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Research / Discovery

Developing the next generation of Colorado's workforce

August 4, 2009

The Metro Denver WIRED Initiative has awarded Colorado State University's School of Education a $50,000 grant to help teach schools how to better connect with industry.

Grant funds career exploration partnerships

The grant will bring real-world education to students to help develop the next generation of Colorado’s workforce so that the state’s businesses can succeed in the global economy. The imitative is a partnership among workforce development, economic development, education and industry.

By bringing high-tech business skills and education into the classroom, this grant will provide opportunities for students to explore careers in some of the region’s fast-growing high-wage industries including aerospace, bioscience, energy, and information technology-software.

“We have found by talking to many educators and business professionals that despite their best efforts, there is often a gap between the skills businesses need from their employees and the talent our educational system is producing,” said Ledy Garcia-Eckstein, executive director of the Metro Denver WIRED Initiative.

In Sync event Nov. 3

To help bridge this gap, Colorado State will host In Sync – Making School and Industry Links, a one-day event. The event features speakers with national, state and local expertise in successful school and industry partnerships. School educators and administrators, business representatives and public workforce center staff will be invited to the event, which is scheduled to be held Nov. 3, at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Longmont.

“The objectives of this grant are extremely important,” said David May, president and CEO of the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce. “Businesses often have a difficult time connecting with schools. If we want to remain economically competitive, we must do a better job of working collaboratively and effectively with our local school districts to ensure that they are providing an education that meets workplace demands.”

Colorado State University’s School of Education was awarded this competitive grant because of its successful experience partnering with businesses to provide enriched career and workforce readiness, according to WIRED.

School of Education working with businesses for economic success

“We are very pleased to have received this grant from the Metro Denver WIRED Initiative,” said Dale DeVoe, interim director of Colorado State University School of Education. “CSU’s School of Education has a proven track record of partnering with businesses to ensure that our graduates are prepared to succeed in the workplace and we want to share this knowledge with others. It is only by working together that our local, regional and national economies will succeed.”

In addition to managing the event, Colorado State will also produce an asset map highlighting successful partnerships among schools and businesses within the WIRED region, the state of Colorado and nationally.

Event registration required

For more information regarding In Sync – Making School and Industry Links, contact Ellyn Dickmann, associate professor of Educational Leadership at CSU, and principal investigator for the grant, at Event space is limited and registration is required.

Contact: Dell Rae Moellenberg
Phone: (970) 491-6009