Farmers, construction companies, tourist towns and others say tough immigration laws are leading to labor shortages, just as the state economy is growing and harvest times are nearing.
So employers are enlisting family members, neighbors, youth jobs programs and even the Colorado Department of Corrections for help, according to Jim Miller of the state Department of Agriculture.
State Agriculture Commissioner John Stulp says he's concerned about the long-term effects of the labor shortage on Colorado farming.
Some employers say new state immigration laws have scared workers away, even legal ones.
Among the hardest hit are those who grow specialty crops that cannot be harvested by machines.