Press Release

Colorado Concern and Activate Workforce Solutions Announce Partnership to Combat Poverty Through the Dignity of Work

Denver, CO. April 15, 2020 ​– Colorado Concern, an alliance of top executives with a common interest in enhancing and protecting the Colorado business environment, and Activate Workforce Solutions, a Denver-based professional placement and coaching firm focused on empowering untapped talent, announced their formal partnership. Together, the two organizations plan to increase opportunities for economic mobility.

“We are beyond impressed by the social return on investment that Activate already is generating and by its limitless potential. The Activate team, put simply, is changing lives. They provide business leaders with talented new workers and then mentor them throughout their first year at a company. It’s a powerful formula” said Mike Kopp, CEO and President of Colorado Concern. “We are proud to endorse their program and recommend them to our CEO member community and to our peers in business. Together we can help them reach their virtuous goal of placing 200 individuals in career-path jobs a year.”

Since 2016, Activate has helped employers such as Denver Health and FirstBank hire and develop talent from underrepresented populations. Through its proprietary screening and coaching model, Activate has developed an employer-driven placement and retention program, with over 85% of the firm’s professional placements thriving in the same company twelve months after being hired. The retention rate for Activate’s placements is roughly three times higher than incumbents, saving employers an average of $12,000 per placement. Activate’s placements also see their annual earnings increase by an average of $20,000. By 2022, Activate will achieve over $3 million in increased annual wealth for its new placements.

“Our mission is to help individuals achieve and activate their full potential through the dignity of work. Work is the only sustainable and dignifying antidote to poverty, and there is simply no wealth creation machine like business,” says Helen Young Hayes, CEO and Founder of Activate Workforce Solutions.

“Free enterprise has lifted more people out of poverty than any other system of social cooperation, and Activate’s unique recruitment and training program helps unlock the power of free enterprise for more Coloradans,” noted Kopp.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the importance of creating economic stability. To date, none of Activate’s placements have been laid off. If they were still working in their previous positions, they likely would have been among the first employees to experience unemployment. This crisis is disproportionately impacting our state’s most vulnerable citizens, as 40% of Americans cannot weather a $400 financial emergency. In addition to providing stable, career-path jobs, Activate’s placements have learned to save thousands of dollars from their salaries and are well-prepared for this crisis due to the ongoing financial and professional coaching they receive from the program. “The careers that our placements have are not only life-changing; they are lifesaving​” notes Hayes.

Before working with Activate, Angel, a single mom with three kids, tried unsuccessfully to make ends meet by working successive low-wage positions for a temp agency. Ultimately, she and her family became homeless. Introduced to Denver Health by Activate, Angel is now a patient scheduler and plans to become a patient navigator. Fully financially independent, Angel is saving for her first home. She is one of the many successful placements whose new positions have better prepared them to meet the crisis we are all facing.

“This partnership with Colorado Concern will elevate our impact across the state. We are proud to be joining forces to vault individuals from low-wage jobs to middle-class careers, building stronger and healthier families, companies, and communities,” continues Hayes.

Learn more about the partnership in this exclusive interview on In the Arena with Colorado Concern​ which is available for download wherever you listen to podcasts and can be ​streamed online here.

About Activate

Activate serves as a bridge connecting overlooked talent with high-quality careers in financial services, business services, healthcare, technology and the skilled trades, transforming lives and communities. Our mission is to activate individuals into their fullest potential through the dignity of work. Together with our nonprofit and employer partners throughout the Denver metro area, we are building an alternative workforce ecosystem built on excellence. For more information visit​

About Colorado Concern

Committed to a strong and vibrant future, Colorado Concern is an exclusive alliance of top executives with a common interest in enhancing and protecting the Centennial State’s business climate. Founded in 1986 by one dozen committed individuals, Colorado Concern’s membership now includes more than 130 CEOs and business and community leaders from across the state. Colorado Concern promotes an environment that maximizes business profitability and certainty. The organization has a stake in the well-being of the state, and the collective interests of its members are safeguarded by working collaboratively to ensure Colorado’s viability and prosperity. Learn more at ​​

Helen Young Hayes

Activate Workforce Solutions

Anneliese Steel
Corporate Affairs Director
Colorado Concern