Construction Careers Contribution Fund to Support Denver Youth

Published on November 16, 2021

Denver- The City and County of Denver announced a new, voluntary contribution to be collected with building permit fees beginning early 2022. This contribution will fund youth-focused construction careers and talent development efforts in the Denver Public School (DPS) system. Starting in 2022, permit customers will have the option to provide a contribution of $25 for residential permits and $200 for commercial permits. Permit customers who do not wish to make a contribution will have the option to opt-out. 

The contribution fund is a joint project of Community Planning and Development (CPD) and Denver Economic Development and Opportunity (DEDO), and it will expand education opportunities for DPS students interested in or curious about construction careers. The fund was approved by Denver City Council Monday night. 

“We are thrilled to be moving this forward as it supports a mutual goal between the construction industry and the City and County of Denver: Building a strong talent pipeline while also strengthening options for upward mobility among Denver residents, and specifically our youth,” said DEDO Interim Executive Director, Jen Morris. “Denver has ambitious investments planned for our built environment, and we are excited to bring homegrown talent to support that expansion.” 

“This fund is a win-win for our youth and our economy. Providing education opportunities to students interested in construction careers not only opens a viable career path for Denver’s youth, it also helps the city generate the skilled construction talent pipeline it needs to succeed,” said Laura E. Aldrete, Executive Director of Community Planning and Development. 

As Denver continues investing in its built environment, the region’s construction talent pipeline will need extensive growth to support the infrastructure expansion as well as large-scale commercial and cultural projects planned. The Construction Careers Contribution Fund is designed specifically to expand youth-focused construction careers and talent development efforts within DPS. 

Through a modest, voluntary, opt-out contribution collected at the time of both residential and commercial building permits, the program will support expanded industry-based curricula, paid internships and career exposure for Denver youth, and work-based learning/apprenticeship pathways into the construction industry.  

Careers in construction can serve as an important alternative career path and provide upward economic mobility for students who do not plan to attend college or were otherwise intending on entering the workforce after high school. DPS currently has Careers in Construction programming at three schools: Career Education Center Early College, George Washington High School, and Legacy Options. It is a goal of this program to initially fund the participation of at least two additional DPS schools. 

The contribution fund will be managed by a multi-agency oversight committee composed of one representative each from Community Planning and Development and the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, two representatives from the Department of Economic Development and Opportunity, two from the construction industry, and two representing construction labor. 

About Denver Economic Development & Opportunity

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 Denver Community Planning and Development (CPD) is responsible for visionary city planning and ensuring safe, responsible, sustainable building. Visit, and follow CPD on Twitter @DenverCPD and Instagram at @Denver_Landmark.