HR leader to oversee apprenticeship initiative

Linda Spencer
Linda Spencer

A human resources professional with more than 30 years of experience has been hired as the first manager of a new program promoting youth apprenticeships in Mesa County.

Linda Spencer takes on a range of responsibilities in her new role with CareerWise Colorado. Spencer will  coordinate efforts to offer apprenticeships as well as recruit and work with businesses and students participating in the program.

“I’ve spent decades building personal and professional relationships in Grand Junction and Mesa County,” Spencer said. “The program manager position with CareerWise will enable me to continue connecting great people and great organizations in our community while transforming the future of work and education for youth. I’m honored to be selected and excited to get started.”

CareerWise Colorado coordinates apprenticeships among businesses, high school students and educators. Students participating in the program earn wages while gaining real-world skills, industry credentials and college credit that provide them with options to enter the workplace or continue their educations. Businesses benefit from the program as they assume a more active role in building their work forces.

CareerWise Colorado is expected to offer its first apprenticeships this year in Western Colorado as well as along the northern Front Range and in the Denver metropolitan area. About 20,000 students are expected to participate statewide by 2027.

Noel Ginsburg, founding chief executive officer of CareerWise Colorado said he’s excited to hire Spencer. “By filling a new program manager position, we are adding resources to fully support employers, students and their families and educators in the Grand Junction community as they participate in the CareerWise apprenticeship system.”

UnitedHealthcare has funded the manager position for two years to develop the potential of youth in communities on the Western Slope, said Beth Soberg, chief executive officer of UnitedHealthcare of Colorado. “It is our hope that a Grand Junction-based program manager will ensure that this valuable partnership between local businesses and educators continues to support young people and benefit the community for years to come.”

Prior to joining CareerWise, Spencer spent more than 30 years serving diverse industries as a human resources leader, primarily in Grand Junction. She worked as a human resources manager for nearly 17 years at CoorsTek. She holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Colorado Mesa University.