(DENVER) – Apprenticeship Colorado at the Office of the Future of Work (OFW) within the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) is pleased to announce over $699,670 has been awarded in grant funds to 14 organizations across the state to support the growth of registered apprenticeship opportunities. These funds are the second cycle of the Scale-Up Grant Program, a multi-round funding opportunity that originates from the Innovation, Diversity, Equity in Apprenticeship (IDEA) grant that was awarded to CDLE in July 2021 from United States Department of Labor (USDOL) under the State Apprenticeship Expansion Equity and Innovation grant.
Grantees include small employers that are new to apprenticeship, established programs aiming to expand their program’s reach, and intermediaries who will partner with multiple employers across regions. Funded projects demonstrated a commitment to embed diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility into their apprenticeship program and were employer-driven.
The apprenticeship model creates multiple career pathways that connect people to paid work experience, educational instruction, and a nationally-recognized credential. Employers also benefit from these programs, as registered apprenticeships help them strengthen their talent pipelines. Given that many Coloradans cannot afford to quit working in order to pursue training or education, apprenticeships also serve as a powerful tool to help address inequities in the labor market. These Scale-Up grants are intended to do just that, by allowing employers to invest in building a sustainable system that prioritizes diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.
As a result of these grants, 17 employers will adopt the registered apprenticeship model, 12 new apprenticeship programs will be registered, and two current programs will be expanded. Programs will be created and expanded in 16 different industries across the state. Five of these grantees are located in rural regions. Together, these grantees are anticipated to create almost 275 new jobs across the state by June 2025.
Organizations funded through Cycle 2 of the Scale-Up Grant Program are:
- African American Trade Association
- Atom Physics
- City of Loveland
- Colorado Autism Consultants
- Colorado Energy Office
- Fortified Development, LLC
- Morgan County School District
- Mountain Roots
- RapidAscent Inc
- Reliance Electric
- Shaw Solar + Energy
- Skills Academy Vocational Center (NRAEF)
- The Center for Development of Economic Equity
- TIC - The Industrial Company
In addition to funding, recipients will receive ongoing technical assistance from the Apprenticeship Colorado Specialist team to register or expand their program and connect with available resources to support inclusive apprenticeship. Such available resources include access to an in-house DEIA Specialist, connections to partners to hire and support apprentices and training focused on strategies to strengthen Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAPs). In 2021, Governor Polis signed legislation to establish the State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA), which will be housed in the OFW and demonstrates the state’s commitment to increasing access to earn-and-learn programs that lead to high-quality jobs.
To learn more about the SAA role and implementation updates, visit the Apprenticeship Colorado website. Interested in starting or expanding a registered apprenticeship? Connect with an Apprenticeship Specialist about developing a program and subscribe here to be alerted about future funding opportunities.
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