Support diverse education initiatives

There are a number of effective initiatives in education that support diverse student populations as they complete their education. Find one that you and your employees are passionate about, and get involved to help students prepare for the workforce.

*Small Business Pro Tip: Ask your employees if any of them are currently engaged in a diverse education initiative. Can you support them? If no one is engaged, ask employees for their top choices to engage with. Provide opportunities for employees to connect with the program during the workday.

Kindergarten – 12th Grade

Each school district has its own local programs.  We did not attempt to list them, but instead have given you a few examples to show the types of programs that exist.  Please contact us if you need support in connecting with your local schools to find the right programs to support.

Mentoring and Internships – Support mentoring and career preparation programs at your local schools. There are many great examples, with one being Mind Matters.

Work-based Learning – Support work-based learning opportunities at your local schools. There are many great examples, with one school program being Denver Public School’s CareerConnect program and one industry association being Denver Tech Talent Partnership.

Higher Education

Mentoring and Internships – Provide mentoring or internship opportunities to students in programs like AdvanceEDU, an innovative higher education option aimed at closing equity gaps in Colorado’s higher education and workforce ecosystem, or Access Opportunity,  which creates opportunities for high-potential, low-income students to define their individual path through high school, college, and career.  To get connected to students in many different institutions, including those outside of Colorado, participate in the Global Minded conference.


Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) – This link includes a list of Colorado’s 2 year and 4-year institutions designated as HSI’s (have enrollment of 25% or greater Hispanic undergraduate full-time students):    

  • Awareness – This resource connects you to HSI’s that exist in Colorado. By identifying and aligning with the work being done in this space you will tap the collective knowledge of organizations with a track record of commitment to equity in this area. 
  • Activate – Scholarship Opportunities: Reach out to scholarship administrators to request that specific job posting information be shared with past scholarship winners from particular content areas as the next step toward engaging groups of proven high minority candidates. 

InRoads – a nonprofit that partners with corporations in order to provide ethnically diverse internships in order to help change the way these candidates gain entry into the business world.   

  • Activate: Click here to learn more about two of the InRoads programs that allow you to network with recent graduates, mid-career and experienced professionals. 
  • Diversify your Network: Click here to learn more about InRoads’ Corporate Sponsors. Have members of your network connect you to one of these companies to help you understand the impact of working with InRoads.  
  • Invest: Put resources into a nonprofit on a mission to strengthen our economy by connecting diverse talent to job opportunities. Learn more by clicking here

Colorado Universities Innovation Council (CUIC) – a nonprofit which consists of 13 of Colorado public and private four-year institutions and creates pathways for learners to connect and collaborate with each other, thereby encouraging the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. 

  • Advocate – lend your voice to growing the inclusive economy in the entrepreneurial space. Click here to join CUIC as they align government, corporate, and college institutions to support the next generation of entrepreneurs creating the future we all need.  
  • Mentor – Refer students and interns to CUIC to develop their skills and identity within entrepreneurship. 

Equity in Education – an inaugural report from the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE).  The report identifies equity-minded practices and recommends creating intentional, safe, and inclusive spaces and includes the following information:  

  • Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Dual enrollment data – The gap in CTE participation is slightly narrowing, but the participation rate of white students is always higher. While the lowest participation belongs to black students.  
  • College-going rates by gender and income.  
  • College-going rate by race and ethnicity over time 
  • Unemployment rate by race and ethnicity  
  • Unemployment rate by gender identity and race and ethnicity  
  • College credit for work experience 

Colorado Talent Pipeline Report  

  • What is the Colorado Talent Pipeline Report?  It is the Colorado Workforce Development Council’’s annual report which identifies key features of the current labor force, and strategies to balance the supply and demand for talent. Along with top jobs in Colorado. 
  • Address Covid-19 concerns – The pandemic has accelerated the need to address current workforce trends and highlighted the inequity in our education and workforce.  
  • Discuss strategies to align supply with industry demand – The report addresses employers’ concerns and offers solutions.   

The Roadmap to Affordability: Reducing Costs and Maximizing Value – annual ROI report from CDHE.   

  • The Equity Imperative section relates specifically to persistent gaps within gender, race, and ethnicity.  
  • Examine the trends in the types of degrees being pursued by race/ethnicity in Colorado.  For instance, review Tables 4 and 5 for information about the top 5 degree programs and wages for graduates by gender, race and ethnicity.  
    • Act on this information by creating inclusive spaces for talent to thrive and fair and equitable pathways to earn equal wages. 
  • College affordability – Attending college can lead to large amounts of debt. Employers can help make college affordable for their employees or support programming that reduces cost and debt for all students.