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DENVER -- A booming construction industry has created a serious need for workers, but making that connection between job seekers and employers can be a challenge.
"I worked a lot of other jobs and I'd seen myself really not going anywhere," said Ricky Davis.
Davis found a new opportunity through a program called WORKNOW and he just got promoted. WORKNOW connects members with training for construction careers and — ultimately — jobs. The program also takes it a step further by helping workers with other needs that may arise.
“Childcare support, support buying tools for their first job, getting access to boots, gas cards or bus passes to get to work or they have work and they’ve suddenly changed assignments and they suddenly need transportation support," said Katrina Wert with Center for Workforce Initiatives at Community College of Denver.
Wert explains the program has been successful through a partnership with 12 Metro Denver organizations. Those groups have come together to create new opportunities for anyone looking to change careers or advance in the construction industry.
"They also come to us for career guidance and industry. This is a group of organizations that are really trying to specialize in, 'what do career opportunities in this industry look like and how can we connect our community residents to these jobs?'" said Wert.
Statistics show it's been a success. WORKNOW has helped 252 people find their first job in construction and that has exceeded Wert's expectations.
“Significantly over the targets we’ve set for ourselves, we’re excited about that but we’re just getting started," said Wert.