2020 NASWA Veterans Conference - Call for Promising Practices

Call for Promising Practices - 2020 NASWA Veterans Conference


Planners for the 2020 NASWA Veterans Conference are seeking workshop presenters who can provide learning opportunities for conference attendees on "Promising Practices" relevant to serving our nation's Veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses, and the employers who hire them.

This year’s conference will again include several Veteran-focused themes: military spouses, disabled Veterans, significant barriers to employment, employers, state promising practices, and transitioning from the military to a civilian career. Presenters are encouraged to focus on these topics, but we have also provided a list of suggested subject areas below, as well as more information about the conference itself. Please do not feel you are limited to these topical areas.


About the Conference


Great speakers like Medal of Honor recipient Flo Groberg, Second Lady Karen Pence, artist Tyler Way, and wheelchair athlete Shaun Castle, as well as a number of amazing workshops highlighted the 2019 NASWA Veterans Conference. Almost 600 people – representing 49 states, Guam, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia - attended the event, along with staff from USDOL, DOD, SBA, VA, and numerous employers and Federal contractors. Click here to view the 2019 conference video. We expect even greater attendance in 2020, and will soon be announcing keynote and plenary speakers. The conference will be August 12-14, 2020, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington DC.

The conference agenda will include an employer panel featuring HVMP recipients, plenary speakers, and multiple breakout sessions. Current plans have workshops at three different times during the conference, with six to eight workshops scheduled for each time slot. We will consider requests for specific time slots. There is a possibility some workshops will be offered more than once based on topic and identified demand. More information about the conference will be available at www.naswa.org


Workshop presentations


Breakout sessions will be 60 minutes in length. Presenters should either allow time for audience questions throughout the session, or leave time for questions and answers at the end to encourage interaction. Presentations should include information on the "how" and the "why," explaining the process, pitfalls, hardships, etc. that went into the practice, and lessons learned. Presenters are expected to exhibit a high level of professionalism, and to begin and end their presentations on time. A member of NASWA, NASWA staff, the Vets Committee, or one of our agency partners will moderate all sessions.

We prefer to have one speaker per state, but if additional speakers are needed, please reference that requirement in the presentation proposal.

Presentation proposals should include any specific A/V requirements, such as a projector, screen, laptop, and Wi-Fi. All presentations should have the primary objective of providing information, education or opportunity for the attendees. Presentations should not include any overt solicitation on behalf of any individual, vendor, product, organization or commercial activity; the conference offers paid exhibit space to promote products and/or services.

Presenters who have appeared at previous NASWA events should reference that information in their proposal. Presenters are expected to submit a copy of their presentation to the program committee by the designated deadline. These presentations will be made available to conference attendees on the NASWA website after the event. All presenters must be willing to mentor others who want to use their "Promising Practice."


Suggested presentation topics:


Conference planners surveyed states who attended the 2019 event to get ideas on the types of information they would like included at the 2020 event. The top 10 requests are listed in bold italics. Some topics could easily be combined, such as serving different generations (older and younger vets) and legal issues/Veteran courts. Here is a list of suggested topics for consideration, but presenters and panelists are not limited to these topics.

