Colorado’s economy is growing, and so is the need for equipping today’s students with career skills to compete at a global level.
As DPS prepares students for the future, we are rethinking pathways to education with innovative and collaborative solutions. Through a partnership with CareerWise Colorado, the CareerResidency Youth Apprenticeship Program offers DPS students three-year apprenticeships with a business-led, student-centered approach that addresses real-world needs. The apprenticeship program combines the traditional high school classroom learning with on-the-job experiences, giving students access to high-opportunity careers in top fields. Apprenticeship students are able to earn money, gain valuable work experiences, and even earn college credit while in high school through concurrent enrollment — to prepare them to be successful in any career path they choose.
Students in the CareerResidency program recently attended a leadership retreat in Estes Park, where they learned how to develop valuable professional traits — like how to work together and communicate within a team environment — that will help them throughout their apprenticeship experience.
The event gathered around 60 DPS CareerResidency students with engaging activities such as team-building, outdoor ropes course, guided hiking, archery and more.
“The retreat at Estes Park helped me to get to know everyone in the group, to feel part of the community and I also learned to speak up. It’s exciting to meet people and get experience in what my future career can be like and have the opportunity to take college classes offered in the program,” said 16-year-old Abraham Lincoln student, Maria Corona, who dreams of becoming an accountant one day and is is doing her apprenticeship at Holmes Murphy-Property Casualty.
The CareerResidency Youth Apprenticeship Program is piloting this fall at four DPS high schools: High Tech Early College, CEC Early College, Lincoln High School and Denver School of Innovation and Sustainable Design with plans to expand to more schools next year. This three-year program will pilot in four industries: advanced manufacturing, business, healthcare and technology.
“It was joyful to see the first group of DPS CareerResidency Youth Apprenticeship students at the retreat in Estes Park! For two full days and one night, we shared valuable sessions and experiences around fellowship, respect, teamwork and leadership among many other values and how important those are going to be within their professional life,” said Norma King, Community Engagement and Event specialist for CareerConnect. “We already feel proud of this first group of DPS CareerResidency Youth Apprenticeship students.”
By 2020, 74% of all Colorado jobs will require education beyond high school, such as college, trade school, an apprenticeship or military service. Apprentices step out of the classroom and get paid to earn years of hands-on work experience that opens opportunities and launches them ahead of their peers for college and future employment. Completing an apprenticeship provides students with several pathways to continued success — whether that’s the workforce after graduation, continued training for specialized certifications, or continuing their higher education at a four-year college.
Applications for the next CareerResidency cohort are now open for current high school sophomores and juniors. Learn more about the application process and company partners here.