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DENVER – July 13, 2020 – CareerWise, a nonprofit developing a modern youth apprenticeship system in Colorado, today announced it has received a $5M grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. With the grant, CareerWise and its partner organizations, Ascend Indiana, EmployIndy and Horizon Education Alliance in Indiana, CityBridge Education in Washington, D.C., and HERE to HERE in New York City will create 900 total registered youth apprenticeships for high school students across a number of modern industries.
The funds support each local community to expand youth participation in apprenticeship—particularly for women and students of color, who are significantly underrepresented in registered apprenticeship programs across the country today, through a unified national Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP). The partner organizations will leverage shared supportive services provided by CareerWise Colorado and will work together to build a learning network based on local expertise and regional implementations in diverse economic environments. Such experiential insights will be especially valuable to CareerWise’s efforts to expand work-based skill development for young people who are working to overcome systemic barriers, now exacerbated by the pandemic, to accessing high-growth career pathways.
“Our partnership with CareerWise is rooted in a shared vision for creating a more diverse and equitable economy through youth apprenticeship,” said Barbara Chang, HERE to HERE executive vice president. “As an experienced implementor, CareerWise is able to share with us the practical tools and lessons learned that are invaluable to accelerating the impact of our own system. In turn, our own lessons and tools contribute to a growing learning network that will help to create even more opportunities.”
During the previous three years, CareerWise and its partners have launched nearly 600 apprenticeships.
“Only a fraction of the apprenticeships we’ve generated have been registered with the USDOL,” said Noel Ginsburg, CareerWise founder and CEO. “But, scaling youth apprenticeship is going to require consistency and quality across national programs, a goal that will be greatly hastened by leveraging accountability measures ensured by the federal Office of Apprenticeship, and providing our apprentices with a nationally recognized credential.”
As an intermediary, CareerWise and its partners work directly with employers to demystify youth apprenticeship and the registration process. In addition, the intermediaries support employers along each phase of the program lifecycle, including the identification of workforce that can benefit from youth apprenticeship, adoption of competency-based training curricula, sourcing and hiring of youth apprentices, and enrollment and retention of apprentices throughout each two- to four-year competency-based apprenticeship.
“Together with a growing number of implementors and in collaboration with the USDOL—and the essential involvement of state agencies and education systems—youth apprenticeship is being recognized as a dignified work-based learning path to a high-pay, high-growth modern career for students,” said Ginsburg. “And more and more employers are recognizing apprenticeship as a strategic, innovative talent strategy that can also help to create a more equitable economy.”
CareerWise’s grant application was endorsed by the following youth apprenticeship employers:
CareerWise Colorado is creating more opportunity for more students through youth apprenticeship. The cross-industry apprenticeship model works with employers and schools to provide pathways to high-demand, high-paying careers in modern fields such as business operations, financial services and information technology. Student apprentices earn a wage while they gain meaningful work experience and access opportunities for industry credentials and debt-free college credit. Employers gain access to a diverse Gen Z talent pipeline while working towards a more equitable and inclusive economy. More information about CareerWise and modern youth apprenticeship at careerwisecolorado.org.
Jason Jansky, CareerWise
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