Sector Partnership Launches Initiative to Support Talent Development Network

Talent Acquisition Through Upskilling a Top Priority for Tourism and Retail Sector Partnership 


Florence, Colorado, April 15, 2021: The Region 13 Tourism and Retail Sector Partnership (“TOR”), which is comprised of Fremont, Custer, Lake and Chaffee Counties, recently announced the expansion of engagement efforts to include Kevin Mahmalji of Two Rivers Consulting – to shore up support for initiatives aimed at talent acquisition, and retention through upskilling.

“As small businesses operating within the tourism and retail sectors ramp-up to accommodate the droves of tourists who annually descend upon the Arkansas River Valley for rafting, hiking and other outdoor activities the region is known for, Region 13 Tourism and Retail Sector Partnership will work to empower our local workforce through reskilling and upskilling,” said Brad Rowland, Fremont Economic Development Corporation (FEDC).

Established in 2005 by the State of Colorado, Sector Partnerships facilitate collaboration between business leaders from the same industry within a shared labor market region. In return, business leaders and other stakeholders work with education, workforce development, economic development, and community-based organizations to empower workforce and other competitiveness needs of their industry.

The Region 13 Tourism and Retail Sector Partnership, in collaboration with Pueblo Community College and Colorado Workforce Centers across the region, have partnered with the Colorado Workforce Development Council to promote resources and facilitate training for individuals currently employed in, or recently displaced from the tourism and retail industries to up-skill through the Lives Empowered Training Academy – which has been made possible by a $4.1 million grant from Walmart to the Colorado Workforce Development Council

“There’s no question the economic restrictions imposed during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic caused unprecedented challenges for businesses that depend on the annual influx of outdoor enthusiasts and other tourists who flock to the area,” added Jeremy Boswell, Vice President of Park Operations, Royal Gorge Bridge and Park. “With a renewed focus on opening our economy and the easing of government mandated restrictions, I welcome the opportunity to work with businesses across Region 13 Tourism and Retail Sector to attract and develop the talent our industries need to thrive.”

The Region 13 Tourism and Retail Sector Partnership will utilize a variety of cloud based tools to facilitate committee communication across the rural, 4 county region, including Zoom, Basecamp, and Slack, a communication tool used by more than 700,000 organizations around the globe.

About Fremont Economic Development Corporation (FEDC): Fremont Economic Development Corporation is a professional economic development organization focused directly on business attraction, retention and expansion in Fremont County, Colorado. With an established and growing network of business, academic and governmental partners, we directly assist companies with competitive location or expansion projects by connecting them with the right people, the appropriate resources and the most meaningful and relevant information. 

FEDC’s TechSTART program is an award-winning tech sector coworking community, creating an innovation catalyst for rural Colorado. TechSTART facilitates the Upper Arkansas Technology Sector Partnership, working to develop a public and private sector tech ecosystem in Fremont, Custer, Chaffee, and Lake Counties.

For press inquiries, please contact Diana Armstrong, [email protected]