CareerWise connects education and industry to benefit students and businesses

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
— Margaret Mead

CareerWise is the first modern youth-apprenticeship system in the United States. As a nonprofit intermediary, CareerWise's program crosses Colorado's geographies and industries, and provides students an practical learning experience to augment the classroom in fields such as healthcare, business operations, information technology, advanced manufacturing and financial services.

The CareerWise model borrows elements from the Swiss system, which is widely regarded as the gold standard in apprenticeship, in that it ensures benefit to both students and businesses as it serves as an intermediary between the complex systems of education and industry.

CareerWise was envisioned by its founder and CEO Noel Ginsburg and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper following a 2015 trip to Switzerland to learn about its youth apprenticeship system. In 2016, the organization was created as a public-private partnership, and a few short months later it launched its first cohort of modern youth apprentices.

CareerWise Facts

CareerWise's mission is to create opportunities for youth and businesses across Colorado by developing and supporting an innovative, sustainable youth apprenticeship program. Through this business-led, student-centered model, CareerWise brings together public and private stakeholders to ensure that students have access to the skills and knowledge they need for financial and academic success, and that businesses have access to highly-trained talent.


CareerWise Partnerships

CareerWise is an initiative created by leading Colorado industry associations. These industry leaders understand that schools are not experts in addressing the needs of businesses. By partnering with these organizations and focusing on experiential learning, we believe we can meet these needs and provide added benefit to all students.

The Business Case

Hosting apprenticeships and becoming a training business isn't about charity, it's about investing in your future. Companies regularly identify the problem of recruiting skilled job candidates as a major challenge, but Colorado's youth still stands massively underemployed. This is a threat to our state's long-term growth. Programs similar to CareerWise apprenticeships result in less turnover and fewer wasted training dollars.

CareerWise Benefits

70 percent of Colorado adults are not from the Centennial State. They are highly educated transplants that have come to fill a desperate need for talent among Colorado companies. At the same time, local youth faces high unemployment rates. Countries with similar programs to CareerWise have the lowest youth unemployment rates in the world. With the help of educators and businesses, we can solve Colorado's workforce issues.

Businesses Become Centers of Learning

Innovation is at home in Colorado. Our state is growing rapidly and is poised to have a great impact on the nation's economic future. CareerWise is aligning with businesses in the IT, finance, business operations, and advanced manufacturing sectors in order to provide students with robust apprenticeships. Partnering businesses will help students connect theory with practice.

Multiple Paths to Success

The same pathway through high school and beyond will not work for every student. College may not be the best solution for every student, but an apprenticeship can be. All students can benefit from learning workplace skills as they gain a practical education. An apprenticeship does not close doors - it opens them. When a student successfully completes a CareerWise apprenticeship, they'll have a variety of options, including continuing to a 4-year school, entering the workforce, or seeking specialized training.

The Future of Colorado Apprenticeships

The pilot program for CareerWise is set to launch in 2017. We are already working dilligently with businesses, industry associations, school districts, and policymakers to integrate experiential-based learning into several Denver-area school's curriculums.

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