Colorado apprenticeship program gets major funding boost

DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL - Colorado leaders' push to create a path to skilled careers for high schoolers got a big bump Wednesday, with two organizations saying they will give $9.5 million in funding to CareerWise Colorado, a statewide apprenticeship program.

Formerly referred to as BASIC (Business and Schools in Collaboration), CareerWise Colorado will allow high school students to split their time attending high school classes while simultaneously earning college credit and wages from participating companies.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bloomberg Philanthropies committed a combined $9.5 million to the initiative, which Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez formally announced at a press conference Wednesday.

"This is an example of businesses coming together with schools that will help build better pathways to good careers and give more students access to the middle class," Hickenlooper said. "It will be an option for students from cities and towns across Colorado and for students who want to start their careers right away or want to pursue a college degree."

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