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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

2 Americans wanted over Ghosn's escape handed to Japanese authorities

Former Nissan chair Carlos Ghosn during a news conference in Jounieh, Lebanon, last September. Photo: Hasan Shaaban/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Two Americans accused of helping former Nissan chair Carlos Ghosn flee Japan in a box in 2019 were handed over to Japanese custody Monday, their lawyer said.

Why it matters: The extradition of Michael Taylor, 60, a private security specialist and former Green Beret, and his son Peter Maxwell Taylor, 27, ends a months-long fight to remain in the U.S.

Rep. Rice demands Cuomo resign after 3rd woman accuses him of misconduct

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a February news conference in New York City. Photo: Seth Wenig/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) on Monday evening called for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to resign, after a third woman accused him of inappropriate behavior.

Driving the news: Anna Ruch, a former member of the Obama administration and the 2020 Biden campaign, told the New York Times Monday that Cuomo asked to kiss her at a New York City wedding reception in September 2019.

Scoop: Inside the GOP's plan to retake the House

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

House Republicans will reclaim their majority in 2022 by offering candidates who are women, minorities or veterans, a memo obtained by Axios says.

Why it matters: The document, drafted by a super PAC blessed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, names top Democrats to target — Jared Golden of Maine, Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania and Ron Kind of Wisconsin — and the type of Republican candidates to beat them.