  • Apprenticeship
  • Business Services and LVERs
  • Case Management SOP for DVOPs
  • Compliance and the OFCCP
  • Credentialing and Licensing
  • Employer Panel
  • Employer Veteran Hiring Initiatives
  • Entrepreneurship/Small Business Boot camp
  • How to Talk to a Veteran
  • Identifying Your Community Resources
  • Integrating Veterans into the Career One-Stop
  • Leadership for Veterans Programs (for administrators)
  • Legal Issues
  • LinkedIn for Veterans & Military Spouses
  • Marketing Veterans Services
  • Microsoft Tools (hands-on session)
  • Military Spouses and Caregivers
  • Moral Injury
  • National Labor Exchange Academy
  • National Veterans Training Institute
  • New State Laws That Benefit Veterans
  • Objective Assessment Tools
  • Performance Analysis, Metrics & Reporting
  • Priority of Service/Veterans Preference Laws
  • Resume Writing for Veterans
  • Serving Veterans with Brain Injuries (TBI, CTE)
  • Serving Ex-offenders
  • Serving Homeless Veterans
  • Serving Incarcerated Veterans
  • Serving LGBTQ Veterans
  • Serving Military Spouses
  • Serving Native American Veterans
  • Serving Older Veterans
  • Serving the military/Veteran family
  • Serving Veterans with Mental Illness
  • Serving Veterans with PTS
  • Serving Veterans When You are Not a Veterans
  • Serving Younger Veterans
  • Significant Barriers to Employment
  • State Veteran Hiring Initiatives
  • Suicide Awareness & Prevention
  • Transition
  • Using Labor Market Information
  • Using Social Media for Employers
  • Using Social Media as a Job Search Tool
  • Veteran Service Organizations
  • Veteran Treatment Courts
  • Virtual Career Fairs
  • What You Need to Know about UCX
  • Women Veterans
  • Work Opportunity Tax Credit for Veterans


Instructions for Submitting a Proposal


Please email your proposal with all requested materials to Lori Adams, NASWA Veterans Policy Director, at ladams@naswa.org, by the COB Friday, January 10 . Ryan Thompson (OH), Sam Mitchell (WA), Daryle Dudzinski (CT) and Lori Adams will review all proposals and select final presenters. All presenters and panelists will be notified no later than April 3, 2020, if their proposal was selected. Thank you for your interest in the 2020 NASWA Veterans Conference.

For additional information, questions or concerns with regard to the speaker protocol, please contact: Lori Adams at ladams@naswa.org,


Response Format


Interested presenters need to provide the following information. Multiple proposals are welcome. All proposals must be in this format:

  1. Presenter Name(s)
  2. Presenter Job Title(s)
  3. Company/Organization Name
  4. Address(es)
  5. Telephone Number(s)
  6. Email address(es)
  7. Proposed Presentation Title
  8. Describe your "Promising Practice" (four-paragraph maximum). Please include the following specifics in your description: How long has this practice been in place? Did it save money, improve performance, develop or enhance existing partnerships, etc.? Did it cost anything to implement? If so, what was the funding source? What if any pitfalls did you encounter along the way? What were some lessons learned? Would you recommend other states try this? Would you do it again knowing what you know now? Please provide a success story if you have one.
  9. Brief biography of each presenter
  10. Photograph of each presenter, preferably in jpeg format (minimum 300 dpi) for inclusion in the Conference Program
  11. Audio Visual Support Needed
  12. Has this presentation been offered a previous NASWA conference? If yes, when and where?
  13. Are you willing to present this topic more than once during the conference?
  14. Contact name and number the day of the presentation

If you have developed a great strategy, tool, or resource, we hope you will consider sharing it with your peers at the 2020 NASWA Veterans Conference!

2020 Data Insight And Innovations Award


The Data Insights and Innovations Award honors a state workforce agency, or partnership involving a state workforce agency, for achievements related to labor market and workforce information.

Criteria (choose one as your primary focus)

  • Capacity Building: demonstrates a record of building and supporting the capacity of its workforce and labor market information functions, using innovative staffing, resourcing, or other approaches, with a goal of deriving and applying insights from data to a broader range of operational and programmatic issues.
  • High Impact Products and Services:  demonstrates the development of WLMI products and services of high impact for a range of internal and external customers in the state or region.
  • National Impact: demonstrates a commitment to sharing the insights of its staff and other resources, including exhibiting best practices that can be replicated, with impacts on other states and national policymakers or stakeholders.

Eligible Nominees

The State Agency or a partnership or initiative involving the State Agency must be named as the nominee of the award. The award may recognize specific individuals or agencies within the nomination, such as, but not limited to: the governor, elected official(s), state administrator, labor market information director, state staff member(s), workforce partner, or advocacy group.

Nomination Requirements

  • must be submitted by 5 pm EST, January 6th, 2020;
  • provide a completed Award nomination form;
  • contain the answer to the questions listed on the nomination form within the prescribed word limit;
  • include a statement of approval from the agency administrator; and,
  • be the single nomination for that state in this category.


