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Final Response, Innovation and Student Equity Education grant opportunity launched last week

Schools and other educational institutions have until Oct. 16 to apply to further high school students early career opportunities
Tagert Bardin, photographed in 2020, practices welding at Durango High School. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

On Sept. 27, Gov. Jared Polis announced that the fourth and final Response, Innovation and Student Equity Education grant opportunity launched, paving the way for high school students to gain more opportunities and experiences that are needed to begin their careers.

The $2.5 million RISE grant invests in programs that expand youth-based apprenticeship opportunities and creates more pathways for students to obtain skills that are usually needed for entry-level careers.

The program especially commits to high-needs schools that allow students to start industry-specific training or post-secondary education requirements before graduating high school. It also gives students the opportunity to explore a variety of career paths and gain firsthand experience.

According to a news release, this RISE grant focuses on accessible programs to students from rural communities, serve underrepresented populations, have or will create a Career Development Incentive Program graduation requirement and focuses on programs that advances careers in in-demand industries.

Polis began the RISE grant program in 2020 to fund and develop innovative learning programs that enhance students’ educational experiences and support schools to convey how COVID-19 impacted education. Since then, the program launched three successful grant opportunities and invested $42 million to boost education.

Polis also partnered with the general assembly to arrange free credentials for Coloradans to pursue in-demand industry jobs through the Care Forward Program and Career Advance Colorado Program.

Polis also endorsed the Opportunity Now Grant program that constructs partnerships between educational institutions and employers to guide qualified Coloradans with in-demand jobs.

  • Education-related entities that place students at public LEPs in youth-based apprenticeship opportunities;
  • Nonprofit or community-based organizations that have a history of placing students in youth-based apprenticeships. Applicants in this category must collaborate with other public and/or private agencies, such as the LEP, to create comprehensive and high quality programs;
  • Federally recognized Tribes
  • Charter Management Organizations
  • Consortia of such entities
  • A public local educational provider (LEPs) including:
  • Charter schools authorized by a School District or BOCES;
  • Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES)
  • School Districts
  • Charter schools authorized by the Charter School Institute

The grant application deadline is Oct. 16 and award notifications will be made on Oct. 31. Awardees can use the funds until Sept. 30, 2024.

More information and to apply for funding can be found here.