ACEC and Goodwill Receive Thriving Work-based Learning Community Grant

Chuck Gross, Adams County Education Consortium
ACEC and Goodwill Receive Thriving Work-based Learning Community Grant

July 21, 2020 – Adams County Education Consortium (ACEC) and Discover Goodwill of Southern & Western Colorado and Goodwill Industries of Denver (collectively known as Goodwill of Colorado) have been awarded a $50,000 Colorado Workforce Development Council (CWDC) grant, which will be directed towards supporting Adams County high school seniors prepare for and pursue certificate programs and apprenticeship training post-graduation.

ACEC and Goodwill have partnered to collectively support Adams County students seeking two and four-year college degrees since 2016.  The grant will enable them to adapt their case management and facilitation model to support high school seniors specifically interested in pursuing skilled trades, healthcare, information technology, and manufacturing careers.

“We’re very excited to receive this CWDC grant,” said Chuck Gross, executive director of ACEC. “It enables us to seamlessly collaborate across business, workforce development, education, and economic development organizations to benefit Adams County students seeking career pathways.”

Education partners in this effort include Front Range Community College, Community College of Denver, Emily Griffith Technical College and four Adams County high schools. Industry and workforce partners include Adams County Regional Economic Partnership, Adams County Workforce and Business Center, Centura Health/St. Anthony’s North Health Campus, Associated General Contractors, Construction Industry Training Council of Colorado, and Plumbers Local Union 3.

“Building on our previous program success, ACEC and Goodwill are ready to roll out an innovative program designed to smooth the pipeline from school to the workforce for youth,” said James Sanchez, director of career development services, Goodwill.  “This initiative will identify youth to fill the talent demand in Adams County and provide certificate program and apprenticeship opportunities in key industries. Given the current pandemic, a skilled and trained workforce will be a key component of economic revitalization.”

Goodwill staff will prepare students for careers with resume development, application support, mock interviews, career skills and soft skills trainings, and work site visits and job shadows.  All program components can be modified to virtual and work-from-distance learning, and therefore the proposed activities would not be impeded by the current health situation. ACEC, Goodwill and its partners also will participate in a year-long Work-based Learning Lab community of practice to share solutions to common work-based learning challenges and accelerate their work-based learning initiatives.