2020 Merrill Baumgardner Excellence In Information Technology Award


The Merrill Baumgardner Award is presented annually to a state demonstrating excellence in the field of information technology. The award was named in honor of Merrill Baumgardner, Ohio Bureau of Employment Services, in recognition of his 55 years of state service, 31 of which were spent as data processing manager for the Ohio Bureau.


  1. The state agency must have demonstrated excellence in the field of information technology.
  2. A state agency:
    • must be named as the nominee of the award;
    • must have made a significant contribution to the field of information technology;
    • must have demonstrated a series of accomplishments over multiple years; and
    • must have contributed to the greater workforce development community as well as the state.
  3. The nomination must:
    • be submitted by 5 pm EST, January 6th, 2020;
    • provide a completed Award nomination form;
    • contain the answer to the questions listed on the nomination form within the prescribed word limit;
    • include a statement of approval from the agency administrator; and,
    • be the single nomination for that state in this category.


2020 William J. Harris Equal Opportunity Award


The William J. Harris Award honors a State or partnership involving a State for an innovative workforce related program, project, or initiative which results in significant contributions towards the achievement of equal opportunity and nondiscrimination.


  • Innovative Program Design: clearly defining ways to include individuals in protected groups; monitoring techniques to ensure equality within programs; and achieving successful outcomes for protected groups;
  • Broad Scope and High Impact: of the program on internal and external customers, as well as on local, regional, statewide, or national stakeholders, exhibiting best practices that can be replicated; and
  • EO Strategies that advance Continuous Improvement (Enhancement): and show documented steps in planning, execution, review and evaluation process/methods.

Eligible Nominees

The State or a partnership or initiative involving the State must be named as the nominee of the award. The award may recognize specific individuals or agencies within the nomination, such as, but not limited to: the governor, elected official, state administrator, state equal opportunity officer or director, state staff member(s), business owner or representative, workforce partner, or advocacy group.

Nomination Requirements

  • must be submitted by 5 pm EST, January 6th, 2020;
  • provide a completed Award nomination form;
  • contain the answer to the questions listed on the nomination form within the prescribed word limit;
  • include a statement of approval from the agency administrator; and,
  • be the single nomination for that state in this category.


2020 Pinnacle Award For Business Development


The Pinnacle Award for Business Development honors a State workforce agency, or partnership involving a State workforce agency, for an innovative business services initiative, innovative business services framework, or effort of national impact, that addresses the health of businesses at one or several stages (growth, maintenance, downsizing) and results in significant positive impacts for businesses.

Criteria (choose one as primary)

  • Innovative Initiative: a strategy, tool, program, or initiative that addresses one or more business service needs, building on partnerships, leveraging funding, and achieving successful outcomes for businesses;
  • Innovative Framework: a logical framework or model for serving businesses that relies on: predictive data/assessments; innovate business outreach methods; strategic partnerships; leveraged funding; a broad mix of services; behavioral insights, customer-centered design, or process improvement strategies; and/or other elements or methods, and results in integrated and streamlined service delivery, the right services at the right time, and successful outcomes for businesses ; and
  • National Impact: a commitment to sharing its insights, including exhibiting evidence-based practices that can be replicated, with impacts on other states and national policymakers.

Eligible Nominees

The State or a partnership or initiative involving the State must be named as the nominee of the award. The award may recognize specific individuals or agencies within the nomination, such as, but not limited to: the governor, elected official, state administrator, state equal opportunity officer or director, state staff member(s), business owner or representative, workforce partner, or advocacy group.

Nomination Requirements

  • must be submitted by 5 pm EST, January 6th, 2020;
  • provide a completed Award nomination form;
  • contain the answer to the questions listed on the nomination form within the prescribed word limit;
  • include a statement of approval from the agency administrator; and,
  • be the single nomination for that state in this category.


2020 Pinnacle Award For Workforce Development


The Pinnacle Award for Workforce Development honors a State, or partnership involving a State, for an innovative workforce project, strategy or initiative that involves assisting certain or all customers with career services (career exploration and/or job search assistance) and/or the attainment of in-demand skills and credentials, and which results in significant contributions towards the achievement of opportunity for customers.

