A former union leader who drew intense criticism from Republicans she was appointed to head up the state labor department but who worked with businesses and bipartisan legislators to overhaul the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and save millions of dollars for companies, is leaving her post at the end of October, Gov. John Hickenlooper said Thursday.

Ellen Golombek, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment executive director Ellen Golombek has held the post for seven years, making her one of the Democratic governor’s last original cabinet appointees still in office. Golombek will be leaving to purse an opportunity with a national workforce-advocacy agency, Hickenlooper announced. The governor is term-limited at the start of 2019.

He offered full-throated praise for Golombek and her work at the department, noting her efforts in leading the UITF reform effort, setting up sector partnerships linking workforce leaders and educators, and promoting internships and apprenticeships. She also served as co-chairwoman of the Governor’s Business Experiential Learning Commission, which was set up to help students and educators create career paths and went on itself to establish the CareerWise Colorado initiative promoting apprenticeships.

“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,” Hickenlooper said. “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.”

Read more at the Denver Business Journal: http://bit.ly/2fxnQ4B