March 5, 2020 (Denver, CO) – Last week the Department of Labor announced that it awarded the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) a $2 million grant as part of the Apprenticeship: Closing the Skills Gap Program. The funds will support information technology (IT) and cybersecurity apprenticeships in Colorado over the next four years.
CCCS’s 13 colleges will join with JFF and the Emily Griffith Technical College to begin implementation in the Denver metro area before scaling statewide. The program, which will go by the name CO-TECH, is expected to support 1,600 IT apprenticeships across the state.
The need for trained IT professionals is growing rapidly and employers are struggling to keep up. Across the nation, nearly 1 million IT positions are open and unfilled. CO-TECH will help prepare Coloradans to be employed in these high-demand jobs of tomorrow.
“Community colleges in Colorado are key to filling open jobs in the state. We are already changing the way Colorado goes to college as the state’s largest provider of postsecondary education and apprentice-based career training,” said Joe Garcia, CCCS chancellor. “The grant from the Department of Labor ensures that we can continue to prepare Coloradans for the jobs of tomorrow and close the gap between open positions in IT and skilled workers.”
Project partner JFF and its Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning work nationally to create new opportunities for economic advancement. JFF currently operates six programs in Colorado focused on workforce development and economic advancement.
“We are thrilled to partner with CCCS to address the critical need for skilled IT and cybersecurity professionals across Colorado. From entry-level positions to upskilling the current workforce, JFF will support the colleges in implementing apprenticeship best practices and in outreach to employers,” said Deborah Kobes, director at JFF.
The grant is part of nearly $100 million awarded to 28 public-private apprenticeship partnerships around the country.
About the Colorado Community College System
The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) is the state’s largest system of higher education, delivering more than 1,000 programs to over 121,000 students annually through 13 colleges and 40 locations across Colorado. Our open access mission ensures all Coloradans who aspire to enrich their lives have access to quality higher education opportunities. The System Office provides leadership, advocacy and support to the colleges under the direction of the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education (SBCCOE). Join us in changing the way Colorado goes to college.
JFF is a national nonprofit that drives transformation in the American workforce and education systems. For 35 years, JFF has led the way in designing innovative and scalable solutions that create access to economic advancement for all. Apprenticeship and work-based learning are proven methods connecting people to good careers while providing employers with skilled workers. JFF’s Center for Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning consolidates JFF’s broad skills and expertise on these approaches into a unique offering. We partner with employers, government, educators, industry associations, and others to build and scale effective, high-quality programs. Visit https://center4apprenticeship.jff.org