About The Consortium
The Consortium partners with the community of Adams County so that Adams County Youth will leave high school with enrollment in and support for a sustainable living wage post-secondary pathway.
The Consortium’s programs are directly tied to short term outcomes that, done in partnership with Adams County, will support more students entering diverse post-secondary career:
Adams County Education Consortium (“The Consortium”) was founded to bridge the long-standing gap between the needs of business and the education of students in Adams County, Colorado. The Consortium, whose members include all 7 school districts, college professionals, charter community, and industry professionals in Adams County, is uniquely positioned to foster collaboration to help address the challenges of the current climate.
The Consortium is a convener of multiple agencies to pool resources to deliver direct service to all Adams County students (not just one district) and provide support on best practices for educators in career pathway development. The Consortium provides hands-on, interactive career exploration, job shadowing, internship and apprenticeship opportunities, along with training in business and professional skills for students in middle and high school. The Consortium also operates as the fiscal agent and student support coordinator for Adams County scholarships for youth who transition into a public collegiate post-secondary option.
The Consortium believes students should be equipped with exposure, experience, and support to enter diverse post-secondary career pathways that provide sustainable wages and growth opportunities.
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Our approach is grounded in the 2021 Colorado State Talent Pipeline report and the “new essential skills of graduates” outlined in the CDE 2023 graduation requirements. Our work includes three pillars: (1) Events focused on career exposure and professional development for Adams County students and the adults who support them, (2) programming with industry in high schools to create pre-apprenticeship credentialing and opportunities for industry to work in high schools and (3) scholarship coordination and support for students in Adams County. All programming is available to all Adams County middle and secondary students and support staff.
- Event – Career Expo – The 8th Grade Career Expo serves as the pivotal introduction for students to professionals representing career options in Colorado’s Industry Career Cluster. The Consortium takes this approach because exposure events starting at 8th grade are critical, as research shows middle school is the strongest time in education for career guidance. Career exposure helps with goal setting and transitioning to high school and helps prevent disengagement in education that is often prevalent at the transition from middle to high school (American Student Assistance Organization).
- Event – Apprenticeship Fair – The Apprenticeship Fair raises awareness of career pathways and apprenticeship opportunities in a variety of industries for high school students. Businesses promote opportunities for on-the-job training in high-demand careers in an engaging and interactive environment. The Consortium follows the recommendation of the 2021 Colorado Department of Higher Education Report, which cites the number one recommendation for K-12 partners is to support preparation, enrollment, and credentialing attainment. The Apprenticeship Fair is a key preparation and exposure event for student enrollment in certificate and alternative credentialing programing.
- Event – Classroom to Career Symposium – Classroom to Career is an event for high school students in which participants attend various career preparation workshops, engage in networking with business professionals and hear inspiring career success stories. The Consortium takes this approach so that students can be strongly prepared to enter the workforce with a competitive edge having developed essential people skills which is particularly crucial after years of pandemic isolation. The Consortium models all workshop offerings from the CDE Essential Skills Graduation Requirements built from the 2021 Talent Pipeline report that aggregated the top people skills that employers are looking for in their workforce.
- Event – Community Forum – The Consortium hosts four community forums yearly to highlight practices of industry professionals that enable industry, K-12, higher education, nonprofit and government agencies to dialogue and hear ideas on how to best support each other.
- Partnership – DU Biomedical Mentorship Program – The Consortium is facilitating a partnership between DU and one school district to facilitate near-peer relationships and engage high school students in taking steps toward post-secondary opportunities. This program also helps to support the transition from college to high school, increases exposure to bio medical career exploration, and to encourages self-advocacy.
- Scholarship – Adams County Mayors’ and Commissioners’ Youth Awards – The Consortium serves as the annual coordinator and fiscal agent for the Adams County Mayor’s Youth Awards, including the nomination process and ceremony for Adams County students who have overcome adversity.
- Event – School Counselor Forum – the Consortium is building a feedback survey and half- day forum for all counselors and CTE instructors in Adams County to assess current needs of counselors and students, and provide opportunity for feedback on pathways and programming.
