied to an input-output model provided by Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc. Based on U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data, the model identified the broad-reaching impact that adding one job in one industry might have on other industries throughout the region.


The study was authored by the Denver Office of Economic Development. Key contributors include the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business, Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc., Denver Workforce Investment Board, Colorado Urban Workforce Alliance and Arapahoe/Douglas Works!

Posted on Friday, March 25, 2011 (Archive on Monday, January 01, 0001)
Posted by kpellegrin  Contributed by kpellegrin