Invent, build and fix the products that people need. Check out careers in advanced manufacturing and the skilled trades.

“I learned I love trying different things and the feeling I get once I accomplish something new.”

Now I know how to 3D print and create, to see something come from nothing. I’ve learned that your ideas are never too far out of reach if you have the tools to achieve them.

CEC Early College


MakerConnect introduces students to the world of advanced manufacturing, construction and the skilled trades that lead to a variety of high-opportunity college and career options. Students in MakerConnect study a variety of hands-on subjects, including welding, auto mechanics, construction and computer-aided design (CAD). Students also develop effective communication, problem-solving and leadership skills.  They may also have the opportunity to receive college credit and industry certifications.

Sample Classes with MakerConnect

A basic introduction to manufacturing, this course includes machine safety and introductions to machine control systems, welding, blueprint reading, electricity, technical math and computer-aided design (CAD).

In this course, students develop a comprehensive understanding of the Computer-Aided Design (CAD) platform while incorporating fundamental knowledge of the field of architecture. Students use workstation application, online research, as-built measurement and verification, “hard-hat” site visits, textbook study and more to experience the career fields of architecture, engineering and construction, and to prepare for postsecondary study.

This course explores the expanding array of careers within the construction industry. Students will be exposed to the construction industry through job site tours, hands-on experience and classroom activities. Math and science will be used in the academic integration of job-site technical skills and classroom theory. More specifically, students will learn and practice job site safety; read and interpret text and drawings to construct projects; learn to operate and maintain tools, both hand and power; and learn the components of building systems and how they function.

This course is for students who wish to learn and explore the field of metalwork. Areas may include but are not limited to designing, drawing, fabrication of sheet metal and bench metal, machining, welding and metal finishing.

Note: CareerConnect classes may vary by school.

Examples of Careers in Advanced Manufacturing and Skilled Trades

Occupation Education Level Median Annual Earnings
Electrician HS Diploma $46,000
Machinist HS Diploma $44,000
Electro-Mechanical Technician Associate’s Degree $61,300
Mechanical Drafter Associate’s Degree $56,750
Aerospace Engineer Bachelor’s Degree $116,800
Materials Engineer Bachelor’s Degree $98,000

Source: Colorado Department of Labor and Employment

MakerConnect is offered at these high schools in 2019-20