Criteria (choose one as primary)

  • Innovative Set of Services: addresses customer goals and barriers, builds on partnerships, leverages funding, achieves successful outcomes;
  • Innovative Service Delivery: uses customer-centered design, behavioral insights, process improvement strategies or other methods to review, plan, execute and evaluate processes/methods with improved service integration and service delivery, and better outcomes for customers ; and
  • National Impact: demonstrates a commitment to sharing its insights, including exhibiting evidence-based practices that can be replicated, with impacts on other states and national policymakers.

Eligible Nominees

The State or a partnership or initiative involving the State must be named as the nominee of the award. The award may recognize specific individuals or agencies within the nomination, such as, but not limited to: the governor, elected official, state administrator, state equal opportunity officer or director, state staff member(s), business owner or representative, workforce partner, or advocacy group.

Nomination Requirements

  • must be submitted by 5 pm EST, January 6th, 2020;
  • provide a completed Award nomination form;
  • contain the answer to the questions listed on the State Excellence Award nomination form within the prescribed word limit;
  • include a statement of approval from the agency administrator; and,
  • be the single nomination for that state in this category.


2020 Awards

The Workforce Innovation Awards  (formerly known as the Salute to the Leadership Awards) were created by the NASWA Board of Directors to provide emphasis on the achievements of each NASWA award and focus on states' innovations in workforce, while encouraging states to participate. Below is the full schedule with award winners named for all NASWA Workforce Innovation Awards:

View previous years' nominees and winners to see more state collaborations and innovations.

Winter Policy Forum (Winter)

The Winter Workforce Innovation Awards will be presented during the Winter Policy Forum in Washington, D.C., February 12, 2020. The five awards listed below will be presented during the awards ceremony.

Veterans Conference (Summer)

Workforce Summit (Fall)

The Fall Workforce Innovation Awards will be presented during the Workforce Summit. The State Excellence Award and the National Business of the Year Award will both be presented during the awards ceremony. All NASWA awards presented during the association year will be highlighted during the Workforce Innovation Awards.

Governor Scott Walker has proclaimed next week, November 12-18, as Apprenticeship Week

MADISON - Governor Scott Walker has proclaimed next week, November 12-18, as Apprenticeship Week throughout the state. Wisconsin's Apprenticeship Week corresponds with National Apprenticeship Week and provides an opportunity to celebrate the successes of the nation's first regulated Apprenticeship program as well as put a spotlight on the high-quality careers an Apprenticeship program can provide.

"Wisconsin's Registered Apprenticeship program provides thousands of Wisconsin workers with vital training that employers demand," Secretary Allen said. "Under Governor Walker, Wisconsin continues to invest in workforce training that will advance Wisconsin's economy and attract businesses from around the world."

Wisconsin DWD's Registered Apprenticeship program, which was created in 1911 and has served as a national model for generations, provides a value-added training model for as many as 11,000 apprentices and 2,500 employers in over 200 occupations across the state annually.

Throughout Apprenticeship Week, the Department of Workforce Development's (DWD) Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards will be coordinating numerous events centered on Apprenticeship training opportunities in Wisconsin:

  • The week will kick-off with a meeting of participants in the Wisconsin Leaders Program, consisting of apprenticeship leaders at all levels throughout the state to discuss best practices and share information.
  • Throughout the week, apprenticeship training centers throughout Wisconsin will be opening their doors for open houses, presentations and tours aimed at increasing awareness of the opportunities stemming from an apprenticeship program.

For more information on these and additional events, please visit:
Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards

Governor Evers Declares Nov. 11-17 Apprenticeship Week in Wisconsin

MADISON – Governor Tony Evers has proclaimed November 11 -17, 2019 as Apprenticeship Week in Wisconsin. Apprenticeship Week in Wisconsin corresponds with National Apprenticeship Week where all states advocate for, and highlight, the benefits to both businesses and workers that this proven talent development program brings state economies and workforces. In 1911, Wisconsin became the first state in the nation to develop and implement an apprenticeship program. The Department of Workforce Development's (DWD) Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards is coordinating events and other activities throughout the week to celebrate apprenticeship and its impact on our economy.