- Programming – CU Denver and Adams County Healthcare Student Symposium – The Consortium is co-creating with CU Denver a symposium style format for students from multiple districts to hear from undergraduate students on relevant health profession topics and spark interest in pursuing careers in the field.
- Programming – Pre-Apprenticeship Programs – the Consortium partners with school districts to expand and enhance industry credentialing programs in construction, healthcare, IT and manufacturing, connecting students to career opportunities in the industries that are in the most demand.
- Scholarships – the Consortium operates as the fiscal agent and student support coordinator for the Adams County Scholarship Foundation. The Consortium partners with Goodwill Youth Services to engage 120 students with continuous support for 4 to 5 years of college education including regular check-ins and resource guidance for the duration of their program to support completion of degree.
Outcomes and Impact
The Consortium is committed to partnering with the community of Adams County in the achievement of the following long-term outcome measures in the next 5-7 years:
- More Adams County Youth will leave high school with enrollment in and support for a sustainable living wage post-secondary pathway. Currently we are utilizing the social mobility index (https://www.socialmobilityindex.org/) as a guide while working to support a Colorado post secondary pathway index working group.
- The majority of Adams County students receiving a county 4-year scholarship will graduate.
- The majority of students enrolled in certificate programs will receive certificates.
- A greater percentage of Adam’s County youth will get hired in living wage jobs directly out of high school.
- High school graduation rates will increase above state average.
- Industry, colleges and high schools and the state department of labor will have a clear and transparent system for transferrable alternative credentialing options for students including apprenticeship definitions, diverse evidence that can be used by districts and partnerships to credential programming, and a quicker approval process for evidence based programming districts put forth.
- Adams County will increase the number of available pathways to sustainable careers.
- Adams County will develop credentialing pathways that create a stronger relationship between skill training and education.
- Adams County will produce clear communication and resources for students to be informed on sustainable career pathways.
The Consortium’s activities are directly tied to short term outcomes for the programming that will lead to the long term outcomes and impact listed above. In the short term, these activities aim to create the following outcomes:
- Increase student awareness of career pathways.
- Increase enrollment in Career Tech Education classes.
- Increase enrollment in industry partnered pre-apprenticeship programs.
- Increase in companies tracking hiring of young professionals.
- Student feedback is collected and used by district leaders to inform changes in pathway support and scholarship support.
- Adapt programming based on feedback data from educators.
- Increase in mentorship programming between college and high school students.
- Increase participation in adult professional development who support student.
In order to meet this impact statement, the Consortium assumes the following:
- The economic, political and social environment is conducive to creating pathways to a sustainable wage.
- Colorado State University will increase access by credentialing diverse secondary and post-secondary pathways.
- There are multiple ways to create an informed, educated and skilled labor force.
- Post-secondary training and/or education must not cost more than wages available for career outcomes and must offer continuing professional development.
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Since its inception in 2005, the Consortium has worked with a multitude of education, business, and community partners to increase career-readiness program development for students that also addresses needed and emerging occupations in the region and continues to represent the needs of the agency’s stakeholders: Today, the mission of the consortium is still very relevant. Until graduation rates, remediation, and skilled workforce needs are no longer a concern, the Consortium will continue to leverage partnerships to cultivate training and resource programs that elevate the academic achievement of Adams County graduates and meet the workforce needs of the county’s employers.
Adams County Snapshot
A County of Growing Opportunity
The Consortium works with students approximately 13-26 in middle, high school, or a post secondary pathway. Adams County is served by seven school districts (Adams 12 Five-Star Schools, Adams 14, District 27J, Strasburg 31J, Bennett 29J, Mapleton 1, and Westminster Public Schools), and Pinnacle Charter School with an extremely diverse population and total student enrollment of close to 85,000. Each district has diverse and unique campuses from rural areas to the Denver Metro, which propels counselors, leaders and CTE (Career Technical Education) staff at Adams County schools to seek support in partnership to combine resources to maximize impact for students. Research from the Piton Foundation indicates that in 20 years, Adams County will have a projected population of 840,000, making it the largest county by population in the Denver-metro region and the state. However, it is predicted that its ratio of poverty to population will remain higher than the state average. Non-White/non-Asian students currently represent 55% of the population.making Adams County the only minority-majority county in Colorado.
