NW Colorado Student to Career Opportunity Initiative (STCO)
STCO was a joint partnership between East Grand School District, West Grand School District, Grand County Higher Education, consultant Craig Schroeder and Grand County Economic Development department to focus on focused career readiness activities that will better prepare our high school students for pathways to careers.
The primary goals of this Initiative are to create opportunities for young people to stay or return to Northwest Colorado to pursue career and entrepreneurial business opportunities; and to develop civic leadership skills through the completion of youth-led projects in their communities with the support of adult mentors, community organizations, educators and local government.
This initiative is vital to our region as employers and business owners are increasing concerned about the availability and readiness of young workers and entrepreneurs to sustain and grow our economy. Meanwhile, many students indicate that they are not aware of the variety of quality career options available locally and what skills are needed to secure these opportunities. The Student to Career Opportunity Initiative is focused on addressing these gaps and creating opportunities with our youth and young adults to grow our economy and attract young people to stay or return to pursue their future in our communities.
In particular, we are pursuing opportunities for employers and community leaders to come along side our schools to enhance career and technical education, and career readiness of students through high school internships, post-secondary apprenticeships, entrepreneurship education, and community service projects where youth work with adults to improve their communities.
The Student to Career Opportunity Initiative will also address student retention, high school graduation, college enrollment and completion, and academic achievement disparities due to demographic, geographic and economic factors. These will be addressed though engagement of our students in pursuit of their passions and abilities in ways that develop the skills they need to be successful in a 21st century workforce and as entrepreneurs mentored by successful business owners and managers in our region.