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What Does it Take to Scale Youth Apprenticeship?

The Colorado delegation that went to Switzerland in May to see the systems that enable youth apprenticeship to scale gathered this week at the Governor’s Residence to talk about our collective commitments around industry engagement, systems-level blueprint, and a qualification framework.

This group of employers, educators, and policymakers—led by CareerWise and Slalom—is aiming to activate Colorado’s collective ecosystem of industry, education, government, and community partners to advance the systems create a diverse pool of accredited talent that fuels industry growth and financial success through work-based experiences.

Colorado has made impressive progress towards creating more paths to career through apprenticeship—and ultimately growing the middle class. We’ve hired more than 900 youth apprentices since 2017, and have nearly 6,000 adult apprentices working in the state today. And, just this month Apprenticeship
Colorado was officially recognized as a State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA) to oversee the state’s USDOL Registered Apprenticeship Programs.

But that progress is relative. While Colorado is leading the U.S. towards apprenticeship as an accepted options multiplier, apprenticeship is still too often misunderstood and underutilized, both as a path to career and as a workforce/talent strategy.

The energy at the dinner was exciting, but we’re only just beginning. We believe we have the momentum and the right leaders in the room to answer the question, “What does it take to scale apprenticeship in Colorado?” The plans are being hatched, the groundwork laid; and in the coming months we’ll keep you updated on the progress.