"Wisconsin's apprenticeship program connects workers to a combination of high-value on-the-job and classroom training, which provides apprentices with good-paying careers, the potential to achieve journey worker status, increased wages, and overall upward economic mobility," DWD Secretary-designee Caleb Frostman said. "By working together, DWD, local employers, and labor and business organizations offering apprenticeship training are putting thousands of individuals on the path to financial success by providing participants with transferable skills that will benefit them for their entire careers."


Apprenticeship provides a post-secondary educational credential like a college or university, but apprentices learn only a portion of their skills in a traditional classroom. They receive most of their training on the job, while working for an employer who pays a good wage. The employment is the primary requirement for an apprenticeship - a job must exist for the apprentice to be trained. The classroom instruction is usually provided through the Wisconsin Technical College System.


DWD and our partners will hold numerous events across the state to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week. Visit DWD's Facebook page for more information on events. 




Colorado Department of Labor and Employment Apprenticeship Awards 2019





For immediate release
Date: November 6, 2019
Colorado Department of Labor and Employment
Amelia Tenne amelia.tenne@state.co.us, 303.318.8004

Colorado Department of Higher Education
Megan McDermott megan.mcdermott@state.co.us, 303.974.2495

Colorado Community College System
Fiona Lytle fiona.lytle@cccs.edu, 720.858.2471

CareerWise Colorado
Jason Jansky jason.jansky@careerwisecolorado.org, 303.748.3300

Photos of the event can be found on Facebook or in this folder.






“Apprenticeships Make Colorado Stronger” — Business Experiential-Learning Commission and Lt. Gov. Primavera Honor Apprenticeship Advocates in “Celebration of Excellence” Award Ceremony 


During its “Celebration of Excellence” event, the Business Experiential-Learning Commission honored the achievements of apprentices and celebrated businesses, mentors, and programs committed to increasing awareness and adoption of apprenticeships.




(Denver) -- Last night at the Governor’s Residence at Boettcher Mansion, the Business Experiential-Learning (BEL) Commission honored six apprentices, three mentors, and five employers who have worked to further the awareness and adoption of apprenticeship programs, widely recognized to be an effective way to gain in-demand skills while earning a paycheck in a rapidly changing economy.

The event, sponsored by CareerWise Colorado and FirstBank, was made possible by the governor-appointed BEL Commission, partners from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, the Colorado Workforce Development Council, the Colorado Community College System, the Colorado Department of Higher Education, CareerWise Colorado, and representatives from business and industry. (For a full list of BEL Commission members, click here.)

Colorado Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera attended the event, where she took photos with the award recipients, described the benefits of apprenticeship programs, and highlighted what the Polis administration has accomplished in workforce development. Titled “Celebration of Excellence: Colorado Apprenticeship Awards,” the event closely follows Governor Jared Polis’ proclamation of November as Colorado Apprenticeship Month. 

Spanning a wide range of industries, apprenticeships have been shown to benefit both workers and employers. Workers earn a paycheck while learning skills that help them remain competitive in a rapidly changing economy; employers gain skilled talent who have received customized training tailored to specific business needs. According to the US Department of Labor, apprenticeships also benefit employers by increasing retention and safety.

Noel Ginsburg, Chair of the BEL Commission and CEO of CareerWise Colorado, noted that Colorado’s adoption of and approach to apprenticeship programs are widely respected outside of the state: “Colorado’s commitment to innovating the ways our communities can come together to make more opportunity for more people a reality is unmatched. That commitment is not only recognized here in the state, but around the country and around the world,” he said. “The stories of apprenticeship we heard this evening are some of the finest examples of apprenticeships anywhere.”

Joe Barela, Executive Director of CDLE, echoed the sentiment: "As we prepare Coloradans for today and tomorrow's economy, we need to elevate all paths to success. Apprenticeships give workers the in-demand skills they need to flourish in good jobs and help employers fill their skills gaps, improve retention, and increase diversity. Tonight's awardees illustrate how these programs make Colorado stronger."

