Man wearing hard hat
Woman standing in front of construction equipment
Man welding

Due to their historic dependency on resource extraction (uranium, gas, timber, and ultimately coal) economic “booms and busts” are nothing new in the west end of San Miguel and Montrose counties. Today, with the recent closure of the New Horizon coal mine in Nucla and the imminent closure of the Tri-State coal-fired power plant in Naturita (full closure scheduled in 2020), the community is preparing for another bust.

The Telluride Foundation’s Skills-Based Education & Workforce Development Initiative seeks to help the community counter the loss of coal-related jobs by proving skill-based training to the community while also strengthening new employment opportunities for all.  This Initiative currently includes three programs:

  • Leveraging Learning on the 5th Day: offers students enriching opportunities when school is not in session on Fridays.
  • Skillful West End: a collaboration with the Markle Foundation, provides training and job placement services to displaced workers as well as employer training on skills-based hiring practices.
  • West End Apprenticeship: provides skills-based training to high schoolers to help prepare them for the workforce upon graduation.

Read the Skillful Rural Playbook.

To support or learn more about our Workforce Development efforts in the West End please contact Elaine Demas: