New CareerWise program with Eagle County Schools is as good as is claimed | VailDaily.com

New CareerWise program with Eagle County Schools is as good as is claimed

Chris Romer

What's your first reaction to something as seemingly crazy as "kids in Eagle County have the opportunity to gain meaningful work experience and college credit at the same time — while still enrolled in high school, and local businesses will pay them as well?"

That might sound too good to be true. It might be so excellent that it defies belief, as in kids will be paid to work, gain meaningful experience in a career pathway and earn college credit at the same time? That's too good to be true.

The idea that something is too good to be true expresses the skeptical view that something so seemingly fine must have something wrong with it. We are hard-wired to not accept things that are win-win-win.

I'm here to tell you it's not too good to be true; in fact, it is our reality today in Eagle County thanks to Eagle County Schools, Colorado Mountain College, YouthPower365, Vail Valley Partnership and local businesses.

Yes, kids can gain meaningful work experience. While being paid. All while earning college credit. It does sound too good to be true, but it's not. It's a new program called CareerWise Colorado and is a youth apprenticeship program.

This is a three-year program with career pathways available in fields including financial services, advanced manufacturing and business operations. We know students are generally unprepared for the "real world," and we know that high need industries aren't seeing enough students into their fields.

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CareerWise Colorado apprenticeships help connect students to careers, offering career pathways to our kids, addressing systematic workforce shortages for our businesses, all while kids earn college credit and an hourly wage. It's not too good to be true.

The following apprenticeships are currently available; interested students should apply at CareerWiseColorado.org as soon as possible.

Financial Services

Students interested in a career in accounting, finance or banking should be sure to check the positions available in financial services. Alpine Bank is hiring a financial services representative, and The Gallegos Corp. is hiring an accounting clerk.

These positions will provide high levels of service and resolve questions and concerns. The apprentice will likely track and prepares financial information by maintaining and reconciling accounts and creating reports. Apprenticeships will also provide support to the organization and the financial accounting department by managing daily accounting tasks.

Advanced Manufacturing

Students interested in manufacturing might be interested in the Vail Resorts maintenance technician positions. These positions work to ensure the resorts equipment, such as ski lifts, and facilities are in proper working order. The apprentice in this role will learn a broad base of knowledge with mechanical, electrical, pneumatic and hydraulic systems.

Business Operations

Our broadest apprenticeship category, with positions in hospitality (Vail Marriott), nonprofit (CanDo MS) and construction (Gallegos Corp. and RA Nelson), is business operations. Business operations spans the gamut from development and fundraising to marketing to project management.

These positions will provide a strong skill set for apprentices across sectors and with a wide variety of duties and responsibilities.

Students and parents can get complete job descriptions and learn more at http://www.careerwisecolorado.org/marketplace. But hurry — the marketplace closes soon. Richard Carlson summed it up nicely in "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff," with the old adage, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is" isn't always correct. In fact, the suspicion, cynicism and doubt that are inherent in this belief can and does keep people from taking advantage of excellent opportunities.

Chris Romer is president and CEO of Vail Valley Partnership, the regional chamber of commerce. Learn more at VailValleyPartnership.com.