The Community Foundation of Northern Colorado, Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce, and The Weld Trust are pleased to announce their partnership with Colorado Succeeds to explore the resources available for career-connected learning in Northern Colorado has reached its first milestone. The purpose of this partnership is to understand what programs and resources already exist and discover new opportunities to support learners in achieving career and post-secondary success in a way that ultimately supports the economic wellbeing of our region.

Colorado Succeeds conducted interviews with education providers throughout Larimer and Weld County to learn what services, programs, and plans are in place for career-based learning in our region. Initial education partners who provided input included: Greeley-Evans District 6, Estes School District, Thompson School District, Poudre School District, Colorado Early Colleges, Windsor School District, Front Range Community College, Aims Community College, Colorado State University, and the University of Northern Colorado.

Colorado Succeeds, alongside the Foundation and the Chamber, recently convened stakeholders from these education partners to discuss the initial interview results. Findings indicate Northern Colorado may be positioned well with some activity and collaboration already happening to support career-connected learning. Additionally, several “low-hanging” opportunities exist to better prepare students for in-demand careers which support Northern Colorado’s economic ecosystems.

The education partners in the room demonstrated interest and energy in supporting the overall asset map effort. Partners provided helpful context and shared industry expertise which will inform the next phase of information gathering.

The Weld Trust has since agreed to fund the expansion of the project to include all 13 Weld County school districts. The asset map will be expanded accordingly, with Colorado Succeeds collecting input from the remaining Weld school districts to fully represent Larimer and Weld County education providers.

Colorado Succeeds will prepare a final report of learnings this fall to identify opportunities for regional collaboration which support learners and the economic vitality of Northern Colorado.

Next steps:
• Interview remaining Weld County school districts to further develop the asset map
• Discuss with industry leaders the initial findings to ascertain employers’ needs and challenges
• Solicit input from the Larimer and Weld workforce development directors about their career development programs and alignment with K-16 educators’ programs