Educators are particularly engaged in promoting apprenticeship programs. Thanks to a recent $12 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, the Colorado Department of Higher Education is partnering with the Colorado Community College System to create 5,000 apprenticeships in the healthcare field. Healthcare partners include Kaiser Permanente, Centura Health, Healthone/HCA, UCHealth, and Colorado Rural Health Center. Three of the five employer award recipients have created healthcare apprenticeships in partnership with the two agencies.

Joe Garcia, Chancellor of the Colorado Community College System pointed out that community colleges have a unique role to play in today’s economy: “They are changing the way students learn, connect, and experience on-the-job training. We are thrilled to see award recipients in each of the categories and several of our colleges in partnership with leading employers, paving the way for thousands of students to better compete in Colorado’s evolving workforce."

“Apprenticeships bridge education to opportunity, whether students choose to go directly into the workforce or continue their education at a Colorado college or university,” said Angie Paccione, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education. “That’s why, in partnership with the Colorado Community College System, we are excited to create up to 5,000 apprenticeships in our booming healthcare industry. These apprenticeships will transform how healthcare providers recruit the talent needed to serve our state. And for apprentices, this opportunity will provide a living wage, college credit and a lifelong career pathway in a growing, rewarding industry.”

Lee Wheeler-Berliner, Managing Director of the Colorado Workforce Development Council also emphasized how apprenticeships serve Colorado’s economy: "Apprenticeships have emerged as a common thread in our diverse state that can equip Coloradans and employers to meet their workforce needs now and in the future. We are proud to honor many of the individuals and organizations working hard each day to further the apprenticeship model and open doors of opportunity."

Photos of the event can be found on Facebook or in this folder.




About the Business Experiential-Learning (BEL) Commission

The Business Experiential-Learning (BEL) Commission was created in 2015 by then-Governor Hickenlooper to develop systemic solutions, including pursuing public-private partnerships that integrate work-based education and training to meet the needs of Colorado's economy. Successes like the ones recognized during “Celebration of Excellence” are a result of the collective work of all of the BEL Commission partners and are evidence of Colorado’s innovation and leadership in work-based learning strategies.




Awardees include:


Eric Miller is a third year apprentice at Pinnacol Assurance and a graduate of the Denver School of Innovation and Sustainable Design. His coworkers commended him on his enthusiasm and his willingness to help others, especially with technology. During his apprenticeship, he has automated a reporting process, which now takes five minutes instead of a week.

Aujanique Porter is also an apprentice at Pinnacol Assurance, which she found through CareerWise Colorado. As an integral part of the Agency Relations team, Aujanique worked diligently to understand the business’ needs. When a coworker left temporarily, Aujanique stepped up to help the team, taking over the compliance work of auditing documentation files. She has since accepted a position as a customer experience representative with the company, where she’ll use their tuition reimbursement program to earn an associate’s degree in business.

In his apprenticeship at Intertech Plastics, 17-year-old Kevin King has managed to design plastic parts, automate cell development, execute logic-driven part extraction, program robot and vision systems, and more. Since the start of his apprenticeship, he has, in the words of his coworkers, blossomed. Through his apprenticeship, Kevin has gained skills to help a local manufacturer build and design automated assembly systems that re-shored an entire line of packaging products from China. Today, Kevin is pursuing a mechanical engineering degree at the University of Colorado while working for Intertech Plastics. 

Chloe Lomax worked as a stay-at-home mom for six years before finding her apprenticeship with Hercules Industries. When she decided she wanted to find a job, she said, “I was worried about being out of the workforce for so long.” After being connected to Construction Careers Now via Denver Human Services, she was able to become a working, full-time HVAC apprentice. The apprenticeship has had a big impact on her life. She is looking into moving into her own apartment and has excelled in the academic portion of the apprenticeship, placing in the top of her class. Her coworkers say her on-the-job performance has not gone unnoticed and that she serves as a leader for other apprentices. Chloe is an asset to her employer in more ways than one. In addition to working hard in the classroom and on the job, Chloe’s efforts to recruit more women, especially women of color, are greatly appreciated. Chloe is well on her way to becoming a journeywoman.

