RISE Grant Brings Construction Career Pathways to Adams County 

Adams County School District 14 (Adams 14) recently received a $2.1 million RISE Grant from the State of Colorado to improve student outcomes by expanding their Careers in Technical Education (CTE) offerings and work-based learning opportunities for their students.

The grant formalizes a public-private partnership between Adams 14, Front Range Community College – a post-secondary institute – and the Construction Education Foundation of Colorado (CEF Colorado) to bring P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools) and construction career pathways to the local community. The RISE fund also allowed the Adams 14 public-private partnership to receive approval through the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3) – a national nonprofit network whose mission is to bridge the gap between education and industry workforce development. CEF Colorado’s involvement, with the backing of the Associated General Contractors of Colorado (AGC/C), marks one of the first trade associations to become members of NC3.

“We are honored to be selected as a RISE grant recipient as part of the Adams 14 public-private partnership, that aligns so well with CEF Colorado’s mission to recruit, develop and serve students in the construction industry by promoting innovative educational pathways,” commented Bryan Cook, executive director for CEF Colorado, and the chapter operations director for AGC/C.

RISE is an acronym for Response, Innovation, and Student Equity (RISE) education formalized by the State of Colorado to assist secondary and post-secondary public institutions address the inequitable learning challenges that COVID-19 unveiled across the state. The intended outcomes from the grant include bolstering community connections amongst students and their families, increasing student engagement and improving both academic and social/emotional student issues that resulted from the COVID-19 crisis.

The public-private partnership allows CEF Colorado and AGC/C, which represents over 600 construction-member firms, to serve as a bridge between the construction industry and the educational classroom through the Adams 14 P-TECH in construction technology. This program is the first of its kind in Colorado to offer high school students not only a high school diploma, but also an associate degree in Architecture and Construction Technology combined with on-the-job training opportunities with CEF Colorado’s general and specialty contractor members.  

“Skill acquisition is truly the only way to help people out of generational poverty,” commented Porter Cutrell, Ed.D, the career technical education director at Adams 14. “Our partnership with CEF Colorado allows us to offer construction career training while students are still in high school, along with the opportunity to receive an associate degree to help further his/her career pathway and provide a means for a better life than that particular student may have had growing up.”

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