Blog right triangle Innovative Partnerships in Mesa County Expand Access to Apprenticeships
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Innovative Partnerships in Mesa County Expand Access to Apprenticeships

By Lanna Hernandez | CareerWise Marketing Coordinator Apprentice

Launched in 2016, KickStart was designed to match out-of-school young adults, ages 18 – 24 with available paid jobs and internships in Mesa County.  Recently, KickStart began adding apprenticeships to their offerings thanks to an innovative collaboration with Mesa County School District 51, a longtime partner of CareerWise in Grand Junction. 

The partnership allows for young people, including the ones within the Mesa County School District 51, to have direct access to a pipeline of professional development opportunities through apprenticeships and internships. “Our collaborative efforts will allow in-school youth to gain access to KickStart program benefits and we can also look for students just exiting school to make sure we provide guidance for KickStart enrollment while looking for the right apprentice fit,” said Bo Tobin, CareerWise Liaison and Work Based Learning Coordinator with the Mesa County School District 51. Lindsay Bullock, Career Development Supervisor with the Mesa County Workforce Center who facilitates KickStart, shared “We are excited to see this partnership continue to grow and benefit the youth of Mesa County.”

This partnership speaks to the creative work that can be accomplished when two community-serving entities leverage their already strong partnership. CareerWise Colorado is eager to see how this innovative and creative approach of  bringing apprenticeship to new groups of youth can flourish. The hope is that serving out-of-school youth can emerge as a best practice and can be replicated in other geographies in the near future. Bo Tobin adds, “Our intentions are always to work together with community partners and the Mesa County Workforce Center is a great friend of ours. We envision growth and alternative experiences for individuals looking for an apprenticeship.”