Colorado has teamed up with the philanthropic OnwardUS to launch a one-stop website where people who are unemployed or who are seeking emergency support services can find help and answers.
OnwardCO.org went live on Monday with 50,000 job listings and information on scores of resources, like where to find food, shelter and childcare.
The site is modeled after a similar initiative in California that is spreading to states across the country. The OnwardUS coalition aims to reduce the economic damage caused by the new coronavirus nationwide.
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“As we work to ensure the health and safety of Coloradans during these unprecedented times, it’s critical that we also help the economy recover. OnwardCO is a key tool in that effort,” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said in a written statement. “Colorado is proud to be part of the OnwardUS coalition, an example of the power of public private partnership.”
Katherine Keegan, who leads Colorado’s office of future of work, said no state money was spent on the project. All of the funding came from philanthropic groups, including California-based Bitwise Industries and the Kapor Center.
“It isn’t a standalone system that’s adding to the confusion,” Keegan said. “It’s trying to integrate all of the different resources for impacted workers into one site.”
Keegan said the state has been “intimately involved” with Bitwise Industries in creating the website. She said it fits well with Colorado’s existing systems to aid people during the coronavirus crisis.
“This has been exciting for us to get it launched in Colorado,” she said. “The site that’s being launched will only get better and better.”
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People can use the site to find emergency resources like food, shelter and child care. There’s also a form that can match people with prospective employers based on their location, educational attainment and skills.
“After the incredible response to OnwardCA.org, we realized this resource was desperately needed in many other communities,” Freada Kapor Klein, co-chair of the Kapor Center, said in a written statement. “This website was created out of necessity, by software developers from communities most impacted by this crisis, who are often overlooked by the technology industry and it is now serving our country in its time of need. Innovation that addresses real problems is exactly what will move our country forward together.”
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