CCCS will lead apprenticeship model approach to higher ed

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PRESS RELEASE | Special to the Herald Times

RBC |  As a critical part of the Administration’s efforts to expand access to in-demand job opportunities, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) announced that they selected the Colorado Community College System (CCCS) as one of 18 organizations in the nation to serve as a Standards Recognition Entity (SRE) and to oversee the development of new, high-quality Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAPs) that will be available through CCCS’s 13 colleges.  

 SREs are identified as third party industry and workforce leaders that will evaluate and recognize IRAPs consistent with the Department’s standards. The 18 SREs are the first group to receive recognition under new regulations the Department published earlier this year to expand apprenticeship opportunities in industries where apprenticeships have been underutilized.  

CCCS will begin work with employers and other partners to establish standards for IRAPs that provide apprentices college credit and industry-recognized credentials in the following industries:  

. Manufacturing 

. Information Technology 

. Real Estate/Rental and Leasing 

. Healthcare  

. Social Assistance 

“This is a game changer for Colorado’s ability to reimagine workforce training and to connect much needed talent with employers,” said Rollie Heath, chair of the Colorado State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education. “CCCS is uniquely positioned as the state’s largest provider of higher education and workforce training to spearhead this important work.” 

While CCCS currently supports dozens of Registered Apprenticeship Programs through the USDOL, creation of IRAPs will greatly expand opportunities beyond traditional programs, provide additional flexibility and customization, and bolster apprenticeship creation across all sectors.  

“This approval will allow us to aggressively scale apprenticeship development across our 13 colleges,” said Michael Macklin, associate vice chancellor of workforce development at the Colorado Community College System. “We applaud USDOL in their swift support and vision that aligns with our goals to create innovative pathways for students to achieve a fulfilling career and increasing our state’s economic vibrancy.” 

USDOL’s announcement of this inaugural SRE cohort marks the culmination of their work in response to recommendations from the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion. Created under President Trump’s Executive Order to Expand Apprenticeships in America issued on June 15, 2017, the 20-member Task Force, headed by the Secretary of Labor and co-chaired by the Secretaries of Commerce and Education, expanded upon the Administration’s commitment to apprenticeship development and expansion. 

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