As an employer, you have the power to help Colorado build back stronger by hiring tomorrow’s talent today. The NextGen Hiring Challenge sets a target for youth apprenticeship hires at five percent of a company’s workforce, location or division within a five-year timeline.

Scaling Youth Apprenticeship

"Some of our most successful youth-apprentice employers find the ideal mix is about five percent of their workforce. At that scale, apprentices are making a real impact on the company, and the program is making a real impact in the community."

Noel Ginsburg, CareerWise founder & CEO

What is Youth Apprenticeship?

Youth apprenticeship is a long-term talent strategy that creates more paths to career for Colorado’s young people, creating a larger skilled workforce for employers and a stronger economy for the state. It’s a proven workforce strategy that delivers tangible benefit to employers, apprentices and our community—a double-bottom line initiative being embraced by some of the largest companies in the country.


Why 5%?

The companies that invest in apprenticeship infrastructure and hire larger cohorts realize greater returns on their programs. Youth apprenticeship is more than just a community-engagement project. Youth apprenticeship is a talent pipeline; it’s a strategic business advantage that is also building a more equitable economy.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon noted after visiting Pinnacol Assurance—a Colorado employer whose youth apprentices comprise 5 percent of its workforce—“if each of us were to do that, it would change this country.”

PROFILES: See How 5% is Working for Companies Like Yours

Why Now?

There is no doubt that Colorado’s economy will rebound to the levels we saw prior to the pandemic. Our industry leaders are among the most innovative in the world. But with that also comes the challenges we were facing pre-pandemic: a shortage of skilled talent and inequities in who has access to high-growth careers.

Now is the time to create more paths to modern careers. Paths that serve any student from any community without the traditional barriers to higher education and social mobility, and at the same time develop new early-career talent pipelines for our businesses.

VIDEO: Find Out Why Youth Apprenticeship Works for Companies

Did You Know?

Infographic ImageThe unemployment rate for young workers ages 16-24 jumped from 8.4% to 24.4% from Spring 2019 to Spring 2020 (compared to the high of 11.3% for their older counterparts). For more information on youth apprenticeship and the impact it can make as we’re building back the economy, take a look at the full infographic.

Full Infographic


Employers who commit to becoming a NextGen Training Company will be supported through apprentice recruitment, onboarding, initial supervisor and apprentice training and ongoing program support by CareerWise.

Are you interested in learning more about how youth apprenticeship and becoming a NextGen employer can help your company and community? Fill out the form and CareerWise will be in touch to answer any questions and help you develop a custom plan to fit your business—including identifying apprenticeable roles, timelines and logistics and identifying and training the right supervisors and managers for the program.