In its role as an intermediary, CWC collaborates with our valued NoCo partners — local employers and school districts — to proactively address a skilled-worker shortage. A recent success story involves Tolmar’s decision to hire their CareerWise apprentice Dicen Buckley as a full-time employee. Sylvia Robinson, Tolmar’s HR Manager, says that apprentices inspire Tolmar’s employees through their strong work ethic and ability to contribute to the group.

“Dicen came to Tolmar having already worked hard alongside his dad in their family business,” Robinson explains. “He was looking for an opportunity to make his own way in a career that had promise. He stood out because he understood the commitment he was making to the apprenticeship and was ready to dive in. He showed us he was ready to work hard and learn just like our regular employees. We are happy to hire him on, even before the completion of his 3-year apprenticeship.”

Dicen was a junior at Poudre School District’s Fossil Ridge High School when he first heard of CareerWise apprenticeships. “This program was new to me and it definitely felt like I was taking a leap to apply,” Dicen says. “But after I had my interview with Tolmar, I could tell that it would be a great place to work. They really give you the chance to try different positions and move up within the company.”

A little more than a year later, Dicen was promoted from Manufacturing Tech I to a full-time Operator. “My job is to oversee a small crew, to troubleshoot processes and make sure the line is going smoothly. Some days, my team is so in sync that we end up breaking records for the company in terms of packaging goals.”

CareerWise works closely with local school work-based learning teams to make sure all students are aware of apprenticeship opportunities. “Our students are eager to apply what they are learning in the classroom,” says Terra Thiebaut, work-based learning coordinator for Fossil Ridge High. “Apprenticeship provides relevant job experience that helps them transition into the workforce and learn what is expected of them as an employee.”