Get Your Organization on our Job Board for Companies Advancing DEI Efforts

Providing the right resources, tools and connections to the businesses in our region that are ready to make change is key to Prosper CO's goals. We’ve launched the Prosper CO Top 10 and Prosper Compass, the diversity benchmarking tool, and now as part of this effort, we are launching a portion of our job board specifically for organizations that are advancing their diversity, equity and inclusion work, based on the Prosper CO Top 10.

We believe that this job board will signal to a more diverse candidate pool, and all potential applicants, that these listed employers are committed to creating a more inclusive and equitable workplace and economy.

To get your organization on our DEI job board, take our Prosper CO Top 10 Survey to indicate what Top 10 actions your organization is implementing. This survey also helps us understand what our employers and members are doing regarding best practices, so we may develop the right tools and resources to support your efforts.

The survey data will not be released to the public, but we ask you to identify your business, so we know to list you on the job board.

While this survey focuses in on your practices and goals to help Prosper CO create more relevant tools and resources, this survey also creates a conversation within your workspace around DEI efforts and what can be done to further them.

Please email for any questions or concerns.

Prosper CO Launches Diversity-Benchmarking Tool for Employers

The Denver Metro Chamber’s Prosper CO initiative has created Compass, a diversity-benchmark tool to help employers reflect and analyze their workplace’s diversity. As the Harvard Business Review suggests, Compass provides Colorado organizations the opportunity to compare their workforce data to the region’s diversity data to create awareness about the diversity of their organization. This awareness helps organizations create goals for the future and form an action plan that supports the changes they want to see in their workforce. Without reflecting on our own workplaces, we cannot progress in our goal of making Colorado’s economy one that works for all people.

This tool has come at a crucial time for employers in Colorado. Women and BIPOC workers are disproportionately represented within the income bracket earning $45,000 or less, with women making up 53% and people of color making up 32% of workers in this bracket. Meanwhile, women and BIPOC workers are underrepresented in the $68,000 and above income bracket, with women only making up 34% and people of color making up 11% of this bracket.

With this data in mind, Colorado employers must critically observe our own workplaces and see how they can implement best practices, so we can be a part of creating an economy that works for all. This is one of the reasons why Prosper CO created Compass – to provide organizations with a tool to make self-reflection more streamlined and easy to observe.

Another purpose for Compass is to help organizations create goals for the future and form an action plan to support better pay for their employees. By joining Compass and increasing your workplace transparency, you will attract a more diverse workforce, giving you access to new and innovative ideas that will progress your company. Additionally, every organization that utilizes Compass helps Prosper CO expand its data to eventually compare organizations by size of company or industry.

Getting involved with Compass shows that your organization has an interest and dedication to implementing best practices, and this effort could be the first step in your company’s reformation journey. Email the Prosper team to learn more about how Compass can impact your workplace today!

Prosper CO is ready to provide resourcesbest practicesconnections or consulting to help you set goals based on your Prosper Compass results.

Looking for more ways to positively impact diversity and best workplace practices? Take our Prosper CO Top 10 Survey to help us learn what our members are practicing, this way we can provide the best resources, tools and support to our community.

Visit the Compass webpage.

Logo for Prosper Colorado Compass program

Already Dreaming About Summer ... Internships?

The snow may be piling up outside, but many students are already thinking about where they’ll spend their summer. Have you thought about what internships your business may have available?

Gone are the days where interns had menial tasks like fetching coffee, making copies or cleaning up after meetings. According to the National Survey of College Internships’ (NSCI) 2021 Report, students are looking for opportunities that allow them to engage in independent work and develop transferrable skills, with 72% of interns reporting that they were assisting with high-skill tasks and autonomous work.

The Denver Metro Chamber’s Prosper CO has launched an internships and apprenticeships section on our Job Board to help connect eager students with skilled businesses. When you post your openings there, you will find the quality candidates who want to build their skills early in their careers, and you may alleviate the kind of workforce shortage we’re experiencing now.