After being laid off from his sales job, Joe Lesniak, a single father of two, wanted to switch careers. After taking advantage of the services provided by his local workforce center, Joe found out about the partnership program between Centura Health and Arapahoe Community College’s Medical Assistant Program. During the six-month program, students take online classes while also gaining on-site and hands-on experience. Apprentices work with Centura supervisors for 26 weeks before taking the National Healthcare Association Medical Assistant certification exam. Apprentices who complete the program become full-time medical assistants at Centura. He applied and entered the program in July 2018, passed his medical assistant certification in December of 2018, and completed his registered apprenticeship in June of 2019. Joe is gainfully employed with Centura and aims to go into nursing.

Melinda Reyes also participated in the Centura Health/ACC partnership program. After graduating from Sheridan High School, Melina Reyes found career guidance with a counselor at Arapahoe/Douglas Works. With the help of her counselor, Melina began working toward a career in health care. She first worked in a hospital doing laundry and then became a CNA. In January of 2019 she began her journey as a Centura Medical Assistant Apprentice. Due to her passion for healthcare, she was successful in the program. Her coworkers say that she was a joy to have at the clinic. She graduated in July of 2019 and is now working full-time at Centura Health and is starting to host bi-lingual community health sessions so that young people have additional resources. As Melinda works full-time at Centura Health, she is looking to continue her education and become a nurse.


Kristin Rice is a “response to intervention” instructor, teaching online and lab classes for the Centura/Arapahoe Community College medical assistant apprenticeship. In her role, she goes above and beyond to make sure each apprentice progresses in the program. She follows up with the program’s participants and provides them with the resources and knowledge they need to succeed in the accelerated program. Thanks to Kristin’s leadership, she has helped this program produce an over 85% retention rate at Centura for ACC graduates. Since the launch of the program, Centura’s investment has grown to more than 26 apprentices per cohort, and ACC is now launching this successful program with Health One. 

Shao Yeung’s career has been dedicated to helping all people reach their potential through personal growth, education, and employment. Arapahoe Community Colleagues say they were fortunate to hire Shao as a Work-Based Learning Program Manager. They say she has done an extraordinary job of guiding new apprentices through their technical instruction experience at ACC, providing guidance at every step of the process from recruitment, to interview, to acceptance, to course enrollment, and finally graduation from the program. She has an amazing talent for getting to the heart of the apprentices’ needs and serves them through her excellent communication skills and advocacy efforts.

Mike Wadleigh is a Career & Technical Education educator in Cherry Creek Schools. His work with students and connects them to internships and apprenticeships. His work with the school district’s industry partners expands opportunities for students and puts them on the road to success. Apprentices appreciate Mike’s guidance. He’s always available to talk via phone or email to the 42 apprentices about their experiences, concerns, and successes. Mike serves as a great role model for the student, helping them see how their apprenticeship in the big picture of their career. His efforts to foster relationships with business partners has provided countless opportunities for students to learn about areas of interest, gain new skills, and explore career paths. 


Columbine Health Systems’ Certified Nurse Assistant Apprenticeship program is registered with the US Department of Labor and geared towards students ages 16 and over. The first round of applications opened in March of 2018 and Columbine welcomed their first cohort of 9 students in August of the same year. Students came from Berthoud, Loveland, and Fort Collins. Columbine Health Systems gives students an opportunity to receive training on in-demand skills in Columbine’s multiple facilities including administration, physical and occupational therapy, activity coordination, and skilled nursing. Apprentices are trained and employed as Personal Care Providers at the beginning of the program and later complete full training to become Certified Nurse Assistants. Before the end of their first year, they take the state exam for an occupational license and then are hired as CNAs so they can continue working through their apprenticeships. 

Encore Electric is a Colorado-based company that provides a wide array of electrical construction projects and maintenance services. Recognizing the current and upcoming shortage of electricians statewide and nationwide, Encore Electric created Encore University. The goal of the program is to foster individual and organizational learning, including a four-year apprenticeship program with a curriculum that includes classes on basic safety, tools, blueprints, first aid and CPR, NEC code, and leadership. 

