Press Release: Colorado Apprenticeship Awards Highlight Importance to Economies and Communities

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For Immediate Release

Date: November 12, 2020
Contact: Office of Government, Policy and Public Relations -


Colorado Apprenticeship Awards Highlight
Importance to Economies and Communities

Denver -- On Tuesday, November 10, individuals and organizations dedicated to the advancement of apprenticeships were honored at the third annual Colorado Apprenticeship Awards, a virtual event hosted by the Business Experiential Learning (BEL) Commission and included leadership from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, the Colorado Department of Higher Education, the Colorado Department of Education, the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, CareerWise Colorado, the Colorado Community College System, and the Colorado Workforce Development Council.

"As Coloradans continue to feel the pandemic’s effects on the state’s economy and workforce, apprenticeships will be a critical part of our recovery and move us toward a more equitable economy,” said Noel Ginsburg, CEO of CareerWise and chair of the BEL Commission. “Apprenticeships can help Coloradans learn in-demand skills in growing industries while earning a paycheck. And employers benefit by finding the talent they need to grow.”

The winners included apprentices, mentors, programs, employers, and partnerships that have demonstrated a remarkable commitment to increasing apprenticeships and expanding access to apprenticeship programs.

“No one succeeds alone,” said Joe Barela, executive director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. “The winners of the Colorado Apprenticeship Awards show that when employers, workers, government, and other community partners work together, we can help expand economic prosperity within our communities and across the state.”
In recognition of the important role apprenticeships play in the state’s economy, earlier this month Governor Jared Polis proclaimed November as Colorado Apprenticeship Month, highlighting apprenticeships’ many benefits: 

  • Offer paid training, skill development and connection to key industries; and
  • A best practice for equitable hiring and skills development for new and existing employees
  • A clear pathway to Colorado’s high-growth industries, including healthcare, construction, skilled trades, information technology, cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing, clean energy, hospitality, and early childhood education
  • Deeper talent pools that enable Colorado’s employers to address skills gaps

To view the Governor’s proclamation, click here


Award Winners

Apprenticeship Programs

  • Veterinary Technology Registered Apprenticeship Program
  • Courtesy Electric Co.
  • The Master’s Apprentice (a pre-apprenticeship program)


  • Leressie Ashley from Pinnacol Assurance
  • Dylan Reitenbach from Solar Installation Workforce Programs and GRID Alternatives
  • Michelle Brown from RK Mechanical


  • Workforce Boulder County, Front Range Community College, Boulder Medical Center, Boulder Community Health,
    and Boulder Chamber
  • Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Community Association Institute, Arapahoe Community College, and ADWorks!
  • Western Colorado Area Health Education Center and Mesa County Workforce Center


  • RK Mechanical
  • ClayDean Electric
  • Pilatus Business Aircraft LTD


  • Garrett Calkins from Intertech Medical
  • Brandon Henry from Western Colorado Area Health Education Center
  • Shekina Francis from Colorado Sheet Metal Workers JATC

The vision of the Business Experiential-Learning (BEL) Commission is to integrate experiential learning opportunities into Colorado's talent development network. Learn more about the BEL Commission’s work and priorities.

For more information about youth apprenticeships, visit the CareerWise website.
For more information about registered apprenticeships, visit the CDLE website.

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