- El Paso County, Pikes Peak Community College and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs are collaborating on a fundraising campaign to develop a scholarship program that will incentivize students to remain in the area for work after graduation.
- "Cultivate - The Campaign for a World-Class Workforce" has set a goal of raising $668,000 from the community by the end of the year, with the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative promising to match the funds raised, potentially making $1.3 million in scholarships available for 200 students, the Colorado Springs Gazette reports.
- The program is aimed at creating a pipeline of skilled workers in fields like nursing, information technology, business and manufacturing in the region, ultimately benefitting the local economy.
College students — especially those from out of state — have a tendency to return to their home communities or move on to new cities and states after graduation. This is especially true at institutions that aren't located in or near some of the nation's trendier metropolitan areas. Naturally, there's an opportunity for greater community buy-in for these colleges and universities if they can bring more skilled workers to the area and give the local economy a boost.
Colorado Springs isn't alone in wanting to incentivize recent graduates to stay in the area: Similar efforts exist at the state-level in Oklahoma, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Virginia, Maine, New Hampshire, Kansas and Connecticut, as well as a number of cities across the country.