Weifield Contracting Group Centennial, CO

Good Jobs:
How Business & Nonprofit
Partnerships Are Energizing the Trades

Thursday, Apr. 05 4:30 p.m.



Count the cranes dotting Denver’s skyline to see the fruit of record-low unemployment and a rapidly growing population. Yet, despite high wages and soaring demand, the shortage of skilled laborers in Colorado has hit crisis levels.

What factors keep people from pursuing lucrative careers in the trades–and how will this shortage hinder the state’s economic growth?

How can careers in the trades become a lifeline for many of our community’s underserved members?

What do businesses and social service agencies need to know to partner well in workforce development?

Join Denver Institute for Faith & Work and Weifield Group Contracting for a gathering exploring the factors causing this shortage and innovative workforce development strategies.

We’ll examine cultural perspectives that shape our view of the trades and hear what’s working—and what isn’t—from a panel of industry and government leaders

Local nonprofits will share best practices for hiring and training their clients.

The evening will include time to connect with other leaders to explore business/nonprofit partnerships.

Whether you’re a corporate executive, general contractor, or nonprofit leader looking for ways to create and fill jobs, this event is for you.

Light refreshments will be served. 



Please "purchase" a free ticket to RSVP

Thursday April 5 4:30 p.m.

$0.00 USD/Ticket



Karla Nugent

Weifield Electrical Contracting

Karla Nugent is the chief revenue officer of Weifield Electrical Contracting, a national electrical construction company that seeks to build the world’s most energy-efficient buildings. Karla’s focus on people has led Weifield to become one of the Denver Post’s Top Workplaces multiple years running. Her advocacy for improved training for the next generation of construction workers led to her becoming one of the founding members of SkillBuild Colorado and Skills2Compete Colorado.

Jeff Haanen


Jeff Haanen is a writer and entrepreneur. He founded Denver Institute for Faith & Work, a community of conveners, teachers and learners offering experiences and educational resources on the gospel, work, and community renewal. He is the author of An Uncommon Guide to Retirement: Finding God’s Purpose for the Next Season of Life and an upcoming two-book series on spiritual formation, vocation, and the working class for Intervarsity Press. He lives with his wife and four daughters in Denver and attends Wellspring Church in Englewood, Colorado.

Helen Young Hayes

Activate Workforce Solutions

Helen Young Hayes is a 20-year veteran of the financial industry.  As the portfolio manager of the Janus Worldwide and Overseas funds, she invested over $40 billion in global and international equities. Conducting detailed country, industry, and company analyses, Helen is regarded as a pioneer in bottom-up international investing. While at Janus, she was the Chief Investment Officer, heading up the 100-person asset management team. Helen has extensive nonprofit experience working with low-income individuals, serving on the boards of Mile High Ministries in Denver, Harlem Educational Activities Fund in New York, and Children of Hope in Kenya. She founded Activate Workforce Solutions to alleviate poverty through creating pathways to employment.  Helen graduated with a degree in Economics from Yale University.

Scott Flores

The Master's Apprentice

Scott Flores serves as Executive Director of The Master's Apprentice, a nonprofit that serves as a bridge to help young adults prepare for apprenticeship programs through basic training, on-the-job experience, and the creation of a career path. He has over three decades of entrepreneurial and manufacturing experience, including founding three charter schools and owning a small manufacturing business. He strives to bring honor back to the trades. Flores explains, "The Trades have an image problem, but it is an honorable and highly rewarding career!  With what other career choice will your employer pay for your tuition and in four years you will be earning fifty to sixty thousand dollars a year with no student debt? I have a firm belief that you don't have to have a college degree to be successful in life."

Michael Gifford

Associated General Contractors, Colorado

With over 21 years of experience in funding and implementing government infrastructure programs, Michael Gifford has built a solid foundation of business networks and legislative relationships at the local, state and federal levels. In 2017, Associated General Contractors was awarded a $1.8 million Work Act grant for outreach and recruitment to AGC's quick start ConstructionCareersNow! construction orientation program. He has a Master's in Public Administration from Boise State University and a BS in Business Administration and Finance from the University of Southern Colorado

Katrina Wert

Center for Workforce Initiatives, Community College of Denver

Katrina has more than 15 years experience leading collaborative approaches to workforce program development, network partnership facilitation, and adult technical education. As Director of the Community College of Denver's Center for Workforce Initiatives, she serves community residents, students, local employers, and industry partners to develop pathways to sustainable employment within the construction industry. Recently, she played a key role in the $1.2 billion Central 70 redevelopment project. Prior to joining CCD, she worked at Denver's Office of Economic Development and as an Instructional Dean at Emily Griffith Opportunity School.

James Roina

Office of Economic Development, City & County of Denver

In his role at the Office of Economic Development, James administers subsidized employment and training programs for business partners. He provides funding assistance for hiring and training new workers locates resources available for training a business' current workforce. He received a BS in Marketing from Regis University.

Teri  Smith

Stout Street Foundation

For the last 10 years, Teri has played a vital role in the financial and strategic health of the Stout Street Foundation, a local nonprofit providing rehabilitation services for those struggling with alcohol or drug addiction. She began her work at Stout Street Foundation in 2008, bringing her extensive experience in grant writing and event planning from other local non-profits; a career she has enjoyed since 1998.  She is an alumnus of the Denver Community Leadership Forum, as well as Outward Bound.  She is currently the President of the Board of Directors for the Commerce City Business and Professional Association and she also sits on the Boards of Quality Community Foundation and Alternatives to Family Violence.  Most recently, she received the honor of being named Commerce City’s “2016 Business Person of the Year.”

Josh Geppelt

Denver Rescue Mission

Josh provides leadership for Denver Rescue Mission's Programs and Emergency Services, throughout the Denver Metropolitan Area and in Northern Colorado. He's passionate about meeting individuals at their physical and spiritual points of need and assisting them towards immediate stability and long-term self-sufficiency. Josh has a Bachelor's in Marketing from Cedarville University, a Master's of Sociology from Regis University, and serves as an adjunct faculty member at Metropolitan State University of Denver.


4:30 – Guest check-in & refreshments

4:45 – Welcome & introductions

4:55 – “Renewing Our Vision for the Trades”

– Jeff Haanen, Denver Institute for Faith & Work

5:10 – “Workforce Development – What’s Working?”

– Michael Gifford, Associated General Contractors of Colorado
– James Roina, Office of Economic Development, City & County of
– Katrina Wert, Center for Workforce Initiatives

5:40 – “The Power of Partnership” – Panel Discussion

– Scott Flores, The Master’s Apprentice
– Helen Hayes, Activate Workforce Solutions
– Karla Nugent, Weifield Group
– Teri Smith, Stout Street Foundation
– Josh, Geppelt, Denver Rescue Mission

6:30 – Connections & refreshments


Thank you to our generous sponsor: