For Youth

Youth Services is Now Accepting Summer Youth Employment Applications! Click the Blue Button Below For More Information!

Our Youth Services mission is to deliver programs to engage, prepare, and empower youth to meet the growing demands of a global economy. We strive to develop dynamic partnerships with the community and to construct the workforce of our future, one young person at a time. Youth Services monitors program outcomes, provides technical assistance, and coordinates program development for our community partners in order to ensure quality services are delivered to all that we serve.

Cool Opportunities

We work collaboratively with five contractors – Denver Housing Authority, Urban Peak, Servicios de La Raza, Urban League of Denver and Flagship Help Center – to meet the diverse needs of job-seeking youth. These programs help youth reach their employment, education, and personal aspirations. Through career advising and mentorship, youth learn to prepare themselves for the future by setting goals and participating in activities to achieve personal growth.  

Our Youth Employment Program contractors strive to provide services in the following areas:

  • Encouragement to return to school, pursue secondary education and/or to find permanent employment
  • Reading and math skill tutoring, including GED prep
  • Job readiness classes
  • Career exploration, occupational information and job skills training as necessary
  • Work experience programs designed to build skills and lead to long-term employment
  • Job coaching and employment counseling

As a nation, we face a challenge of tremendous consequence that we cannot continue to ignore…. The economic future of our country depends on the next generation of young Americans becoming ready for college, work, and life… Only comprehensive investments - made now - will reconnect youth and secure their futures, our communities and our nation as a whole.” 

- Campaign for Youth, National Investment Strategy  for Reconnecting America’s Youth 


City of Denver Youth Employment Programs: 

Bridges to Work (BTW):  Supported by local business investment, this high-level internship program is designed to support educational engagement while preparing Denver youth for career pathways. BTWchallenges Denver youth with dynamic training, leadership skills and work experience opportunities to mold strong productive students, committed citizens, economic participants and successful workers.  This program is for highly committed individuals and has the following requirements and objectives.

BTW Youth Candidate Requirements:

  • Denver Residents (must prove Denver residency)
  • High School Seniors and College Students 
  • Age 18 to 21 by June 11th, 2013.
  • Verifiable G.P.A. of 2.5 or higher (transcripts required)
  • Strong School Attendance (school attendance history required)
  • Income Guidelines (need to qualify under income guidelines as posted for general youth programs)
  • High Level of Participant Commitment (3 weeks of training; 160 hours of internship experience)
  • Respectful, Responsible and Reliable (supported with a letter of reference)
  • Focused and Intentional (requires responses to two essay questions)
    • What does the “American Dream” look like to you?
    • How do you think this BTW training opportunity can support that dream?
  • Available for training
  • Opportunity to earn up to $1,500.00


BTW is a summer experience that will potentially transform your life.  It will require you to be engaged and committed to attending training.  Full devotion to the internship work-experience is also required.  

If you are up for the challenge – follow the general SYEP application instructions (see FAQs) and complete the enrollment in Connecting Colorado and the linked on-line application.  Then, bring your letter of recommendation along with your written responses to the above two essay questions to the Youth Services office at 1391 Speer Blvd, Suite 520, Denver, 80204. All complete packets are due by close of business on March 30th.   Hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 to 4:30.  Please note that your essay questions will not be accepted if you have not completed the Connecting Colorado enrollment AND the on-line application.  Final youth participants will be selected through a competitive application review and a live interview process.  

The  Pre-Professional Occupations - Health (PPO) Program provides youth with exposure to health occupations and the opportunity to become certified in various industry-recognized certifications that facilitate future success within the healthcare sector.


The program is an expansion of current relationships within the Health Medical Occupations (HMO) program to spark youth interest in healthcare occupations. This partnership includes collaborations with healthcare organizations, education, and community based organizations, to allow for program growth along with giving young adults the opportunity to earn incentives. These real world experiences are designed to help participants land jobs within the healthcare industry.

Through a four-week career exploration and training schedule, participants are provided with the following:

  • Industry-recognized certification:
    • Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation – Health Provider (CPR-HP)
    • First Aid
    • Automatic External Defibrillator (AED)
    • Blood Borne Pathogens
    • ServSafe
  • Industry specific training in:
    • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
    • Hospital/medical terminology, scope of practice
    • Careers within healthcare  
    • Other work-related skills
  • Job shadowing opportunities
  • Networking and career mentorship
  • Exposure within medical centers including:
    • Emergency Rooms
    • Supportive programs (Newborns in Need, Foundation, etc.)
    • Front Desk Ambassadors
    • Environmental Services
    • Cardiology
    • Pulmonary Physiology Unit (PPU)
    • Minimally Invasive Diagnostic Center (MIDC)
    • Nursing
    • Rehab
    • Imaging
    • Food Services

Advanced manufacturing is a growing, exciting industry and career opportunity for Denver's young workers. We launched a summer initiative, the Advanced Manufacturing Academy, in 2013 to work closely with a select group of teens who are interested in exploring the dynamic world of manufacturing, 21st-century style.

Application information for the Academy in 2014 will be available soon.

Here is more information on our approach to building this dynamic employment sector for tomorrow's workforce.

The Transitions for Young Adults (TYA) program was developed to address the specialized needs of participants aged 16 to 21 who have been adjudicated or convicted of a criminal charge and, because of these circumstances, are having difficulty obtaining employment.


