DENVER (July 3, 2018) — CareerWise Colorado, a business-led nonprofit implementing a statewide, three-year modern apprenticeship program for high school students, more than doubled the number of students in the program when it welcomed 126 new apprentices earlier this month.
During events in Denver, Eagle County and Grand Junction, apprentices initiated their path to college and career as they kicked off their employment at leading Colorado businesses where they will apply their classroom learning to meaningful work, earn debt-free college credit, industry certifications and establish professional networks. CareerWise apprentices are trained in modern occupations within defined career pathways such as business operations, healthcare, advanced manufacturing, information technology and financial services.
“There are so many success stories from the first pilot year—employers seeing better than anticipated production and professional growth from apprentices, and students blossoming in their roles at work and becoming more engaged at school and at home,” said founder and CEO Noel Ginsburg, “We’re excited to deliver those same opportunities for professional and personal development to this group of apprentices.”
CareerWise’s model of apprenticeship allows a new approach to workforce development, augmenting education and, ultimately, providing Colorado’s youth new paths to success.
“The old notions of apprenticeship for blue-collar industries, and taking young people away from a four-year degree, have changed,” said Ginsburg. “A modern youth apprenticeship is additive to the quality education students are already receiving. It creates better-prepared college students for the higher ed system, a skilled-talent pipeline for business, and is an options multiplier for students.”
Apprentices spend part of their week at work and part at school as they progress towards an on-time high school graduation while gaining valuable job training. Apprenticeships typically last three years, giving students increasing professional responsibility year-over-year.
“A student can start as an apprentice and end with a Ph.D. if higher education is what’s needed to achieve their career goals,” Ginsburg added. “Or, apprenticeship can train them to step directly into a bookkeeper position so they can go on to be a CFO. There’s more than one way to achieve success in today’s modern economy.”
The kickoff event concluded the first day of the apprentices’ workplace boot camp—CareerWise’s training that prepares students for a professional workplace. The boot camp covers everything from executive-function skills like organization and task prioritization to the soft skills of working in teams, managing conflict and following employer dress codes.
Ginsburg also recognized the commitment of education, business, civic leaders and funders who have been instrumental in launching CareerWise, including Governor Hickenlooper and all of CareerWise’s State of Colorado partners, its more than 40 K-12 and higher education partners, its more than 75 business partners and the Business Experiential-Learning (BEL) Commission, and instrumental funders such as Bloomberg Philanthropies, Colorado Health Foundation, the Daniels Fund, Gary Community Investments, James Walton Fund of the Walton Family Foundation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Markle Foundation, Mayer Phillips Foundation, UnitedHealthCare and Walton Family Foundation.
Recruitment of businesses interested in hiring youth apprentices is ongoing, and student recruitment for the 2019 cohort will begin this winter.
For more information about how CareerWise is designing a scalable, statewide modern youth-apprenticeship system for Colorado students and industry, visit www.CareerWiseColorado.org
About CareerWise Colorado
CareerWise Colorado is building a statewide system of youth apprenticeships that create pathways for students to access high-demand, high-paying careers at leading Colorado companies. Student apprentices work toward high school graduation and earn postsecondary credit, industry credentials or both in their chosen career path. Established by the Business Experiential-Learning (BEL) Commission created by Gov. John Hickenlooper and chaired by Noel Ginsburg of Intertech Plastics, CareerWise Colorado launched in school districts in metro Denver, Fort Collins and the Western Slope and is adding more each year. 20,000 youth apprentices, or about 10 percent of Colorado students in their last two years of high school, are expected to participate by 2027. More information about CareerWise Colorado is available at careerwiseelk.wpengine.com.
Jennifer Dulles, DStreet