Located in Fort Collins, Associates in Family Medicine has partnered with Front Range Community College to create a program that allows students to participate in an apprenticeship while also earning a paycheck and college credit and completing their certification in Medical Assisting. Students complete course work in the classroom and online through Front Range Community College that covers the didactic content of the program. When students are in the clinic, they focus on learning the hands-on skills required for providing patient care. Once they’ve completed their course work and gain hands-on skills, they complete a portfolio that demonstrates their knowledge and the college awards academic credit so that they can graduate with a certificate in Medical Assisting. While in the apprenticeship program, students work towards earning the required hours they need to fulfill the requirements of the US Department of Labor. 

HomeAdvisor is a tech company that provides homeowners the tools and resources they need to complete their home improvement, maintenance and repair projects. The company has a wide range of strategies and tactics to find the talent it needs and in 2017 it added another tool: a modern youth apprenticeship program. Since the start of their partnership with CareerWise Colorado, HomeAdvisor has hired 16 apprentices from a variety of schools in the Denver area. These apprentices work in many different capacities. Many work in the tech jobs you might expect, such as desktop support, coding and development, or quality assurance testing, while others work in vital business support roles such as HR, accounting, project management, and marketing. HomeAdvisor has been committed to its apprenticeship program over the years, and prioritizes putting apprentices quickly into real and meaningful work. During the program, apprentices learn, firsthand, how their work impacts the company’s bottom line and. With their recent move to the RINO neighborhood, HomeAdvisor is able to draw more heavily from the DPS school network, increasing the diversity of hires they make.

SCL Health launched their youth apprenticeship program in June. Four apprentices began to work as apprentice medical assistants in three family medicine clinics located in Denver, Westminster, and Lafayette. One apprentice began work as a Healthcare Financial Services Representative in the Revenue Service Center located in Broomfield. Apprentices in medical clinics are working towards the supervised hours and competencies required to test for a Medical Assistant certification. The apprentice working in financial services is pursuing a credential related to the revenue cycle. SCL chooses to recruit and hire apprentices from several school districts in order to grow a diverse workforce representative of the population it serves.


Denver Pipefitters Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee (JATC), a five-year apprenticeship program registered with the Department of Labor and the Office of Apprenticeship. One of the program’s unique features is its longevity: it was formed over 75 years ago. The JATC is a partnership between Denver Pipefitters Local 208 and both the Mechanical Contractors Association of Northeastern Colorado and the Mechanical Service Contractors Association of Northeastern Colorado. Local 208 has approximately 1800 members and works with an estimated 100 individual contractors involved with the two associations.  Denver Pipefitters JATC currently enjoys a 70 percent completion rate and over a 99 percent job placement rate. With an annual tuition of 200 dollars, apprentices earn a debt-free education. Through their program, Denver Pipefitters JATC has provided more skilled professionals in the pipefitting and HVAC Service industry than any single program in the state of Colorado, allowing residents to access high-paying jobs that enrich lives and help drive the entire local economy.

Adams County’s Youth Succeed program is a federally-funded Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act program through the Adams County Workforce and Business Center that helps approximately 300 youth every year obtain a high school diploma, GED, or post-secondary certificate or training. The program is designed for young adults with low incomes facing barriers to employment, offers career counseling, access to alternative schools, financial assistance for career programs and professional certifications, tutoring, work-related workshops and trainings, paid and unpaid work experiences including internships and job shadowing, and much, much more. 

Emily Griffith Technical College (EGTC) has a rich history of offering apprenticeship training, dating as far back as 1917. Students in apprenticeship programs are co-enrolled with EGTC and the training partner with the school granting college credit for the coursework and on-the-job training hours they complete. Co-enrollment allows the training partner to be affiliated with an educational institution and provides validation of educational offerings by increased oversight of curriculum from an educational perspective. They currently have over 4,000 apprentices in their programs. Our programs issue college credits through the Colorado Community College System and CSU-Global, allowing students to continue their education if they choose.






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