May 18th, 2017
David Blackburn, Superintendent
Salida Schools R-32-J
Salida, Colorado – Salida Schools announced today that it has received a $90,000 Daniels Fund grant to support the development of a building trades apprenticeship program, and the development of affordable housing for school district staff. The Spartan Heights housing development is a partnership with community organizations to accomplish three goals. The primary purpose is to leverage district assets to develop an apprenticeship program in the building trades with business partners. Furthermore, the development of this apprenticeship program allows the district to replicate apprenticeships in other industries. The district second goal is the commitment to develop a workforce that is locally relevant. In this case the local economy is in need of more building trades’ workers. Lastly, the district is leveraging assets to develop affordable housing solutions for staff members. The attraction and retention of school workers, at all levels, is impeded by the lack of affordable housing. The development of this program has been in collaboration with the Daniels Fund, CareerWise, Chaffee County Economic Development Corporation, Colorado Mountain College, Colorado Succeeds Foundation, and the Colorado Department of Education.
This grant specifically has enabled the infrastructure necessary for the development to be implemented. Also the grant will support the development of a playbook for other rural communities that want to develop partnerships between local schools and businesses.
“The grant will enable our program to provide training to students that are interested in meaningful careers outside of academia.” said David Blackburn, district Superintendent. Mr. Blackburn went on to say, “The development of an apprenticeship program captures the Board of Education’s commitment to a community education system and that success is individual for each kid.”
The Board of Education recently approved the release of a Request for Proposals from local business to help the next phase of the program development.
The Daniels Fund, established by cable television pioneer Bill Daniels, is a private charitable foundation dedicated to making life better for the people of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming through its grants program, scholarship program, and ethics initiative. Visit DanielsFund.org to learn more.