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WELD COUNTY, CO – In front of a crowd of approximately 300 people, the Weld County Commissioners officially launched a workforce development program designed to benefit county residents, local businesses and the county workforce. The Weld County Bright Futures Grant Program is a “ first – in ” educat ional financial assistance program for high school graduates, GED recipients and honorably discharge d veterans . The program is funded by donations from taxpayers receiving a 50% tax incentive payment or credit when contributing to the county workforce development fund.

“This is a bright day for Weld County,” said Commissioner Chair Barbara Kirkmeyer. “We think this program will lead to higher graduation rates, increased earning potential f or workers and be a great draw for businesses looking to locate or expand in Weld County.”

The event, held at Aims Community College in Greeley, was attended by residents, educators, business leaders and elected officials from across the county. Also in attendance were State S enator s Vicki Marble and Mary Hodge and State Representatives Dominic k Moreno and Polly Lawrence who carried Senate Bill 82 through the 2015 legislative session. Lobbyist James Cole, who helped the Commissioners initiate the legislative change , was also in attendance. Senate Bill 15 – 82 put in place the necessary authority to allow the use of county property tax incentive payments of credits for a county workforce development fund.

“We knew it would take a change in the law to be able to make this program a reality,” said Commissioner Sean Conway. “Look at this group, we have a Republican and Democrat Senator and a Republican and Democrat Representative who hel ped make this program a reality. We appre ciate all of your help . ”

Unique to the Weld County progra m, the donation to the fund is voluntary – it isn’t a tax and the program is not taking away funding from existing county programs. “The amount of property tax revenue coming to the county remains the same. The difference with this program is that you, the tax payer, get to specifically direct your tax payment to this specific county program. And you , the taxpayer, get the benefit of the property tax

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