June 29, 2022
Five Boulder County organizations awarded part of $1.2 million in CO’s Scale-Up Grant
Boulder County, Colo. - The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s (CDLE) Office of the Future of Work (OFOW) has awarded over $1,191,000 in grant funds to 25 organizations across the state to support the growth of registered apprenticeship opportunities. These funds are the first 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.
Five of these grantees are Boulder County organizations, and many others will serve and develop Colorado's local workforce. Grantees include small employers that are new to apprenticeship, established programs aiming to employ more apprentices, and intermediaries who will partner with multiple employers across regions. Funded projects demonstrated a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility 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. A second funding cycle is anticipated to be released early next year.
Organizations funded through Cycle 1 of the Scale-Up Grant Program in Boulder County include:
Boulder Community Broadcast Association Inc. dba KGNU Radio
Boulder Community Health
Colorado Tree Care Sector Partnership
Kaiser Foundation Research Institute
Other organizations in the state that were also awarded a Scale-Up grant include the following organizations: Activate Work, Inc., Arbor Family Medicine, Blind Institute of Technology, CFOshare, Colorado Contractors Association, Colorado Rural Water Association, Construction Education Foundation of Colorado, Construction Industry Training Council of Colorado, Inc., Denver Public Schools - Career and College Success, FOM, LLC, Garvin's Sewer Service, Inc., Generation Schools Network, Independent Plumbing Solutions, Inc., Jewish Family Service of Colorado, Johnny Apple Tree Care, Pickens Technical College, RK Industries, Rocky Mountain Masonry Institute, Spark Mindset, and Tolmar, Inc.
As a result of these grants, 34 employers will adopt the registered apprenticeship model, 12 new apprenticeship programs will be registered, and 13 current programs will be expanded. Programs will be created and expanded in 10 different industries across the state. Four of these grantees are located in rural regions. Together, these grantees are anticipated to create almost 1,000 new jobs across the state by June 2025.
In addition to funding, recipients will receive ongoing technical assistance from the Office of the Future of Work (OFOW) Apprenticeship Specialist team to register or expand their program with USDOL and connect with available resources to support inclusive apprenticeship. In 2021, Governor Polis signed legislation to establish the State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA). SAA will be housed in the OFOW and demonstrates the state’s commitment to increasing access to earn-and-learn programs that lead to high-quality jobs.