CWDC Announces $450,000 in Grants to Build Thriving Work-based Learning Communities

April 16, 2016

by Lee Wheeler-Berliner​

The concept of a Thriving Work-based Learning Community was introduced at the 2017 TalentFOUND Sectors Summit, and the CWDC has taken the next steps toward supporting this work throughout the state. In February, a grant opportunity was announced which would develop capacity within a local community to effectively engage in work-based learning activities and, more importantly, strengthen the system in that particular community which makes action happen.

Applications came in from across Colorado, and funding decisions were grouped into two categories. This approach allowed applications from very rural communities, defined as a population less than 10,000 people, to be examined separately from applications from larger communities. Ten grantees have been selected who will begin working to strengthen their community capacity for work-based learning and to expand promising practices that are underway. A total of $469,817 has been awarded.

The proposals submitted exceeded expectations in the number of applications and the scope of projects. Due to the demand, very few applications were funded at the full level of the request. The proposals receiving funding represent a diversity of communities, targeted populations, and implementation models. Collectively, the work that will be done, the evaluation process, and the capturing of best practices will result in substantial material for future technical assistance for all of Colorado.

The grantees in rural communities are:

  • Estes Park Work-based Learning Apprenticeship Program: $15,000
  • Garfield County School District #16: $60,000
  • West End Public Schools Apprenticeship Program: $45,000

 The grantees in larger communities are:

  • Adams County Education Consortium - Career Explore at Prairie View High School; $33,500
  • Arapahoe Community College - Talent Pipeline Douglas County: $55,800
  • Boulder County Work-based Learning Scale UP to Thrive Program: $64,000
  • Building a Vibrant and Thriving Work-based Learning Community Larimer County: $64,500
  • Easterseals USGS - STEP UP: $26,217
  • Jefferson County Career Explore Program: $37,500 
  • Pikes Peak Business & Education Alliance in partnership with CAMA: $68,300

Each of these partnerships includes entities from various sectors collectively conducting activities from now through May 2019. These partnerships will be founding members of the Work-based Learning Community of Practice launching summer 2018 and are local leaders shaping the future of talent development in our state.

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