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Executive Director Golombek Resigns from Department of Labor


Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has announced Ellen Golombek will be leaving her role as Executive Director of the Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) to pursue an opportunity with a national workforce advocacy agency.

“Ellen has transformed the Department of Labor and Employment in her seven years of leadership and worked tirelessly to advance the agency’s support for Colorado workers and businesses,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “She brought together coalitions to advance workforce solutions, led regulatory reforms on behalf of business and created a culture of engagement and accountability within CDLE. She will be missed.”   

Hickenlooper appointed Golombek to lead CDLE in January of 2011. She was among the first of the Governor's Cabinet appointees. From the beginning of her tenure as Executive Director at CDLE, Golombek strengthened the agency’s outreach to employers and workers and forged a network of partners that continues to transform every aspect of service delivery at the agency.

“Words can’t describe how honored I am to have worked alongside my Cabinet colleagues on important state issues and in partnership with the staff of CDLE to help better serve Colorado citizens,” said Executive Director Ellen Golombek.

Golombek instituted a number of reforms on behalf of Colorado businesses and workers during her tenure. Among her accomplishments, she successfully led the 2012 effort to issue $625 million in unemployment compensation bonds thereby making the unemployment insurance trust fund solvent. Doing so turned off the solvency surcharge that had been assessed against Colorado businesses since 2004 and eliminated the interest payments on money borrowed from the federal government to pay unemployment benefits.

Under Ellen’s leadership, the agency has been instrumental in the creation of a workforce system that better meets the needs of Colorado businesses. Business leaders from industries with the highest growth rates were brought together in “sector partnerships” with workforce professionals and educators. Together, they are developing an economic ecosystem that will ensure that education, training, and workforce systems are responsive to the needs of Colorado businesses.

Ellen has also taken a lead role in promoting work-based learning, an approach that combines skills training with hands-on instruction in the workplace, including internships, on-the-job training and apprenticeships. She served as co-chair of the Governor’s Business Experiential Learning (BEL) Commission which is ensuring that students, job seekers, workers, and businesses can find the tools, programs, and resources they need to design their own unique paths to success. The BEL Commission has been instrumental in creating CareerWise Colorado, an initiative that promotes apprenticeships among businesses, students and educators.

Golombek will leave her position on October 31, 2017.