DPS students gain hands-on tech training with new CTA internship accelerator

Tuesday June 21, 2016 0 comments Tags: Denver, CTA, Wendy Nkomo, Civic Tech Internship Accelerator, DPS Career Connect, Joe Saboe

DENVER -- Colorado Technology Association‘s  (CTA) Foundation, a Rose Community Foundation fund, announced the launch of its inaugural Civic Tech Internship Accelerator (CTIA).

In partnership with Denver Public Schools and DPS CareerConnect, and along with more than 20 civic and industry partners, the CTIA will deliver six weeks of immersiveCTA_logoUSE, hands-on technology trainings from industry training partners to more than 30 high school student interns.

The CTIA is designed to elevate Colorado’s emerging young tech talent while closing the state’s tech talent gap. One of the primary objectives is to develop a strong, local tech talent pipeline that will boost the economy and grow Colorado’s technology workforce.

The program brings real-world skills and knowledge from today’s top tech industries to advance the future of Colorado’s tech talent pipeline. Showcasing the professional opportunities in tech through hands-on workshops and presentations will ultimately elevate the local tech economy and drive innovation throughout the state.

“CTA is honored to host this internship accelerator program in partnership with DPS CareerConnect,” said Wendy Nkomo, COO of CTA.

“I am as enthusiastic for the companies that have so graciously volunteered to offer training as I am for the students who will be trained. Positive experiences will be had by all who participate.”

The students participating in the program are rising juniors and seniors from three DPS schools — Abraham Lincoln, West and High Tech Early College (HITEC). Industry-led tech trainings will be delivered on some of the hottest topics in today’s tech — cybersecurity, cloud computing, GIS, UX and design sketching, creativity software and many more — to expose the future of Colorado’s tech talent to industry trends and opportunities while equipping them with the skills and knowledge necessary to confidently pursue careers in technology.

“Opportunities like the CareerLaunch internship program give students hands-on application of the skills that they’re learning in their classrooms,” said Joe Saboe, director of Denver Public Schools’ CareerConnect.

“Through CTIA, CareerConnect students gain valuable work experience and sharpen their tech skills through weekly workshops. The CTIA provides students with opportunities to connect with Colorado’s technology leaders and gives industry the chance to engage with young talent.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Colorado Technology Association for the CTIA and other critical workforce development endeavors.”

CTA hosted its kickoff event on June 17 with guest speakers Scott Cardenas (CIO, City and County of Denver Technology Services), Tricia Hoy (administrative operations manager, City and County of Denver Technology Services), Annette Quintana (CEO & Founder, Istonish) and Andrea Young (CEO, Colorado Technology Association).

The following 15 companies are participating as CTIA Industry Training Partners:


Bit by Bit Analytics


Coastal Cloud



Handy Networks





Secure Set


Universal Mind

Zayo Group

The majority of the tech trainings will be hosted at The Commons on Champa in downtown Denver every Friday throughout the six weeks. Trainings for Apple, DaVita and Turing will be hosted offsite at each company’s respective locations. 

On July 22, CTA and DPS CareerConnect will host a final celebration in Sculpture Park downtown to commemorate the last day of the DPS CareerLaunch Internship Program and the CTIA program.

Students will have the opportunity to celebrate their accomplishment while sharing their projects and key takeaways with parents, supervisors, mentors and partners from the local community.