Denver, CO (Thursday, Oct. 31) – At CareerWise, we firmly believe in the power of youth apprenticeship to transform lives. With a model that’s competency-based, allowing young people to learn, practice and acquire skills at a customized pace and progression, and that includes dedicated support from not only a supervisor, but also a coach onsite at the workplace, equity is baked into our program design.
What’s more, increasing access to opportunity for young people who most need it and expanding choice upon completion has always been our guiding vision—that’s why we insist on a high-quality experience for every apprentice that includes the opportunity to accrue high-value, high-currency skills, experience and credentials. We know it’s important to you, too, and we have appreciated and welcomed the conversations we’ve had with many of you about how we ensure that each and every one of our apprentices can get the support they need to be successful in their apprenticeship.
However, as an organizational entity ourselves, we haven’t always been intentional in wrestling with the ways in which our own culture—both informal practices and formal policies—can either hinder or unlock that potential for equity within our programs. That’s why we are so excited to share that, thanks to the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we have embarked in 2019 on a new equity journey at CareerWise. With the support of outside consulting and facilitation from CatalystEd and Promise 54, we are turning the equity lens back on ourselves to examine how we can truly live our value of seeking diversity, cultivating inclusion and achieving equity, each and every day at CareerWise. We know that we will only be able to truly transform the lives of the young people we serve if we ourselves are walking the walk of an intentional commitment to DEI.
We’ve already done some work to assess our organizational culture, and we’ve been fortunate to be able to come together with other organizations from around the country to talk about the imperative in our sector for equity. This fall, we’ll continue to deepen that initial work by participating in team-specific and all-staff training, opening up avenues for understanding and conversation, and helping us place our work in the context of deeply embedded and systemic problems in our community and society.
As we continue on this journey, we look forward to sharing our learning and continued growth with you.
Learn more about Eagle County’s CareerWise apprenticeship program.