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Letter from Helen Young Hayes, CEO & Founder of ActivateWork


Known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, AI (Artificial Intelligence) is transforming every facet of life, especially the workforce. Promising unprecedented productivity gains and new job creation, AI will also obsolete millions of repetitive and manual jobs—perhaps up to 20-25% of US jobs by 2030.1 Furthermore, the shelf-life of skills will shorten: the average half-life of hard skills is now five years, and of tech skills, 2.5 years.2

Helen Young Hayes, Denver, Colorado

Amidst these profound shifts, ActivateWork’s activities are even more essential.  


  • Our demand-led training enables workers to upskill rapidly in 15-17-week bootcamps. Plus, our graduates enjoy two additional years of free upskilling, so they can continue evolving their skills and avert technological obsolescence.   
  • Since 2016, ActivateWork’s secret sauce has been durable skills coaching. Our curriculum covers employers’ most-demanded skills, and we coach for 12 months after job placement. This drives our graduates’ employment retention rates to over 90%, well above industry average. 
  • We narrow inequity by serving individuals most underrepresented in the economy, mostly low-income, non-degreed individuals who double their incomes after our bootcamps, debt-free. Our data shows continued wage increases. 

The hollowing out of entry-level jobs combined with increasingly tech-intensive jobs has several implications for the Future of Work:

  • Workers must be upskilled and reskilled faster than ever, increasing the need for agile training programs.
  • Durable skills like critical thinking and lifelong learning are even more essential in the New Economy. These skills are demanded 4x more frequently than the top 5 technical skills and are 7 of the 10 most requested skills by employers.3
  • Without strategic and coordinated workforce development, these disruptions will widen existing inequity in employment and wealth.
  • Shrinking entry-level talent pools will narrow the pipeline of mid-level workers. As one IT leader told me recently, “Without enough Level 100 workers, where will we get the Level 200 and 300 workers we need? Our skilled talent shortage will get worse.”
  • Rather than compete for scarce talent, sector players should partner to ensure a vital pipeline of skilled workers for anticipated industry needs.
  • Anticipating the growing gap between entry-level and mid-level IT workers, ActivateWork is launching more apprenticeships with employers like Bank of America, who want to develop an affordable pipeline of mid-skill talent. 
  • In 2023 we launched the Tech Talent Partnership (TTP), an industry-led collaborative of employers, educators, and training organizations. Designing skills-based job descriptions for top IT roles and coordinating training inputs, the TTP is building a seamless continuum of education to employment to meet current and future talent needs. 

Ours is a proven model for economic mobility, and we will evolve as the workforce of the future morphs.  Thank you for your partnership and support. 

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Durable skills demanded 4x more than technical skills

Due to AI, 20-25% of US jobs will be obsolete by 2030

Skill shelf-lives are shortening: hard skills last 5 years, tech skills 2.5 years

The Power of Apprenticeships


In the heart of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, ActivateWork champions the gold standard in bridging talent gaps through its structured apprenticeships. These programs are not only gateways to thriving careers in IT but are also a testament to our commitment to economic mobility and workforce diversity.

A Strategic “Earn and Learn” Model

ActivateWork’s apprenticeships exemplify an “earn and learn” model that offers both immediate and long-term benefits. By integrating structured yet flexible training options, these programs ensure that apprentices develop precisely the skills that are in demand, boosting both productivity and retention. Businesses benefit from an immediate pool of workers, primed for today and ready for tomorrow’s challenges. This strategic approach delivers a robust ROI—every dollar invested returns $1.47, according to the Department of Labor 4, underscoring the efficacy of our model.

Structured Success

Our apprenticeship framework is meticulously crafted to meet rigorous standards. This structure includes 2000 hours of on-the-job training paired with mentorship, ensuring each apprentice not only learns but masters necessary skills. The result? A competent, highly skilled workforce that aligns perfectly with industry needs.

Partnerships That Propel

Through collaborations with entities like Bank of America and educational powerhouses such as Per Scholas, ActivateWork ensures that the apprenticeship experience is both comprehensive and cutting-edge. These partnerships help tailor the training to meet specific business needs, from cybersecurity to software development, ensuring relevancy and responsiveness to market dynamics.




