By Matt Kroschel

DENVER (CBS4)– Nearly 12,000 people are unemployed in the Denver metro area. A new program is now in place that concentrates on finding good paying jobs for many of those people.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and other officials announced the recent workforce development grant awarded to Denver Thursday afternoon. The grant supports training, employment, and promotion opportunities for youth and adult job seekers.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock (credit: CBS)

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock (credit: CBS)

The program works by recruiting unemployed people looking for work, training them and helping place them in jobs, especially in the retail sector.

“Helping create local jobs for local residents is a priority for us, and were thrilled to receive this grant that will equip us to better support struggling residents who are working hard to get back to work,” said Hancock. “This is a great opportunity to grow good entry-level and middle skill jobs in a sector that plays a significant role in Denver’s economy, and we’re ready to work with businesses to develop clear career paths in retail while providing skills training and new approaches to accelerate career development.”

The program already seems to be working. David Jordan, Jr. spent a week training and with the help of the program, has already landed a full time job.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“I have the chance to grow, and improve,” said Jordan, 28. “I’m going to spread the word to anyone in my community having a hard time finding work that this is a perfect place to find that help.”

Earlier this month, Denver was selected as one of 10 cities nationally to implement new models of career services specific to retail. Denver was awarded $422,652 from The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The funding is part of a $10.9 million grant the Walmart Foundation made to the partnership.

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.


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