Premiering this Week: Tomorrow’s Talent Today Highlights Power of Modern Youth Apprenticeships

A documentary demonstrating the power of modern youth apprenticeship programs to create new career pathways will air on PBS12 this week. The half-hour film, Tomorrow’s Talent Today, was produced with support from the Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media (COFTM), the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) and CareerWise Colorado, and highlights the experiences of two CareerWise Colorado apprentices at Pinnacol Assurance.

“The State of Colorado has identified workforce development as a key priority to continue building a thriving Colorado economy that works for everyone. By showcasing the CareerWise Colorado apprenticeship model, Tomorrow’s Talent Today illustrates and brings awareness to the success and effectiveness of these important programs,” said Colorado Film Commissioner Donald Zuckerman. 

Since CareerWise launched its first cohort of apprentices in 2017, more than 1,400 program participants have been hired by more than 250 employers. The program has also attracted visits from education, business and workforce development leaders from more than 35 states to learn how its programming has multiplied post-secondary options for today’s youth. Pinnacol Assurance has been a key supporter of the program from the beginning. 

“The Tomorrow’s Talent Today documentary demonstrates youth apprenticeship’s value to both the apprentices as well as the employer,” said Noel Ginsburg, CareerWise Founder and CEO. “Apprentices are learning soft skills like professional collaboration and communication that are essential to the 21st-century workplace, and employers are developing an innovative and diverse talent pipeline for hard-to-fill roles.” 

Tomorrow’s Talent Today was filmed and produced by Listen Productions and Loco Lane Filmworks. The filming process also utilized youth apprentices to provide opportunities for work-based learning.  

“Since it launched in 2017, Pinnacol Assurance's U.S. Department of Labor certified work-based apprenticeship program has revolutionized our recruitment pipeline by attracting a diverse pool of talented young workers who bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to our workforce," said John O'Donnell, Pinnacol President and CEO. "In addition to infusing our teams with enthusiasm and creativity, it has also enabled us to enhance our nimbleness in serving our customers, as these young apprentices possess the adaptability and digital fluency that aligns perfectly with today's rapidly evolving business landscape."

Pinnacol has hired apprentices as full-time employees who are now managing apprentices themselves. Gabby Ayala is a Software Engineer at Pinnacol who participated in the program in 2017 and recently managed an apprentice. She said, “I received a once-in-a-lifetime jumpstart to my career. Being able to learn directly from other developers at a young age allowed me to grow my programming skills while learning best practices not always taught in classes. Becoming an apprentice supervisor let me experience what it’s like to be a leader and showed me where I could improve my leadership skills. The advantages to my career and personal growth from these experiences cannot be overstated.”

The film highlights the success of modern apprenticeship programs as state leaders launch new programs to foster the development of innovative workforce training programs. It will air on PBS12 on June 21, 2023 at noon, June 23 at 7:30 p.m. and June 25 at 1 p.m. with streaming available soon after. A preview of Tomorrow’s Talent Today is available upon request.