Coordinated Case Management

· Activities coordinated across agencies

· Geared toward skill training and career path development

· Specialized services that address offender-specific risk factors

· Connections with collaborative support services

Work 4 $uccess

A standardized offender-specific employment readiness and retention curriculum delivered by all partner agencies, and recognized across systems.

· Shared resources across partner agencies

· Includes elements of Basic Skills Remediation

· Career mapping and career preparation assistance

· Job Retention focused on career success

Connections to Employment

Youth who successfully complete the Work 4 $uccess curriculum have an opportunity to participate in subsidized employment learning opportunities, on-the-job training, and job shadow experiences. 

Using a dual customer approach, TYA develops relationships with employers and comprehensively supports them in the hiring and retention of this specialized population. Targeted and customized job development is geared toward permanent placement. Key principles of employer engagement include:

· Providing access to Work Opportunity Tax Credits and Federal Bonding

· Learning about employer needs and preferences

· Assessing the job seekers’ experience, skills and personality to make good matches

· Following up to ensure job retention

· Taking action when problems arise on the job


The TYA partnership includes an alliance of over 25 local agencies who serve youth offenders. Programs with similar goals, target populations and services are coordinated to maximize the expertise of our partners and reduce overlap or duplication of services. By leveraging resources and streamlining participation, we can be more effective in Denver’s efforts to:

· Increase employment obtainment for re-entering citizens

· Increase employment retention for ex-offenders

· Reduce youth recidivism

The Work 4 $uccess (W4$) certificate is obtained by following a strict curriculum of activities established to demonstrate a participant’s significant personal development and community investment.  This program is aimed at participants aged 16-25 who have been adjudicated or convicted of a felony charge, and because of this charge are having difficulty obtaining employment.


This 32-hour curriculum is designed in two two-hour blocks which can be delvered over the course of 16 days, or combined into longer sessions delivered over a shorter period of time. This design allows organizations the flexability to deliver services in a manner that best meets the needs of participants.

Job Readiness (18 hours)

By the end of this program participants will be able to:

  1. Effectively search for an appropriate, and wage sustaining job
  2. Effectively communicate about their riminal background and express accountability for their actions
  3. Understand and demonstrate appropriate workplace behavior

Job Retention (12 hours)

By the end of this program participants will be able to:

  1. Revise a personal daily schedule to meet a new work daily schedule
  2. Ask permission for a day off during the first month of employment
  3. Interpret a true colors temperament assessment
  4. Determine individual emotional intelligence factors that will enhance self-efficacy
  5. Understand personal finance



  • Tangible understanding of the competencies that the applicants will be prepared with
  • Pre-screened candidates
  • Lower hiring costs
  • Increased retention
  • Job coach support
  • Federal bonding of participants who are hired
  • Work Opportunity Tax Credits (WOTC) assistance


  • Reinforcement of learning
  • Consistent messages coming from all service providers
  • Certification of skills in a marketable credential
  • Connection to a meaningful career path versus the "work first" model
  • Economic participation spurs community connection

Service Providers

  • Portable across agencies
  • Minimized duplication of services
  • Lower per-participant cost increases opportunities for others
  • Shared resources and leveraged funding
    • Class offerings
    • Job development

Correction Agencies

  • Certification of skills transfers to community providers
  • Program aimed at job retention works to reduce recidivism
  • Common language streamlines transition planning among agencies

The Denver Office of Economic Development is an Equal Opportunity Agency and, in accordance with the Jobs for Veterans Act (Public Law 107-288), the Denver County Workforce Centers provide veterans priority of service for all program services that are directly funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. Accommodations provided upon request.

Each year the Governor’s Summer Job Hunt provides a vital link between classroom learning and on-the-job experience by matching young people eager to work with great summer employment opportunities. This year, Denver’s Office of Economic Development - Youth Services is hosting a virtual job fair from May 2 – 10, driving large numbers of young people to your online applications.

FOR YOUTH: Register on to receive information about participating in the Virtual Job Fair.

FOR EMPLOYERS: Join our Virtual Job Fair to drive quality youth candidates, many of whom have completed job readiness training, to your online postings and applications. In order for your summer job opportunities to be included, please send an email to with the following information by April 18th

1. Your company logo
2. A short paragraph about the company
3. The URL for your company’s jobs page

You are also welcome to include an optional presentation (live or recorded), in which case we would also need:  

1. The video or powerpoint for presentation
2. The name and email of person(s) presenting 
3. If presenting live, the date and time of your presentation

Facebook Link

Denver Workforce Centers

1391 N. Speer Blvd. Suite 500
Denver, CO 80204
14th & Speer, in the Parkway Professional Building above King Soopers 
Weekday Hours: 8 am-4:30 pm
Phone: 720.865.5619
Fax: 720.865.5685
1200 Federal Blvd., 1st Floor
Denver, CO 80204
Located in the Denver Department of Human Services building
Weekday Hours: 7:30 am-4:30 pm
Phone: 720.944.1615
Fax: 720.944.4131
4685 Peoria St., Suite 251
Denver, CO 80239
Weekday Hours: 8 am-4:30 pm 
Phone: 720.865.4800
8500 Pena Blvd.
Main Terminal - Fifth Floor
Denver, CO 80249
Weekday Hours: 8 am-4:30 pm 
Phone: 303.342.2590

Upcoming Workforce Development Events


Success Story

Turning a Career Dream into Reality
Emily Wake - Certified Nursing Assistant
Emily Wake knew since she was a little girl that she wanted to be in healthcare. As she grew up, the Denver Office of Economic Development’s Youth Services helped turn her dream into reality. Read More