The Colorado Roadmap to Work-Based Learning

Work-Based Learning
Learning opportunities that occur in part or in whole at the workplace and provide the learner with hands-on, real world experience.

Purpose of this Roadmap

We aim to support the expansion and development of high-quality career exploration and pathway opportunities for Colorado students by connecting invested stakeholders to ideas, resources, and one another. The Roadmap is a vehicle for continued sharing and thought partnership that will be updated as we learn more about best practices, existing resources, and stories of impact happening across Colorado.

DEFINITION: Work-based learning (WBL) refers to opportunities for learners that occur in part or in whole at the workplace and that provide them with hands-on, real-world experiences.

Colorado Succeeds sat down with the Colorado Business Roundtable to share
The Colorado Roadmap to Work-Based Learning. Click here for the full interview. 

Vision for Colorado

Business, community, and education leaders across Colorado communicate and collaborate to provide high-quality work-based learning experiences so that all Coloradans are aware of, prepared for, and have access to the jobs, careers, and opportunity pathways they want.

Who Can Use The Roadmap?


We encourage business leaders to partner with schools/school districts in Colorado to create work-based learning opportunities.

Use this guide to:

    • strengthen and expand your talent pipeline by increasing student awareness of career opportunities
    • support educators to bring relevant problems and projects into the classroom and push students’ thinking
    • learn about existing models and partnerships in your region


We support agile educators who are dedicated to adapting to the diverse needs of today’s students.

Use this guide to: 

  • help students develop the Essential Skills that will prepare them for success in any opportunity pathway
  • allow students to explore passions and discover careers in Colorado and bring real-world projects into the classroom
  • jump-start career paths for students while they are still in the K-12 system


Organizations play a key role in improving and creating new conditions for students to thrive.
Use this guide to: 
  • learn about existing coalitions and find contact information for work-based learning coordinators  
  • share additional resources/guides for developing a program or work-based learning projects 
  • learn about Colorado’s laws and legal guidelines for work-based learning

A Collaborative Effort

Through a series of many individual discussions, working groups, and secondary research, The Roadmap aspires to align on the language we use, gather great ideas and examples, and connect with the people and programs we can all learn from to implement high-quality work-based learning in our respective communities and regions across Colorado. This Roadmap has only scratched the surface and we hope you will continue to share and collaborate with us!

A special thanks to the TalentFOUND network for their time and expertise, and for their continued efforts to move this work forward.

We would like to thank the following organizations for the time, energy, feedback, and resources they contributed to make this effort possible, and for the work they do to support work-based learning every day:

Colorado Department of Labor and Employment

Colorado Department of Education
Colorado Workforce Development Council 
Colorado Office of Information Technology
Colorado Office of Economic Develop. & International Trade
Colorado Community College System

Aurora Public Schools
Arvada High School

Canon City High School

Central BOCES

Pikes Peak Community College 
Denver Public Schools

Douglas County Schools
East Central BOCES
Early College @ Northglenn-STEM

East Grand School District

Falcon Tech at Skyline High School

Front Range Community College

Greeley Central High School

Green Mountain High School

James Irwin Charter Schools 

JeffCo Public Schools

Legend High School

Mesa 51 School District

Peyton School District

Poudre School District

Pueblo Community College

Roaring Fork School District

Salida School District
STEM School Highlands Ranch

St. Vrain Valley School District  

West Grand School District 
Widefield School District

Action 22
America Achieves
The Anschutz Foundation
Aravada Chamber of Commerce
Arrow Electronics
Ball Corp & The Ball Foundation
Bank of America
CareerWise Colorado
Center for Rural Entrepreneurship
Chaffee County Economic Development
Children’s Hospital Colorado
Climax Molybdenum
Colorado BioScience Association
Colorado Education Initiative
Creative Fabrications
EKS&H now part of Plante Moran
Foundation for Character Development
Fremont Economic Development Corp: TechSTART 
Gates Family Foundation
Gill Foundation
Grand Junction Fire Department
Greeley Chamber of Commerce
Innovate Educate
Northern CO Manufacturing Sector Partnership

JE Dunn Construction
JPM Prototype and Manufacturing Inc. 
Junior Achievement
Liberty Global
Kaiser Permanente

Lockheed Martin


Merritt Aluminum Products Company
mindSpark Learning
Morgridge Family Foundation

Parkview Medical Center
Pinnacol Assurance
Project Lead the Way
Sedgwick County Economic Development
Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce
RK Mechanical
U.S. Engineering
Western Union
Xcel Energy