In 2011, the Colorado Online Energy Training Consortium, a group of community and independent colleges, launched a $17.3 million federally funded project to improve the schools’ energy training programs and to redesign the developmental education system in the state.

The goal of the energy-related project was to enhance the existing curriculum and install new technology that would meet the needs of the state’s fast-growing energy sector. Another objective was to train unemployed and under-employed workers so they could learn the skills needed for some of Colorado’s highest-paying and in-demand jobs.

The consortium also focused on revamping the remedial education programs in community colleges to improve student success. Research shows that while 64 percent of first-time enrollees in community colleges require remediation in one or more subjects, the majority of those students do not graduate with a degree within four years.

The Rutgers Education and Employment Research (EERC) evaluated the project by identifying critical measures of program implementation and by evaluating how successfully outline project goals were being met.

Pueblo Community College Mobile Learning Lab

A Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant for $17.3 million was awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor to the Colorado Online Energy Training Consortium (COETC). The Consortium is focused on enhancing current energy-related programs with the goal of training highly qualified workers for businesses that are seeking a skilled workforce. The funds are being used for curricular redesign and the technology needed to bridge the gap between existing workforce skills and emerging energy industry needs. The project facilitates partnerships between energy-related businesses, community colleges, and local workforce centers to train unemployed and under-employed workers with skills they need for placement in some of Colorado’s highest-paying and most in-demand jobs. In addition, workers who have been out of school for a while and who require remediation to succeed in college-level work will benefit from a complete redesign of remedial education using nationally recognized best practices to help students enter and succeed in the fast-growing energy industry in Colorado.

Rutgers Education and Employment Research Center (EERC) is participating as the third-party evaluator for the duration of this grant. EERC will identify critical measures of program implementation and evaluate how successfully outlined project goals are being met. The evaluation team uses a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods for its formative and summative assessments.


*This workforce solution was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The solution was created by the grantee and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership