Denver's cannabis industry is looking to diversify its workforce

Area businesses are using Denver's Cannabis Career Fair to try and get more people of color to work in the cannabis industry.

DENVER - Denver's cannabis industry is hoping to add more minorities to its workforce.

Two local organizations are teaming up to bridge the gap between people in minority groups and employment opportunities. Marijuana Industry Group and Servicios de La Raza started the initial effort on Sunday at the Vangst Cannabis Career Summit at Mile High Station.

Servicios de La Raza provides support services for communities it says are underrepresented in the Denver area.

The strong push to hire more minorities was spurred by Denver’s city council, according to MIG executive director Kristi Kelly.

“They really threw down the gauntlet to us in the last year and said, ‘Hey, we’re not seeing people of color represented at the same proportion as our city,’” Kelly said. “So, we really want to change that.”

The partnership aims to “break down barriers of discrimination and lack of access,” said Servicios de La Raza executive director Rudy Gonzales.

“Cannabis businesses offer meaningful employment at living wages,” Gonzales said. “That’s what we look for when we want to break the cycle of poverty.”

The two groups hope to use the new strategy to also create opportunities for the people they say have gotten into trouble with the law because of marijuana. The organizations said previous offenders often have a hard time getting jobs and their hope is to make it easier for them to find work.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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