Workforce Development Month Focuses on Apprenticeships in Week 1

(DENVER) -- September is Workforce Development Month, offering four weeks of workshops, open houses, hiring events, employer seminars, conferences and online features, all designed to connect with Colorado workers and the businesses that hire them. From September 3 - 8, Workforce Development Month turns its focus to Apprenticeships and how this earn-while-you-learn model is promoting workforce development in unique ways.

A website designed to increase employers’ awareness of how to develop a registered apprenticeship program is available at That website tells the story of apprenticeships and promotes their real-world advantage in developing careers and building the state’s talent pipeline. 

It is a one-stop opportunity for companies to learn how these on-the-job training programs can develop highly-skilled and productive employees. According to multiple studies, the long-range payout for businesses is impressive. Apprenticeships have been shown to reduce turnover rates, lower recruitment and training costs and increase productivity. In short, apprenticeships can transform companies.

Throughout the week, there will also be outreach to job seekers who may not realize the diversity of industries and careers that apprenticeships promote. The Department of Labor and Employment will be posting information about apprenticeships on Facebook ( and on Twitter (

The social media campaign will stress a key message for employers and career seekers alike. Apprenticeships continue to be a key strategy for growing opportunities in construction and manufacturing, but have expanded to be an opportunity for careers in Information Technology, Health Care, Energy, Aerospace and more.

For workers, the takeaway is that most who complete an apprenticeship find employment with a starting wage of more than $50,000 a year. In fact, successful apprentices are upgrading their skills and being put on a career path that will result in higher lifetime wages than their peers who were not in apprenticeship programs.

“Our outreach to employers and workers is critical,” says Joe Barela, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. “We must rededicate ourselves to preparing our workforce and renewing our commitment to putting the American dream within reach of everyone. This week in Colorado reminds us that apprenticeships, internships and other experiential learning tools are precisely how to do that.”

Now is the time to start thinking about apprenticeships. Thursday, September 5, is Keep Colorado Working Day with events and open houses offered at many local workforce centers to help you find a program right for you. To learn about all the events going on near you, go to Also, students, youth, and businesses can register to participate in the Adams County Apprenticeship Fair, an event scheduled for early 2020 and designed to showcase the multitude of career paths that apprenticeships offer, put on by the Adams County Education Consortium.

For a full listing of other events during this first week of Workforce Development Month, visit the calendar at the Department of Labor and Employment’s home page,