As part of an effort to reboot job growth after a slight unemployment increase during July 2017 - from 2.3 to 2.4 percent - the state of Colorado launched a factory job training program called CareerWise, according to PBS.
Created in conjunction with CEO Noel Ginsburg of Intertech Plastics, this initiative allows high school students to work at state factories for three days a week, earning pay alongside school credits.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper explained that the need for midlevel skills - for jobs requiring more knowledge than a high school education but less than four years of college - prompted him to envision CareerWise.
"We are one of the fastest-growing economies in the country," Hickenlooper told PBS. "You can't sustain that without talent. And it is a global competition for talent now. And a lot of that talent, it's not Ph.D.s and the superstars. A lot of that talent is middle skills."
Despite expecting to see major increases in general unemployment for this year, Colorado received a surprise when it was announced that the Centennial State had dropped to 2.3 percent unemployment in April 2017, according to The Denver Post. Even a minor increase to 2.4 percent in July - after three months of stability - didn't diminish the hope of job growth, especially when a 3.9 percent rate was predicted back in April.