City boosts workforce services, adds providers - $2.4M in relief funds

Published on November 18, 2021

DENVER - Denver Economic Development & Opportunity (DEDO) has selected nine local nonprofit partners to help reinforce its existing delivery of both adult and youth jobseeker services, contracting for a total of $2,441,835 in pandemic-related federal and state funds and managed by DEDO’s Workforce Services division. 

“We have intentionally put a focus on selecting partners that specialize providing not only basic job search skills, but also opportunities for reskilling, upskilling, and next-skilling that can help Denver residents attain good paying jobs, right here in our city,” said Jen Morris, DEDO’s Interim Executive Director. “Many of these programs focus on supporting under-resourced populations who have been most negatively affected by the pandemic--women, veterans, justice-involved, or out of school youth, among others.” 

These programs complement and amplify the city’s existing jobseeker and employer services which include job search training and support, job fairs and hiring events, internships, and career exploration. 

The city’s new workforce partners with one-year contracts are: 

Jewish Family Services 
JFS is a 150-year-old human services agency serving Colorado. The contract for $400,000 will help newly unemployed Denver residents and those who are facing additional barriers to employment due to the pandemic. . 

Center for Work Education & Employment (CWEE)
CWEE serves low-income adults who are unemployed or underemployed and specializes in working with individuals who are experiencing one or more barriers to employment. The contract for $225,685 will bring essential skills-building with a primary focus on digital literacy  . 

Work Options for Women 
Work Options, formerly known as Work Options for Women or WOW, helps people overcome barriers to employment by building confidence while providing resources and culinary job training. The contract for $371,500 is specifically focused on increasing self-sufficiency, literacy and financial literacy, independent living skills, and job training. 

Mi Casa Resource Center 
The Mi Casa Resource Center (MCRC) Career Pathways program offers technical skills training, coaching, navigation, and employment placement support. The contract for $325,000 will focus on adult basic education, English as a second language, and digital literacy.

Servicios de La Raza 
Servicios de La Raza’s mission is to build and cultivate a thriving Colorado Latino community where all members have the opportunities and support systems to achieve equity, self-sufficiency, and self determination to lead a healthy quality of life. The contract for $325,000 will focus on training and credentials to alleviate barriers to employment. 

Second Chance Center 
SCC offers case management, mentoring, and vital resources to assist justice-involved individuals in reestablishing their lives and becoming successful members of the community. The contract for $325,000 will expand their pre-apprenticeship and job placement program. 

Prodigy Ventures 
Prodigy Coffeehouse is a social enterprise run by the talent of young adults from Northeast Denver who have previously been disconnected from school and/or work. The contract for $163,250 will support short-term training and credentials, including navigating placement in occupational training,
pre-apprenticeships, and apprenticeships. 

Denver Housing Authority's Academy to Work 
The DHA Academy to Work serves Denver residents ages 18+ from diverse backgrounds and communities of color throughout Denver. The contract for $156,400 will support short-term training completions and credentials. 

Mile High Youth Corps 
Mile High Youth Corps serves diverse young adults with varying degrees of education, socioeconomic status, and work experience. The contract for $150,000 will increase self-sufficiency, literacy, independent living, and job skills training. 

DEDO/Denver Workforce Services posted an RFP for this round of funding in mid-2021 and selected these nine partners to contract with following a rigorous procurement process. 

The funds for these contracts are from a United States Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant specifically for coronavirus relief (CDBG-CV) as well as state grants through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). 

All contracts are underway and jobseekers are encouraged to call 720-337-WORK (9675) or start with to tap into these and other existing city workforce services that will meet their individual needs. 

About Denver Economic Development & Opportunity 
Denver Economic Development & Opportunity is leading an inclusive and innovative economy for all Denver residents, businesses, and neighborhoods by supporting local and global business development, workforce development programs, and stabilization efforts in Denver’s diverse neighborhoods. Learn more at