Businesses that provide internships and apprenticeships can reap the benefits for years to come. You are not just providing a student with work experience, you are finding future employees who will grow your workforce. Not to mention, an intern transferring to a full-time employee will require much less training than a new hire. Additionally, many businesses are experiencing a shortage of workers in today’s environment, and hiring interns helps to close the skills gap that your business may be struggling to fill. By taking on interns and giving them the opportunity to learn the skills in your field, you are building a stronger workforce that will benefit both your industry and your business in the future.

The NSCI Report also found that about 40% of students interested in internships said they needed a paid job and could not afford to work an unpaid internship. That’s almost half the applicant pool that you are missing out on if you are offering unpaid internships. Paid internships show that your business is engaging in best practices to retain diverse teammates in your workplace and taking steps to increase the diversity of your applicant pool. Many internship opportunities are unpaid, so not only would your paid opportunity attract more talent, but it would stand out against the hundreds of other internship opportunities that organizations will be offering.

When you engage current students, you prepare your business for the future. Taking on a new intern today can lead to years of employment and growth for both the intern and your business, and there are a variety of resources available to businesses wanting to get involved.

Do you want to recruit new, talented workers but are unsure where to start? Many businesses partner with other organizations to create internships or apprenticeships with the goal to hire. Organizations like CareerWise, universities and community colleges are always looking to partner with local businesses who want to open their workplace to fresh talent. You can also contact Prosper CO’s team for more information.

What can you do to fill your summer internships? If you’re a Chamber member, you can post your openings to our Job Board. Not a member? Contact our Sales team.

The Push for Affordable Housing in Denver

Housing affordability has long been an issue not only in Denver, but across Colorado. The Denver Metro Chamber's Prosper CO is actively working to increase workforce housing options in the Denver Metro region.

As part of the Chamber’s advocacy work both at the state and local levels, we are prioritizing housing policy that increases the supply of homes in Colorado, with a focus on homeownership for families that make 60-120% area median income. Because we know that homeownership continues to be the most common way to build wealth in our nation, we are prioritizing policies that increase homeownership, such as those that:

● Increase flexible zoning codes to allow for duplexes, triplexes and quads.
● Establish better incentives for developers to build affordable housing.
● Reduce costs and burdens for developing affordable housing.
● Reduce time for permitting approval where needed.
● Address the lack of data and coordination by funding regional approaches and making more transparent data available when possible.
● Accelerate the mapping and use of public or other available land for development.

Read more about our policy priorities related to housing.

The Chamber board and Prosper CO have heard from many employers that this is an issue they want to solve and are ready to engage in advocacy and partnerships.

As an example, in November, Prosper CO activated its network of community leaders and employers on behalf of Denver Metro Habitat for Humanity to advocate for a zoning change for a vacant cul-de-sac in Aurora that will allow for the development of 20 workforce homes. These homes will be available for homebuyers making up to 80% of the area median income, or about $79,000 annually for a family of four. Prosper CO asked four large employers to contact an Aurora city councilman to advocate for the project. That councilman’s swing vote became a “Yes” vote, and the zoning change was approved.

This is a win for attainable housing in the Denver area and will allow families to build wealth through homeownership. Recent studies have shown that renting in most of Colorado is cheaper than buying a home, with the average Denver home costing $677,607 in December. However, homeownership is still the cheaper option in many counties across the United States. These statistics prove that Colorado is in desperate need of housing that is tailored to its workforce, and Prosper CO is working to fill this need.

The lack of workforce housing options is a barrier to both families and local businesses. Not only does it prohibit our region from growing its workforce, but many communities cannot afford to house their workers, meaning that an already established workforce is getting priced out of its own community.

While the approval for the affordable housing project in Aurora is a great step in the right direction, Prosper CO knows that we must proactively advocate for more flexible zoning at the municipal level, not just project by project.

The Chamber is also tracking state-level legislation, now that the 2022 legislative session is underway. Lawmakers recently introduced House Bill 1051, which extends the affordable housing tax credit for another 10 years after its set expiration in 2024, and it increases the allocation from $10 million to $15 million annually from 2023 to 2034. The Chamber and Prosper CO support this bill, seeing it as a step in the right direction for increasing our affordable housing options.

