February 15, 2016 — Jon Kinning traveled to Zurich, Switzerland earlier this month to learn about its apprenticeship program, known as the Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (SFIVET). Jon was one of 50 delegates from Colorado and Washington D.C., and this prestigious group included Governor John Hickenlooper and several Colorado leaders in technical education.
The goal of this trip was to expose Colorado educators, government officials, local nonprofits and industry leaders to the proven Swiss model for apprenticeships. Swiss apprenticeship programs are very high-quality, and apprentices are treated as talented and sought-after craftspeople who are valuable to the future of the Swiss economy.
This trip inspired Jon, Rick and RK management to learn from these successful Swiss practices to expand and improve our current RK Apprenticeship Program. Jon is also working with the Metropolitan State University of Denver to build a Bachelor’s of Construction Technology and a Bachelor’s of Manufacturing Technology program. These will be unique because they will allow apprentices to earn credits (at no cost) in the RK Apprenticeship Program and then apply them toward a four-year Bachelor’s degree that provides accelerated access to management-level positions.
Read Jon Kinning’s paper, How the Swiss May Shape the Future of Colorado Apprenticeship Programs, for a detailed description of the Colorado delegation trip to Switzerland and to learn more about the Swiss apprenticeship model that has inspired our company.