If you are a Colorado career coach, apply to be part of the second Governor's Coaching Corps today by clicking here! If you know someone who would be a good fit, please ask them to consider applying. The deadline to apply is August 17th, 2018.

Last Friday, the Governor’s Coaching Corps’ (GCC) first class graduated.

As the Manager of Skillful’s Coaching Initiative, the day was bittersweet for me. I was sad that an exciting chapter was ending, but I was also incredibly proud of the 28 career coaches that completed the intensive, eight-month leadership and skills development program. The program, sponsored in part by Microsoft, was a rewarding, if at times overwhelming, experience.

During the GCC training program, these exceptional coaches from workforce centers, colleges, high schools, and nonprofit organizations learned new practices and technologies and bonded as peers, all to better serve job seekers. The coaches attended four retreats which featured expert speakers and hands-on tutorials. They also broke into five action teams and devoted time between retreats researching five different issues affecting the workforce ecosystem. These action teams developed recommendations and presented them to state leaders and Microsoft last week.

Meet Kristen Miller, Participant in the Governor’s Coaching Corps from The Markle Foundation on Vimeo.

It was truly inspiring to see coaches from all over the state come together to propose solutions to problems that affect too many Coloradans: Action Teams 2 and 3 proposed changes to increase access to services for the underemployed, those with disabilities, and mature workers. Team 5 recommended methods to assess and improve feedback loops between employers and coaches, while Team 1 presented a framework to help career coaches find digital tools to better serve job seekers. Action Team 4 showed how human connections can bridge the gap between education and workforce institutions.

These coaches provided a model for future GCC cohorts to conduct research, build new prototypes, implement pilots, and further strengthen the Colorado workforce ecosystem.

At the closing reception, Governor John Hickenlooper said, “With the rapid pace of technological change, many Coloradans will have to reskill or upskill in order to find rewarding work. The Governor’s Coaching Corps is an investment in career coaches so Coloradans have someone who can help them on their journey. Congratulations to our inaugural class.”

Daniel Garcia from The Markle Foundation on Vimeo.

As the first Governor’s Coaching Corps program came to a close, I noticed that two common threads were woven into almost every coach’s reflection: pride in their profession’s impact on job seekers, and gratitude for the connections they made with each other. These reflections make sense.

Despite their importance to the future of work, career coaches are often overlooked, underfunded, and many feel as if they work in isolation.

That’s why Skillful, along with the state of Colorado, Microsoft, LinkedIn, and other partners, created the Governor’s Coaching Corps.

As we celebrate the inaugural Corps, we look forward to welcoming a new group talented coaches to the program. We’re excited to open applications today for a second cohort launching this fall.

To learn more about the program, check out this video of our launch event featuring Governor John Hickenlooper:

Introducing the Governor’s Coaching Corps from The Markle Foundation on Vimeo.