Follow the 2022 legislative session with the Chamber and stay informed on Prosper CO’s work.

Top 10 Focus of June: # 5 – Engage in Best Practices to Retain Diverse Teammates in Your Workplace

A big part of having a diverse workforce is simply retaining one, and the challenge may lie in how people of color and women see their future at a company once they’re there.

According to a study by Coqual, one in five Black professionals feel that someone of their race or ethnicity would never achieve a top job at their company. Two-thirds say they have to work harder than their colleagues to advance in their careers. The situation may be worse in our region. Denver is tied with Minneapolis for the highest percentage of Black residents who believe race negatively impacts their future job prospects.

So what can you do to retain a diverse workforce? Here are a few ideas:

1. Assess where you are.
    • Examine your retention rates. What positions experience frequent turnover? What are the demographics of who is leaving? Do you know why?
2. Change how you hire.
    • Evaluate job postings and remove the credential qualifications that are not truly required. Skillful is working with employers to hire based on skills, not just degrees. Check out their upcoming webinars.
    • Evaluate the language in job descriptions to ensure inclusivity. For instance, say “You will be responsible for …” instead of “He or she will be responsible for …” Also, avoid language that may not be well-known outside your industry to appeal to applicants who may be transferring skills from another industry.
3. Support your employees after you hire them.
    • Determine what skills and competencies your employees need to thrive in different positions in your company.
    • Help your employees identify a career path and provide opportunities for them to upskill into better-paying opportunities.
    • Be flexible. According to a study released just this week by Future Forum, a consortium launched by Slack Technologies, Inc., 93% of “knowledge workers” want a flexible schedule and 76% want flexibility where they work. Women in Colorado’s labor force dropped to its lowest rate in 20 years in 2020, in large part because women were taking on additional child care duties as schools went remote and families couldn’t afford child care. The Future Forum study also found that women with kids say that the #1 benefit of a flexible schedule is being able to take care of personal or family obligations during the day.
    • Create Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) around employees’ common interests and backgrounds and allow employees to lead them. Learn more about ERGs.

With many employers struggling to hire employees, retention is more important than ever, and our businesses and our region will be stronger when we build an economy that provides access to opportunities for everybody. Contact us for more information about what you can do.

Top 10 Focus of May: # 3 – Take Steps to Increase The Diversity of Your Applicant Pool

Since we released the Top 10 Things Employers can do earlier this year, we’ve heard from many of you that the most challenging Top 10 action item is diversifying your applicant pool. As difficult as it is, it’s one of the most important things employers can do.

In 2017, Black and Hispanic/Latinx people accounted for just over 25% of the metro region’s population, but only 12% of workers earning the regional average wage at the time of $63,080. We know that Colorado is getting more racially diverse, particularly among younger populations. To ensure a strong economy, we need to increase the diversity of our workforce to be reflective of our community and find ways to tap into the immense talent that many employers have yet to access.

As thousands of Coloradans enter the workforce upon graduation this month, Prosper CO wants to encourage employers to find ways to recruit diverse candidates and offer our support to your organization to successfully do just that. Here are a few strategies:

  • Change your process. Don’t go back to the same sources and job boards for candidates. Ask diverse members of your team where their network looks for jobs.
  • Mentor diverse talent to help them grow and advance in your organization or profession.
  • Partner with other organizations that can help you create internships or apprenticeships with the goal to hire, like Careerwise, universities and community colleges.
  • Consider roles within your company that might appeal to people who aren’t advancing in other industries, but who have relevant transferable skills and share those opportunities broadly.
  • Remove artificial barriers, like four-year degree requirements, that serve as a proxy for other skills to open up your candidate pool and focus on skill-based hiring instead.
  • Become a fair chance employer and expand your applicant pool by hiring people who may have had some contact with the justice system but have the skills to be successful working for you.
  • Help workers build their resumes by offering them the opportunity to work in short-term, paid positions.

Please keep sharing your ideas with us by email at or post them to your social networks and tag #ProsperCO and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. We’ll add your strategies to our next newsletter.