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ADAMS COUNTY YOUTH FACTS
The Consortium works with Adam’s County students 13-26 in middle, high school, or a post-secondary pathway.
Research from the Piton Foundation indicates that in 20 years, Adams County will have a projected population of 840,000, making it the largest county by population in the
Denver-metro region and the state.
Adams County is now the largest non-white county in Colorado where families of color outpace Caucasian populations.
The Consortium is made up of students from an extremely diverse population and total student enrollment of close to 85,000.
Each district has diverse and unique campuses from rural areas to the Denver Metro, which propels counselors, leaders and CTE (Career Technical Education) staff at Adams County schools to seek support in partnership to combine resources to maximize impact for students. When the districts engage in this type of cross collaboration, the student population served is as large as the two other largest school districts in Colorado – Denver Public Schools and Jefferson County Schools.
Business and Education must work together to advance the future workforce of our county and this region.
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Adams County Education Consortium (The Consortium) Governing Board
The Consortium draws strength and its strategic direction from the leaders and champions in the county who support workforce readiness as a countywide priority. We thank our current Board of Directors whose allegiance to this mission is moving Adams County forward.
For more information & to get involved, contact:
Letia Frandina, Executive Director
2023-2024 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Board President: Dr. Chris Fiedler, Superintendent, Adams County School District 27J
Board Vice President: James Duffy, COO, Westminster Public Schools
Board Secretary: Charlie Kercheval, President, Alpine Bank
Board Treasurer: Chad Miller, Chief Executive Officer, Pinnacle Charter School
Lee Peters, Executive Director of High Schools, Adams 12 Five Star Schools
Shelagh Burke, Chief Academic Officer, Adams 14 School District
April Menzies, Dean of Instruction, Front Range Community College
Dan Hoff, Superintendent, Strasburg School District 31J
Metzy Moreles, Student representative
2023-2024 ACEC WORKING BOARD
Every month, The Consortium convenes STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math), CTE (Career Tech Ed), PSWR (Post Secondary Workforce Readiness) directors from the seven districts to better guide its work. These individuals are an integral part of executing The Consortium’s programs in the districts and aligning The Consortium’s programs with education imperatives. This partnership ensures that the skills students receive from The Consortium programs strengthen the PSWR initiatives, student ICAP (Individual Career Academic Plan), 21st Century Skills demonstrations, and Graduation Guidelines.
Allison Lusero Hoffman, Adams 12 Five Star Schools, Director of Counseling
Kristi Weaver, Adams 12 Five Star Schools, Director of Career and Technical Education
Paul Francisco, School District 27J, Director of Post Secondary and Workforce Readiness
Ryan McCoy, Westminster Public Schools, Director of Post Secondary Workforce Readiness
Xiomara Ortiz, Mapleton Public Schools, Coordinator Post Secondary Options
Ron Hruby, Adams 14 School District, Director of Career & Technical Education
Matthew Field, Pinnacle Charter School, Post-Secondary Coordinator
Working Together to Affect Change
The Consortium team dedicates its time towards cultivating partnerships, innovating strategies, and implementing positive change in the workforce readiness of Adams County youth.
Letia Frandina, Executive Director
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Letia Frandina was named executive director of The Consortium in December 2021. Letia has more than 20 years’ experience in education – primarily in marketing, strategic visioning and organizational development. Prior to The Consortium, she was a founder and Executive Director of the Downtown Denver Expeditionary School, a Denver Public School charter in the Denver city core and as an adjunct professor at Front Range Community College and University of Maryland Global Campus.
Andrea Autobee-Trujillo, Program Director
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Andrea Autobee-Trujillo has served as The Consortium’s program director since 2019. She manages all The Consortium events and the Scholarship programs, Prior to The Consortium, she served as deputy district director for Congresswoman Diana DeGette’s Denver office.