Opinion | Patrick Brower: DigitalBridge will help with employee retention

Patrick Brower
Grand Enterprise Initiative

Right at this time when it’s very difficult for local employers to engage and hire employees, a new resource is being offered that could help in that realm.

Imagine, if you will, how a local employer could offer a program to employees that would allow them to improve their work skills and earn more money. This is the intent of DigitalBridge, a skill training platform for local companies and their employees.

As a facilitator who works with many businesses who are struggling with employee hiring and retention, when I first learned of this program I was a little worried because I thought it might be a platform that would compete with a business’s ability to keep employees.

But, in fact, it’s just the opposite.

Keeping good employees is difficult when it comes to service-sector jobs. The low level of skills required for these jobs combined with the seasonal nature of the work makes that a challenge.

But what if an employer has some ambitious and motivated workers who want to improve their earning power and responsibility in the company? The best way to do this is by teaching them new skills that allow them to “work up” in the company and earn more by doing more, and working more efficiently.

DigitalBridge is a digital workforce development initiative. It offers digital skills training at Grand County libraries and through online resources.

DigitalBridge’s virtual and in-person digital workforce training is provided at no cost to Grand County employers and residents. It delivers fast-track certifications and connects people directly to job opportunities, including job opportunities with participating local employers. The first wave of participants is now being recruited. 

The digital skills training and job pairing services are offered through WRC Connected Communities DigitalBridge (DigitalBridge), in partnership with Grand County Economic Development and the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation. DigitalBridge is also collaborating with the Colorado Broadband Office and its work initiatives.

DigitalBridge is partnering with local employers to provide customized digital skills training to fill local jobs. DigitalBridge offers more than 130 courses and certifications for digital skills training and certifications that are matched with local employers’ needs for both on-site and remote positions. 

“We are excited to support our residents and businesses with free digital skills training,” said Grand County economic development coordinator DiAnn Butler. “DigitalBridge supports training the future workforce and our goal to retain and grow businesses.”

Training is designed for people seeking to advance in a current career, start a digital career, or simply to learn digital skills for everyday life. Programs are matched with local employer needs, including both on-site and remote-work opportunities. The goal is to continue to upskill existing employees through their current employers, as well as importing new jobs and attracting new talent to Grand County.

“From IT, analytics, marketing, sales, customer service, operations and more, we partner with companies to tailor digital training programs to match employer needs, as well as offer customized training for upskilling teams of employees,” said Jeremy Kennell, the WRC’s DigitalBridge program director. “Training can take place at a business or in community training locations.”

DigitalBridge participants receive digital training, coaching, and job pairing matched to individual goals; in-person or remote learning at their own pace; assistance from a career coach to guide their efforts; and affordable devices in partnership with Microsoft. Participants may complete each program at their own pace, but most take anywhere from three to six weeks.

“DigitalBridge Grand County aligns with Freeport-McMoRan’s Transforming Tomorrow Together objective,” said Lalitha Christian, the strategic community development manager at Henderson Mine and Mill. “The project exemplifies our commitment to work collaboratively with communities to develop skills that help build resiliency and strengthen communities.”

“We are creating a new playbook to empower communities across the nation with connectivity and digital workforce training,” said Matthew Bauer, who leads WRC’s Connected Communities Initiative. Bauer was recently appointed to serve on the U.S. Federal Communication Commission’s Communications Equity and Diversity Council.

Grand County residents and businesses seeking additional information are invited to email DigitalBridge Grand County at or visit

Patrick Brower is the Enterprise Facilitator for the Grand Enterprise Initiative. He offers free and confidential business management coaching to anyone who wants to start or expand a business in Grand County. He can be reached by calling 970-531-0632 or at

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