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New Year Brings New Opportunities for Colorado Dropouts

  • Joanna
  • January 2, 2020

Denver, Colorado, January 2, 2020 – New high school diploma and workforce certification program is free for adult learners to achieve living wage work

Just before Christmas, Colorado launched the Workforce Diploma Pilot Program, aimed at addressing what some have described as an urgent problem facing Colorado, one of the country’s most highly educated states: nearly 325,000 Coloradans who are largely unemployed or underemployed due to the lack of a high school diploma.

Graduation Alliance, which has a deep track record of achieving results for adults earning a high school diploma and industry-recognized certifications in multiple other states, was chosen as a qualified provider, offering 24/7 online education services, free to the student.

“Colorado currently has approximately 324,000 adults who never received their high diploma,” said Greg Harp, chief development officer of Graduation Alliance. “That’s more people than those living in the city of Aurora and officials estimate that this costs state coffers approximately $244 billion in higher social and health care services.

“With the Workforce Diploma Program, we know we can help flip these outcomes by preparing participants with employability and career technical skills so that they can secure one of the 240,000 currently unfilled or soon-to-created mid-skill jobs.”

Any Coloradan, age 21 or older, who has completed at least some of 10th grade, has access to the internet, and has not completed a GED or another high school credential, is qualified to enroll in this free, 24/7 online education and certification program.

“We are excited and honored to have been chosen by the state of Colorado for this important work,” said Harp. “We know from our work in other states how many lives this program can change, and we are very eager to start helping those transformations come to life in Colorado.”

In 2016, Graduation Alliance began providing services to working-age adults who had not yet graduated high school or earned a GED after nearly a decade of making diploma attainment and career preparation possible for students in school districts across the country. Since then, the organization has helped thousands of adult learners graduate in states such as Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana.

“Each of these individuals is an investment,” said Harp. “When provided with employability skills development, job-ready certifications and, of course, a fully accredited high school diploma, people who are stuck in low-wage, insecure jobs can lift themselves into living-wage work.”

The program, which is supported by expert teachers, personal academic coaches, and career transitions counselors and tutors, is fully online, allowing students to access their coursework from anywhere and at any time. The Colorado Department of Education’s (CDE) Office of Adult Education Initiatives (AEI) is administering the pilot program.

Students will also have the opportunity to earn state-promoted, industry-recognized credentials including:

  • Certified Production Technician (CPT)
  • Certified Logistics Technician (CLT)
  • Child Development Associate (CDA)
  • CompTIA A+
  • CompTIA IT Fundamentals
  • Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS)
  • OSHA 10 (construction/assistant)
  • Patient Care Technician/Assistant
  • Quickbooks Certified User
  • ServSafe Food Manager

For more information and to enroll, visit