Colorado Construction Institute

Investment Term: 2015-2016
Investment Type:
Investment Amount:

Colorado Construction Institute

Investee Background:

The Colorado Construction Institute (CCI) is a nonprofit training organization that provides innovative, 21st-century pre-apprentice and apprentice programs that teach the soft and hard skills necessary to bridge the middle-skills gap. The program provides training for high school students and unemployed or underemployed young adults to pursue careers in residential construction.

Why We Invested:

The idea for CCI was born when its founders saw a workforce shortage in the building trade, especially in residential construction. As an innovative funder willing to take risks on conceptual ideas, Gary Community Investments helped seed CCI in 2013 as a project of the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center. Through its training programs, CCI prepares its students to become builders of their community and their future by providing trade skills, leadership skills, and paid field experience that leads to sustainable employment opportunities that provide a living wage. By providing skills training for placement in the construction industry, CCI is helping to ensure the future economic success of many youth living in Denver’s low-income communities, ultimately helping them build financial security for themselves and their families.  

Investment Impact:

By providing funding to support its operating costs, we helped CCI enroll 39 students in its training programs, and 58 percent of those participants attained a degree or certification that significantly improved their earning potential. In addition, our investment assisted with the local match requirement necessary for CCI to receive a three-year, $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s YouthBuild program. YouthBuild is a competitive grant awarded to programs across the nation to expand the provision of alternative education programs that assist youth who are often significantly behind in basic skills needed to obtain a high school diploma or GED credential, job training and employment. During the grant period, CCI established a partnership with Home Builders Association of Metro Denver, and CCI’s suite of training programs were incorporated into the HBA Construction Skills Development Institute in 2015, providing an HBA-sanctioned pathway for Denver YouthBuild graduate to secure employment. CCI also expanded its collaboration with Workforce Initiative Now (WIN)/Regional Transportation District (RTD), which allows Denver YouthBuild graduates to seek employment in infrastructure construction.