$9.5 million in grants will back apprenticeships for high school students in Colorado, thanks to a new statewide initiative to place 20,000 high school students in apprenticeships across the state by 2027.

Soft SkillsCareerWise Colorado is aiming to provide apprenticeships, and not only fields that are traditionally associated with earning while learning. Companies in the fields of advanced manufacturing, information technology, hospitality, financial and professional services have all committed to paid learning experiences for juniors and seniors beginning next year.

Bloomberg Philanthropies and JPMorgan Chase committed a combined $9.5 million to the initiative by Careerwise Colorado and Denver Public Schools’ CareerConnect, according to Governor John Hickenlooper

“We are in the process of building a real pipeline for talent that goes from the school and campus directly to the workplace,” Hickenlooper said. “This apprentice system has the potential to really be a game-changer, not just here but across the country.”

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