Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper speaks at an Axios event on August 24. Photo: Danielle Lirette / Axios

Thanks for visiting Axios — sign up for our morning newsletter, Axios AM, to get the 10 biggest stories from the world's most wired reporter.

DENVER — Speakers at a recent Axios event, including Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, all agreed that the state is importing too much of its talent from other states and needs to get better at building a home-grown, skilled workforce.

By the numbers: Colorado has a humming tech scene, a highly educated population, and an unemployment rate under 3% — a study from U.S. News and World Report ranks the state as the No. 1 economy in the nation. Yet, it ranks 46th in teacher pay (the $46,155 average salary is $7,000 shy of the national average) and 42nd in spending per student.

Funding shortfall: In some Colorado communities, schools are so strapped for cash that they have gone to four-day weeks because they cannot afford to keep school buildings open, pay teachers, and bus kids back and forth for all five days.

Addressing the talent gap: Three Colorado leaders offered their thoughts on how the state can use available resources to help ensure residents aren't excluded from the booming economy.

  • Hickenlooper, who is mulling a presidential run in 2020, singled out Skillful.com, a platform built by Microsoft in partnership with the state, as a way to keep Coloradans nimble in the age of automation.
    • The site keeps a profile of the skills workers have acquired throughout their lives. If they need to move to a new profession, the platform tells them what skills they have for it, what skills are needed and the cost.
  • Karen Riley, the dean of University of Denver's Morgridge College of Education, emphasized the need to get rural communities access to the same kind of tools that Denverites have. Underfunded communities, she said, will lead to struggling schools and smaller towns will not be able to attract businesses.
    • She suggests using online courses to extend resources enjoyed in the cities to rural areas, allowing residents of small towns to add skills without needing to uproot their lives to move to bigger cities.
  • J.J. Ament, CEO of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, pointed to the state's apprenticeship program, as a way to serve workers who aren't pursuing a college degree.
    • It puts the onus on businesses to take responsibility for developing necessary skills, he says, and “it means you’re engaged in skills-based learning from a much earlier age.”

What to watch: In November, Colorado residents will get to vote on a ballot initiative that would raise state income tax for people earning more than $150,000 a year. The revenue could increase state public school funding by about $1.6 billion, per the Ft. Collins Coloradoan.

Go deeper

"Not enough": Protesters react to no murder charges in Breonna Taylor case

A grand jury on Wednesday indicted Brett Hankison, one of the Louisville police officers who entered Breonna Taylor's home in March, on three counts of wanton endangerment for firing shots blindly into neighboring apartments.

Details: Angering protesters, the grand jury did not indict any of the three officers involved in the botched drug raid on homicide or manslaughter charges related to the death of Taylor.

Two officers shot in Louisville amid Breonna Taylor protests

Police officers stand guard during a protest in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Ben Hendren/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Louisville Metro Police Department said two officers were shot downtown in the Kentucky city late Wednesday, just hours after a grand jury announced an indictment in the Breonna Taylor case.

Details: A police spokesperson told a press briefing a suspect was in custody and that the injuries of both officers were not life-threatening. One officer was "alert and stable" and the other was undergoing surgery, he said.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 31,778,331 — Total deaths: 974,436 — Total recoveries: 21,876,025Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,943,078 — Total deaths: 201,930 — Total recoveries: 2,670,256 — Total tests: 97,459,742Map.
  3. Health: CDC director says over 90% of Americans have not yet been exposed to coronavirus — Supply shortages continue to plague testing.
  4. Politics: Missouri Gov. Mike Parson tests positive for coronavirus — Poll says 51% of Republicans trust Trump on coronavirus more than the CDC.
  5. Technology: The tech solutions of 2020 may be sapping our resolve to beat the coronavirus
  6. Vaccines: Johnson & Johnson begins large phase 3 trial — The FDA plans to toughen standards.
  7. Sports: Less travel is causing the NBA to see better basketball.
  8. Future: America's halfway coronavirus response

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!