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Partner with CareerConnect

CareerConnect provides many opportunities for business partnerships that support DPS students from grades K-12 and help companies grow their industry’s talent pipelines while giving back to the community.

Company engagement opportunities with DPS CareerConnect

Partnership opportunities exist across all grade levels and are supported by CareerConnect staff, who work closely with your company. You choose how much time and how many resources your company can invest in partnership with our schools.

Click to see overview of options and link for more details.

  • Students in grades 6 – 10 hear live from professionals in a Chat and/or Challenge format
  • Chat: Professionals discuss their careers, their company and their industry. These fun live chats are caught on video to reach as many students as possible.
  • Challenge: Companies engage students in a real-life industry challenge, such as designing a web page for a department or developing a marketing plan for a new product. Students submit their solutions by deadline and companies select the winning student or team of students.
  • Students learn about career possibilities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math or STEM fields through fun, hands-on activities in professional workplaces.
  • Typically for students in grades 7 and 8 but other grades may also participate.

For companies

  • Time Commitment: Spark workplace visits typically last two to three hours. We recommend a one-hour planning session with our staff and the classroom teacher prior to the visit.
  • Average Student Age: 12-13 years old
  • Average Number of Students: 14-28
  • Financial Commitment: None, we provide transportation and chaperones.
  • Students get a first glimpse into a career field and connect what they’re learning in the classroom with real-world careers during a workplace visit that includes hands-on activities.
  • Typically for high school freshmen but other grades may also participate

For companies

  • Time Commitment: Xplore workplace events typically last three to four hours. We recommend a one-hour planning session with our staff and a job shadow rehearsal, typically one to two hours, prior to the event. We also ask that you host a minimum of two to three job shadows during the school year.
  • Average Student Age: 14-15 years old
  • Average Number of Students: 14-28
  • Financial Commitment: None, we provide transportation and chaperones.
  • Students meet one-on-one with someone from the industry they’re interested in and, over the course of a school year, they map out a potential academic and career plan
  • Typically for high school sophomores but other grades may participate

For companies

  • Time Commitment: Mentoring requires four hours per month during the school year (24 hours total), including two in-school visits by corporate volunteers and one worksite visit by students each month. Prior to mentoring, we recommend a one-hour planning session with our staff and a two-hour orientation session for mentors.
  • Average Student Age: 15-16 years old
  • Average Number of Students: 10-16 students
  • Financial Commitment: None, we provide transportation and chaperones as needed.
  • Students gain first-hand experience in an industry of their choice and develop skills to succeed in the world of work
  • Typically for high school juniors and seniors but other grades may participate

For companies

  • Time Commitment: Internships are 100-120 hours and occur in the fall semester, spring semester or during the summer
  • Average Student Age: 16-17 years old
  • Average Number of Students: Company chooses how many interns to host
  • Financial Commitment: $900-$1,100 per student
  • Provides an immersive multi-year experience in which students work for a company while attending school. Apprentices continue to take both high school and college classes during the week, while getting paid to work for one of our company partners.
  • As students progress in each year of their apprenticeship, they take on more hours at their job and more classes on their college campus. Most apprenticeships are three years while others last two to four years.
  • Offered in six high-growth fields: Advanced Manufacturing, Business Operations, Information Technology, Healthcare, Financial Services and Education.
  • Students must fill out an application and typically begin the program while high school juniors. This means the program typically follows the student into postsecondary education.
  • Leading up to the first post-high school year, apprentices are supported with strong academic and career advising and encouraged to continue their education in parallel with their apprenticeship to reach their goals. In some cases, employers provide tuition reimbursement for college coursework.

For companies

Time Commitment: Students work about 24 hours per week in your company for two to four years; the typical apprenticeship lasts three years. DPS CareerConnect staff provide support for the student and company partner throughout the apprenticeship.
Average Student Age: 17-20 years old
Average Number of Students: Company chooses how many apprentices to host
Financial Commitment: Varies but typically about $3,000 per student per year

Why partner with DPS CareerConnect?

We partner with more than 300 companies, colleges and non-profits to provide hands-on learning opportunities to ensure that our students are prepared for an increasingly global 21st century economy.

See what some of our partners say about their experience.

FAQ about partnering with DPS CareerConnect

We want to work with you! We respond to our most common questions below but please email us if you have more or just want to talk.

Our company wants to partner but we're not sure which of these opportunities is right for us. Can you help us figure that out?

Absolutely! Simply email us and/or fill out the interest survey forms for those opportunities you think might be the best fit. We’re happy to talk with you about the kind of partnership that’s right for your company.

I'm not sure how much time my company can commit. Can we start at the smaller end and build up as we see how things go?

Yes! We completely understand. Typically, the time commitments required of partners grow as our students get older. For example, if you can only give a few hours a year, consider a Virtual Exploration involving a live video chat or a Spark or Xplore event that involves a workplace visit. If you’ve got a few employees who are really excited about working with students, consider Coach Mentoring. And if you’re ready for a bigger commitment — and a potentially bigger reward — consider hosting an intern or apprentice.

We, and especially DPS students, appreciate whatever commitment you are able to make!

Can we work with a school near our company?

Not all DPS schools offer all CareerConnect programs so this may not possible. But we’re happy to talk with you and see what we can do!

To see which schools are close to you, please visit the DPS School Finder and type in your address. To see which schools offer CareerConnect programs, please visit our main page, What is DPS CareerConnect?, and scroll down to the map.

How are students selected for internships?

Students who are eligible for Launch Internship program are typically high school juniors and seniors who are enrolled in STEM courses. Students are required to complete and/or submit the following:

  • Online application including industry-specific skills self-assessment
  • Teacher recommendation
  • Resume
  • Attendance record

Each part of the application is scored using a grading scale. Students with the highest scores are invited to participate in a 12-hour Skills Training for Young Professionals. School-based staff will recommend students for placement with specific businesses based on the skills and experience required and location of the company/organization. Businesses will then interview candidates and make their selection.

Will my company receive support during the internship?

Yes. School-based staff who have worked with the student throughout the semester will provide additional support, guidance and coaching to students as needed. DPS staff members will visit the worksite at least two times during the internship and are available for consultation as needed.

What about child labor laws?

We often get questions about child labor laws (state and federal). Here are some rules of thumb:

  • Students 15 and older are allowed to work up to eight hours a day and 40 hours a week during the summer.
  • Students 15 and younger must work between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.
  • Students 15 and younger can work in an office, retail store, etc.
  • Students 16 and 17 can work in any business as long as they are not performing hazardous work.
  • Students cannot drive a vehicle as part of their internship duties.
  • Students under 18 cannot be over 10 feet off the ground and cannot operate power-driven machinery: a) woodworking machines, b) metal-forming machines, c) punching or shearing machines, d) paper products machines, e) shears or f) automatic pin-setting machines.
  • No roofing, handling explosives or radioactive material. No mining.
  • Students under 16 are not allowed to work inside manufacturing facilities; office work away from the plant is acceptable.

If you or your colleagues have particular concerns about child labor laws, please email us and we will be happy to discuss them with you.

Who covers worker's compensation?

Interns are covered by DPS worker’s compensation. Apprentices are hired by the company and placed on payroll, therefore they are covered under the company’s worker’s compensation policy. More detailed information on DPS worker’s compensation will be provided to all pertinent staff during training prior to the program kick-off.