For Immediate Release | March 21, 2022
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s (CDLE) Office of the Future of Work (OFOW) is encouraging employers, registered apprenticeship sponsors, intermediaries, and education or training providers to apply for the Scale-Up Grant Program, a multi-round funding opportunity that will support the growth of registered apprenticeship opportunities statewide.
Awards will range from $10,000 to $50,000 and prioritize projects that are employer-driven and prioritize diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in apprenticeship. Funds for the awards originate from the Innovation, Diversity, Equity in Apprenticeship (IDEA) grant that was awarded to CDLE from USDOL under the State Apprenticeship Expansion Equity and Innovation grant in July 2021.
“The expansion of registered apprenticeship programs will have far-reaching benefits for Colorado,” said the OFOW’s Director, Katherine Keegan. “Individuals are able to earn a paycheck as they learn in-demand skills and employers have a powerful tool to address their talent needs. These programs will help the state advance its economic recovery while also helping prepare Coloradan communities for the future of work. That’s why our Office is investing in launching, scaling, and diversifying these programs throughout the state of Colorado.”
Keegan’s comments are borne out by research. A survey from the Urban Institute found that 97 percent of employer sponsors of registered apprenticeship programs said they would recommend the program to others; the most frequently cited benefit of these programs was that they helped meet employers’ demand for skilled workers (80 percent). Other benefits included increased productivity and safety, improved worker morale, as well as increased retention. Apprenticeships also benefit workers, who are able to earn while they learn. Given that many people cannot afford to quit working in order to pursue training or education, apprenticeships can also help address inequities in the labor market.
The IDEA grant will help recipients fund capacity-building projects that launch new registered apprenticeship programs and/or expand them. In addition to funding, recipients will receive ongoing technical assistance from the OFOW Apprenticeship Specialist team to register or expand their program with USDOL and connect with available resources to support inclusive apprenticeship.
A question and answer webinar will be held on March 23rd at 10:00am via Zoom to allow prospective applicants the opportunity to ask questions to clarify requirements for this grant.
Please note the following dates and times:
- Application Deadline: April 15th, 2022 at 5:00pm
- Start of Grant Period: May, 2022
- End of Grant Period: December 31st, 2023
For more information, including the Request for Applications and instructions on how to apply, please visit the Office of the Future of Work website.
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