Impacting Futures

The true measure of our success is reflected in the substantial impact on our business partners—100% of apprentices continue with their companies after completing their apprenticeship, demonstrating the enduring value and effectiveness of our training programs.

To highlight the real-world impact, our valued employer partner, Cyber Sainik, shares their experience:


“Geraldine has been an invaluable asset to our team since joining Cyber Sainik as an apprentice. From day one, she’s demonstrated a remarkable ability to grasp concepts quickly and apply them effectively to real-world scenarios.

Geraldine’s growth throughout her apprenticeship journey has been truly impressive, and she’s proven herself to be an exceptional talent. She embodies the core principles of successful apprenticeships: offering individuals opportunities to excel while delivering substantial value to their teams and organizations.”

-Sam V. Kumar, Founder & CEO of Cyber Sainik


[Add a link to Geraldine’s Learner Profile]


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Our Numbers Tell the Story

Our Numbers Tell the Story

Advancing equity by providing education and opportunity is at the core of what we do. Our consistent growth in learners, courses, and employer partners is proof that our mission is necessary and crucial to creating systemic change.

Technical Paths

Boot Camps
• AWS re/Start
• IT Support
• Security Fundamentals
• Software Engineering

• Cybersecurity Technician
• DevOps Technician
• Jr. Software Developer

Graduate Profile

Juan Marquez, AWS re/Start Graduate – Cloud Identity Tech Support Engineer at Ping Identity


A Denver native, Juan Marquez was raised in a Spanish-speaking household that valued work ethic. Juan was diagnosed as hearing impaired in elementary school. Although initially doctors thought he would not be able to learn English due to the diagnosis and Spanish being his native tongue, Juan excelled at school winning, multiple academic awards through middle school. In high school though, Juan experienced two life-changing events, he lost his father and became a father.
     From a young age, Juan loved video games. So much so that he learned everything he could about the gaming consoles themselves, including how to repair them. Although he knew he wanted to be involved in tech, a four-year computer science degree was not possible for a father working multiple jobs. “It’s really hard to have the money and time for a college degree – four years is a long time,” says Juan. “I have a great work ethic and just wanted a chance. ActivateWork’s 15-week boot camp and apprenticeship program gave me that chance.”

     Juan joined ActivateWork’s AWS re/Start program in 2022, experiencing hands-on, scenario-based coursework that prepared him for a year-long paid DevOps apprenticeship with Ping Identity. Juan says the apprenticeship “offered a clear roadmap for what I needed to learn, how to improve, and what opportunities could be open to me when I finished.” He says he is grateful to Ping Identity for thinking outside of the box when it comes to

“I have a great work ethic and just wanted a chance. ActivateWork’s 15-week boot camp and apprenticeship program gave me that chance.”

education, and thankful for ActivateWork, too. “The continuous support I received has led me to the success I’m experiencing
now; ActivateWork exceeded my expectations in every way.”

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Partners in Purpose – Recent Grants
Awarded to ActivateWork

We’re grateful for the following investments in our mission to create an equitable economy for Colorado. By financially committing to our purpose, these organizations and individuals increase opportunity and help solve the tech talent gap.

ActivateWork News

In recent months, we’ve been honored with award nominations and national accolades. Plus, our CEO/Founder, Helen Young Hayes, has authored multiple thought pieces published in Colorado.

ActivateWork has been named as an Apprenticeship Ambassador with
the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship.

Hire for skills, not the diploma, by Helen Young Hayes

Helen Young Hayes discusses how ActivateWork connects employers
to a diverse pool of tech-trained learners.

Unlocking the Power of DEI, by Helen Young Hayes

ActivateWork’s Helen Young Hayes was one of three finalists
for the 9News Leader of the Year Award.

ActivateWork’s Kathryn Harris was named one of Colorado
Women’s Chamber of Commerce’s 25 Most Powerful
Women for 2023.

2023-2024 Colorado Governor’s Fellowship

Kathryn Harris has been named to the prestigious 2023-24 Colorado
Governor’s Fellow cohort, a program from CiviCO designed to grow the
next generations of leaders.

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Learn More About Hiring Our Graduates