Grand Junction Businesses to Develop Skilled Workforce Through Modern Youth Apprenticeship

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – October 25, 2017 – CareerWise Colorado, a nonprofit implementing a statewide, three-year youth-apprenticeship program for high school students, today announced new hiring partners on the Western Slope. Monument Health, Mesa County Valley School District 51, Synaptic Games and West Star Aviation have committed to taking apprentices in 2018.

“CareerWise employers are being proactive in addressing the talent shortages by taking an active role in educating their workforce,” said Linda Spencer, CareerWise Grand Junction program manager. “Innovation is a hallmark of all of our hiring partners—they’re innovating the way in which they develop workforce, and in turn that workforce is innovating their business.”
CareerWise offers three-year apprenticeships in fields such as healthcare, technology, advanced manufacturing, financial services and business operations. As an intermediary between the complex systems of education and industry, it helps companies recruit apprentices to the hiring process, develop training plans that are designed to develop skills and competencies highly relevant to the job, and act as a liaison between schools and businesses to create schedules that work for both.

Through the CareerWise apprenticeship program, businesses can expect a reduction in employee turnover, lower recruiting and training costs and a diversified, agile and skilled workforce resulting in a positive ROI. In turn, apprentices earn valuable workforce experience, a nationally-recognized industry certification and approximately one year’s worth of debt-free college credit.

“CareerWise apprenticeships are based on the idea that both parties—the business and the apprentice—need to reap real, tangible benefit,” said Spencer. “It’s not a philanthropic endeavor on the part of our hiring partners; the system is sustainable because apprenticeship is sound business.”

A study of similar apprenticeship programs have seen a rate of return for rural health centers and urban manufacturers as high as 40 to 50 percent and a reduction in long-term hiring costs between 20 and 40 percent.

“The businesses on the Western Slope have been quicker to commit to 2018 apprentices than have our partners on the Front Range,” said Spencer. “The Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce, School District 51, WCCC/CMU and the Mesa County Workforce Center have all been instrumental in connecting Grand Junction with modern youth-apprenticeship.”
CareerWise will be recruiting partner businesses through November. For more information, contact Linda Spencer at or (970) 261-0915.

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 is launching in school districts in metro Denver, Fort Collins and the Western Slope. 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

Media Contact:

Jason Jansky, CareerWise Colorado

(303) 748-3300 |