A Shift in Thinking

Not your grandfather’s apprenticeship

The Paradigm Shift

Bridging Education and Industry


Today, the burden of educating the newest members of the workforce falls directly on our schools. But businesses are having difficulty finding employees with the appropriate competencies to effectively fill skilled positions. Modern youth apprenticeship addresses the problem by helping businesses have a hand in shaping their young talent and providing the education system with an applied-learning environment for its students.


For students, youth apprenticeship is an options multiplier. Apprenticeship can be a powerful enhancement to their education or a fast-track to a middle-class career, or both.

Apprenticeship is not a diversion from higher education—it’s a rigorous education option that combines theoretical learning with practical learning that focuses career and education objectives. It can also be a direct path to high-paying, in-demand jobs in Business Operations, Financial Services, Advanced Manufacturing, Information Technology and Healthcare.

Any student—regardless of future plans—can benefit from apprenticeship.

A student can start as an apprentice and end with a Ph.D., or apprenticeship can train a student to step directly into a bookkeeper position so they can go on to be a CFO. It’s a model of education that reveals multiple options to career and higher education.


CareerWise looks to the Swiss apprenticeship system for inspiration and has borrowed elements of that model to adapt in Colorado. In Switzerland there are more than 230 approved apprenticeship occupations, and 40 percent of all companies participate in the program. In that environment, 70 percent of Swiss students choose apprenticeships and 30 percent of them stay with their training company or return after college. In fact, many of the world’s largest companies are run by CEOs that started out as an apprentice. It’s that kind of endless possibility we’re building in Colorado with CareerWise—apprentices that start in high school and end with college or career success.

A mutually beneficial system

Youth apprenticeship isn’t about corporate philanthropy—it’s about developing a talent pipeline.

Noel Ginsburg

How it Works

Together, CareerWise stakeholders create meaningful experiences for apprentices and ROI for businesses.

Aligning Education and Workforce Development

Working together to create an innovative system

CareerWise modern youth apprentices split their time between their traditional high school classroom and the workplace. They earn a wage while receiving hands-on work experience where they can apply their classroom learning. By the conclusion of the program, students will have:

  • meaningful work experience
  • a nationally recognized industry certification
  • a professional network 
  • the opportunity to earn debt-free college credit

The CareerWise model is mutually beneficial for both apprentices and employers. Hiring apprentices is a dynamic investment in your company and workforce, and businesses receive:

  • a productive employee; apprentices are a true team member doing meaningful work 
  • a talent pipeline of skilled, diverse workers that innovate the workforce
  • a valuable connection to the community
  • more leadership and growth opportunities for existing staff



Students apply with the hiring companies on the spring semester for positions that begin the summer before their junior year. It’s a competitive hiring process, just like any other professional position. Businesses select the apprentices that are the best fit for their organizations and open positions; there are no forced placements. Once hired, apprentices spend part of their week learning at school and part of the week learning on the job.


CareerWise works with the school districts to create the framework for an applied-learning environment that meets district standards, recruit students, ensure apprentice work and school schedules are optimized, and acts as an intermediary to ensure a streamlined experience.

And, CareerWise works with industry to create career competencies so apprentices can be certain that the skills they’re developing are in-demand and set them up for future success. Because youth apprenticeship is a new concept in the United States, CareerWise also works with employers to train supervisors and mentors, as well as with the apprentices themselves to prepare them for success in a professional work environment.



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