DPS CareerConnect Receives $4 Million for New CareerResidency Program

Sep. 14, 2016

Denver Public Schools (DPS) and CareerWise Colorado joined Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, Gov. John Hickenlooper, Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne and other Colorado leaders on Wednesday, Sept. 14, to celebrate a $9.5 million grant from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bloomberg Philanthropies. Gov. Hickenlooper announcement that the grant funding will be used to create a new youth apprenticeship model through DPS CareerConnect and CareerWise Colorado. Watch the presentation from Gov. Hickenlooper on Facebook here, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. and an apprentice with Mikron on Facebook here.

Watch the video on YouTube or Vimeo.

DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg joined a panel discussion where he spoke about the impact of the apprenticeship program on DPS students.

“The strong potential about this CareerConnect opportunity is that many of the skills that our students lack, is the set of connections and networking opportunities that they need,” said Boasberg. “It’s about opening doors and building bridges to kids to create opportunities to allow our kids to get in the door to jobs, to learn the skills, and to show the talent and potential each student has.”

Partnering with the state, Bloomberg Philanthropies committed $5.5 million to CareerWise, and JPMorgan Chase dedicated $4 million to DPS for a pilot program — called CareerResidency — that will equip DPS high school students with high-demand skills for lucrative careers and postsecondary opportunities in Colorado’s leading industries.

“We (JP Morgan Chase) look forward to working with everyone here on building a world class career education apprenticeship system that helps Colorado’s businesses, families and communities compete and prosper,” said Chauncy Lennon, chair of workforce initiatives and global philanthropy at JP Morgan Chase.

The CareerResidency is a groundbreaking new component of DPS CareerConnect that will revolutionize high school education and post-secondary opportunities in Denver, and also provide students with direct routes to careers and higher education.

The CareerResidency builds upon DPS CareerConnect initiatives, a program that brings learning to life through career exploration, mentoring, internships, and college courses. DPS CareerConnect partners with more than 150 companies to provide hands-on, experiential-learning opportunities to more than 6,000 DPS students. The program also helps students develop the skills and education needed for opportunities in Colorado’s engineering, technical, biomedical, advanced manufacturing and finance industries.

“DPS CareerConnect is demonstrating how a large urban school district can successfully partner with businesses and the community to provide bright futures for our kids.” said Joe Saboe, director of DPS CareerConnect

With the support of this grant, DPS CareerConnect plans to reach 9,000 students over the next three years through the new CareerResidency program. DPS high school students in 11th and 12th grades will have the opportunity to participate in this paid program. Over the course of two years, participants and will spend two days a week in a traditional classroom and three days in a business or training center. All students who complete the CareerResidency program will earn a high school diploma and an associate degree at no cost to the student or their family. Students will also have the opportunity to continue their higher education studies, or immediately gain access to a high-paying career. The CareerResidency program will pilot in fall 2017 with 100 DPS students studying across four industries: information technology, healthcare, advanced manufacturing and banking/finance.

CareerWise Colorado is a statewide program that will build on the success of existing programs like DPS CareerConnect. The program will begin in fall 2017 with 250 apprentices and grow to serve nearly 20,000 students, or 10 percent of eligible high school students in the state, within 10 years.

For more information about DPS CareerConnect, visit