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Colorado trade school sees higher enrollment, more programs connect high schoolers to construction jobs

Posted at 7:37 AM, May 16, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-16 09:37:04-04

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Independent Electrical Contractors Southern Colorado, an electrical apprenticeship school in Colorado Springs, is seeing increased enrollment amid the high school graduation season.

Executive Director Dale Weis said registration for programs is up 30% compared to this time last year. He said the programs that offer skills in the electrical industry are almost full for the upcoming school year, which he said doesn't normally happen until August.

"We're adding two more classrooms this year to accommodate those new students," Weis said. "It's an earn-while-you-learn program, which means that the student is working full time for an electrical contractor during the day, and they attend school one night a week for four hours."

Weis said over the past 15 to 20 years, many electrical professionals have retired from the industry, creating a large deficit of skilled workers in the trade.

"There will always be a need for electrical apprentices, journeymen, and master electricians in Colorado," he said.

U.S. Department of Education data shows an 18% increase in Colorado high schoolers participating in career and technical education (CTE) programs.

The Home Depot at the Broadmoor Towne Center in Colorado Springs hosted an event this week to connect Colorado contractors with high school students looking for a career in skilled trades. Construction Combine, CSU Pueblo and The Home Depot Foundation. Students built sheds to donate to Colorado's veterans while getting hands-on experience and training from professionals.

"More parents are directing their kids towards this," Annie Harrison Quinton, Director of Construction Combine, said. "College can be very expensive. This is a perfect thing for them to get into and they can talk to the contractors and say 'Hey, can I have a job for the summer?'"

Career and Technical Education in Southern Colorado:

For more information about CTE programs in Colorado click here.

Local trade school sees higher enrollment