Gov. Jared Polis Declares November Colorado Apprenticeship Month as Economy Increasingly Requires Lifelong Learning

For immediate release
Date: November 1, 2019
Contact: Colorado Department of Labor and Employment
Amelia Tenne at 303.318.8004 or Cher Haavind at 303.318.8003

(Denver) -- Today, Colorado Governor Jared Polis issued a proclamation declaring November Colorado Apprenticeship Month, in recognition of the increasingly important role such programs play in helping Coloradans gain in-demand skills while earning a paycheck.

“Apprenticeships give people of all ages an opportunity to hone existing skills and gain new ones,” said Joe Barela, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE). “As we prepare for today and tomorrow’s rapidly changing economy, the importance of upskilling and reskilling will only grow. Apprenticeships will provide countless Coloradans with opportunities to remain competitive in a quickly evolving labor market that demands lifelong learning.” 

During Colorado Apprenticeship Month, CDLE, along with the Business Experiential Learning (BEL) Commission, the Colorado Workforce Development Council, and workforce boards, will be hosting a “Celebration of Excellence” at the Governor’s Residence at the Boettcher Mansion on November 5th. The event, sponsored by FirstBank and CareerWise Colorado, will honor apprentices, their mentors, and employers who have strong apprenticeship programs, and partnerships that further the adoption of apprenticeship programs. 

Governor Polis’ proclamation comes as employers struggle to find skilled talent in a state with historically low unemployment rates. At the same time, many Coloradans find themselves without the skills or experience they need to find good jobs. Apprenticeships help alleviate employers’ skills gaps while also equipping apprentices with in-demand skills. 

An increasing number of employers are recognizing the benefits of such programs; from 2013 to 2018, the number of apprentices grew from 375,000 to 585,000, a 56 percent increase, according to the United States Department of Labor. A data sheet by the Utah Department of Workforce Services also notes that the return on investment for a registered apprenticeship program is $1.46 for ever $1 invested, that 90 percent of apprentices retain employment after their apprenticeship ends, and that apprenticeship graduates earn, on average, $300,000 more over the course of their career than their peers who don’t complete an apprenticeship.

To view the Governor’s proclamation in full, click here.

To find out more about how your organization can adopt an apprenticeship program, visit Apprenticeship Evolution, a product of the BEL Commission.