School districts cancel Grand Career Fair, continue Homegrown Initiative

Schools look to adjust implementation of Homegrown Initiative

Sky-Hi News staff report
Local leaders start filling a poster board with ideas written on sticky notes during a brainstorming session for the Homegrown Talent Initiative back in January at River Run RV Resort. By the end of the brainstorming session, three boards were chock full of ideas about how local businesses can help students develop skills essential to succeeding in today’s workforce.
Eli Pace /

As East and West Grand school districts progress on the Homegrown Talent Initiative, plans are being re-evaluated due to circumstances created by the novel coronavirus.

The Grand Career Fair, originally scheduled for April 29 as part of the initiative, has been canceled due to the lack of opportunity to plan going forward and a hesitancy to further burden community business partners, according to the school districts.

The Homegrown Talent Initiative is a statewide project launched last year to support communities as they develop career-connected learning opportunities through a partnership between the schools, higher education, local business, industries, students, parents and families.

The work began in 2019 and will continue throughout the 2020-21 school year.

The next step is to reveal a profile of a high school graduate in East Grand and a profile of a learner in West Grand, along with a three year implementation plan. The profiles will serve as a guide for the districts’ work-based learning programs.

While the initiative will continue, the districts will be working with the Colorado Education Initiative and Colorado Succeeds to adjust timelines for rolling out the profiles and implementation plans.

Even so, the districts are still looking to continue the program.

Recently, the Grands Design Committee visited the Innovation Center at St Vrain Valley Schools to learn about their approach to work-based learning opportunities. The tour showed how this district aims to provide students with any skill it can. Rooms focused on media, aeronautics, robotics, bioscience, virtual reality, entrepreneurship and more.

The schools hope to work toward creating programs that reflect St Vrain’s innovation rooted in the context of local community assets and needs.

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