Colorado Community College to Develop New Apprenticeship Model

Colorado Community College System (CCCS), 9101 E Lowry Blvd, Denver.

In an effort to expand pathways to good paying jobs in high-growth and emerging industries, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) has selected the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) as one of 18 organizations in the nation to serve as a Standards Recognition Entity (SRE) to oversee the development of new, high-quality Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs) — including one in the real estate/rental and leasing industry — that will be available through CCCS’s 13 colleges.

The 18 SREs are the first group to receive recognition under new regulations the Department published earlier this year to expand apprenticeship opportunities in industries where apprenticeships have been underutilized. CCCS will begin work with employers and other partners to establish standards for IRAPs that provide apprentices college credit and industry-recognized credentials in the following industries:

  • Manufacturing
  • Information Technology
  • Real Estate/Rental and Leasing
  • Healthcare
  • Social Assistance

“This is a game changer for Colorado’s ability to reimagine workforce training and to connect much needed talent with employers,” said Rollie Heath, chair of the Colorado State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education. “CCCS is uniquely positioned as the state’s largest provider of higher education and workforce training to spearhead this important work.”

While CCCS currently supports dozens of Registered Apprenticeship Programs through the USDOL, creation of IRAPs will greatly expand opportunities beyond traditional programs, provide additional flexibility and customization, and bolster apprenticeship creation across all sectors.

“This approval will allow us to aggressively scale apprenticeship development across our 13 colleges,” said Michael Macklin, associate vice chancellor of workforce development at the Colorado Community College System. “We applaud USDOL in their
swift support and vision that aligns with our goals to create innovative pathways for students to achieve a fulfilling career and increasing our state’s economic vibrancy.”


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