CCCS Foundation, Pinnacol Assurance Continue Successful Workforce Scholars Program

A longstanding partnership between the Foundation for Colorado Community Colleges and Pinnacol Assurance is getting another $50,000 boost to support workforce development across the state.

For the sixth year in a row, the Colorado-based workers’ comp provider is funding the Pinnacol Assurance Workforce Development Scholars Program, which doles out scholarships to 22 full-time Colorado Community College System (CCCS) students. The dollars prioritize rural learners enrolled in programs that align with local workforce needs.

Mara Wheeler, the manager of corporate social responsibility and director of the Pinnacol Foundation, expressed her appreciation for the opportunity to support community colleges.

When the Colorado workforce succeeds, so do we.
Mark Tapy, Pinnacol Assurance Senior Talent Manager

“Even a modest amount, such as $1,500 or $2,500, can have a significant impact on the students. For many, this financial assistance could make all the difference in choosing a career path they may not have been able to pursue otherwise,” she noted.

With the latest grant, the program has received $300,000 since it launched in 2018. So far, all Pinnacol Workforce Scholars have either completed a degree, transferred to a four-year institution, or are still enrolled in college.

Pinnacol leaders see the program as a philanthropic priority, as well as a business one. With a boom of retirements expected, the company is finding creative ways to diversify its workforce, said Mindy Carrothers, a marketing and communications manager with Pinnacol.

“Insurance is an aging industry. We’re looking for ways to preserve institutional knowledge,” she explained. “From a business standpoint, it’s also helpful to fund and fuel our communities.”

In addition to the Workforce Scholars program, Pinnacol gives out scholarships to students whose parents were injured or killed on the job. They also started an in-house apprenticeship program six years ago that has trained more than 65 high school and college students.

“We have made significant strides in work-based learning and educational programming,” said Mark Tapy, senior talent manager who oversees workforce development programs such as Pinnacol’s apprenticeship program. “We are also deepening our approaches to post-secondary credential attainment and upskilling for our existing staff, ensuring that they continue to build the skillsets they need to thrive in their careers.”

These varied talent development initiatives are driven by one goal—to uplift Colorado communities and workers.

“When the Colorado workforce succeeds, so do we,” Tapy said. “It is always in our best interest to invest in and develop our local workforce, and we are proud to lead the way on multiple fronts in this effort.”

If you are interested in partnering with or giving to the Colorado Community College System, please reach out to the Foundation for Colorado Community Colleges.

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