A growing number of career opportunities in Denver’s economy require a hands-on education. For students who are interested in careers like welding, advanced manufacturing, cosmetology, and auto services, the college experience can look very different than it would at a four-year university. Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) is partnering with the Community College of Denver (CCD), Emily Griffith Technical College (Emily Griffth) and various other community supporters to show Denver Public Schools’ (DPS) students how a certificate or associate degree can prepare them for a successful career pathway in the growing fields of skilled trades.
On Friday, November 30, DSF led students from Bruce Randolph School on a tour of CCD’s Advanced Manufacturing Center to learn more about the college’s Fabrication Welding and Machine Technologies programs. The facility, which features cutting-edge equipment and training resources for students, is also home to CCD’s Engineering Graphics & Mechanical Design program.
As part of the tour, students had a chance to work directly with faculty while getting hands-on experience. Students practiced their welding technique with simulators before heading into the welding booth. After practicing on the simulator, students put masks on, took torches in hand, and tried real welding for the first time. In the machining area, students were able to get creative and experiment with creating metal parts.
On Friday, December 7, DSF hosted Discovery Day, an opportunity for 167 students from several DPS high schools to visit both campuses of Emily Griffith. At the College of Trades Campus, a state-of-the-art facility that offers programs in automotive collision repair, automotive service, geographical information systems, students were able to try different types of welding, and enjoyed technical demonstrations of auto servicing led by guidance of Emily Griffith faculty.
Faculty members also shared their career trajectories with students, citing their education and the growing demand for skilled workers as key aspects in their own success.
Tours like this give students the opportunity to learn about all of the options available to them at technical colleges and community colleges around the state. As a cost-effective alternative to a four-year degree, a technical certificate or associate degree allows students to opt for an accelerated college track that prepares them for the workforce with skills and experience in a skilled trades career. By gaining early exposure to these career options through campus tours, students are able to begin their higher education experience knowing that their skills will be in-demand upon graduation. Lead funding from Daniels Fund, The Anschutz Foundation, JPMorgan Chase and the LARRK Foundation makes this work possible.