Follow us on Social & Subscribe to our newsletter to learn more about EDCC!

2023 Apprenticeship Awards Recognize Colorado s Change Makers and Leaders in Apprenticeship

Labor and Employment


On Wednesday, November 8, 15 individuals and organizations dedicated to advancing apprenticeships were honored at the sixth annual Colorado Apprenticeship Awards, at the Colorado History Center hosted by leaders from workforce and apprenticeship communities. The event was kicked off with a special welcome video from Governor Jared Polis, who recently released his FY 24-25 budget proposal, which includes funding to expand apprenticeships and up to $4 million to support groups that facilitate apprenticeships.

“We’re incredibly excited to host Colorado’s inaugural Apprenticeship Awards as a State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA), where we can pay tribute to the remarkable contributions of countless individuals and organizations who have played a pivotal role in fostering a thriving apprenticeship community within our state,” said Katherine Keegan, Director of the Office of the Future of Work, which houses Apprenticeship Colorado. “This event underscores the unwavering commitment and passion of all those who are actively shaping the landscape of apprenticeships and workforce development in Colorado.” 

The Colorado Apprenticeship Awards took place during Colorado Apprenticeship Month and after the recent recognition of Colorado as a State Apprenticeship Agency (SAA) by the US Department of Labor. The agency, also referred to as Apprenticeship Colorado, is housed in CDLE’s Office of Future of Work (OFW) and holds the responsibility for registering and overseeing apprenticeship programs in the state of Colorado. Apprenticeship Colorado’s priorities are to accelerate the adoption, promotion, and development of Registered Apprenticeship Programs; provide support;and be responsible for programs’ compliance with state and Federal laws and standards.

The winners include apprentices, mentors, programs, employers, champions, and partnerships who have demonstrated a remarkable commitment to increasing apprenticeships and expanding access to apprenticeship programs.

Award Winners


  • Dunia L. Marquez, Trautman & Shreve and Denver Plumbers JATC
  • Kayla Bernstein, Skills Academy Foundation and National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
  • Shannon Rooney, Tolmar, Inc. and Careerwise Colorado
  • Synthia Becerra, RK Industries and Independent Electrical Contractors Rocky Mountain


  • Jaime Pearson, CommonSpirit Health (Centura Health)
  • Julie Stone, Work Options
  • Stacy Griest, Colorado Restaurant Foundation


  • Steuben’s (Secret Sauce Food & Beverage)
  • Greiner Electric, LLC


  • Johnnie Norris, Denver Plumbers JATC
  • Gabriella Ayala, Pinnacol Assurance


  • Denver Workforce
  • Work Options


  • Community College of Denver Veterinary Technology Registered Apprenticeship Program
  • E Light Electric Services, Inc.

Watch the videos from this year’s 2023 Apprenticeship Award winners.

The Apprenticeship Awards were made possible through the collaboration of many partners, including representatives from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE), the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE), the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), the Colorado Workforce Development Council, the Business Experiential Learning (BEL) Commission, CareerWise Colorado, the Colorado Community College System (CCCS), and the State Apprenticeship Council (SAC).

View the Governor’s Apprenticeship Month Proclamation. And visit Apprenticeship Colorado’s website to explore Registered Apprenticeships.