The latest news on the Homegrown Talent Initiative.


The Homegrown Talent Initiative (HTI) is a statewide partnership that supports regional cohorts of rural communities to develop career-connected learning experiences for K-12 students. To better prepare students for life after graduation, schools and communities strategically focus on skill development, work-based learning experiences, and flexible programming that aligns student interests and local industry needs.

Through facilitated technical assistance, coaching, and asset mapping, HTI communities are building homegrown opportunity pathways to serve the unique needs of students, families, schools, and business and industry in their areas.

HTI Goals

    • Improve the lives of rural students and their communities by promoting relevant and dynamic skill development and work-based learning in students.
    • Empower rural communities as champions of systems-level change in education
    • Build momentum for future career-connected initiatives in other districts across the state
    • Change the narrative around what’s possible in rural Colorado communities

HTI Communities

Looking for in-depth information on a specific community? Check out the community pages.

HTI Community Map
  • 7 dedicated Homegrown Talent Initiative coordinators in each community to build connections and expand opportunities
  • $3 million in direct community investment
  • Fremont: 6 pathways (4 certificate, 2 concurrent enrollment); avg. senior will graduate with 14 college credits
  • Elizabeth: 30+ adobe creative suite certifications in 2020-21 school year. “[HTI has developed a ] permanent state of adaptive, agile change, which is not the norm in public education. Support for ongoing change is in part due to pent up interest in community” —Douglas Bissonette
  • Durango: 11 career pathways, 24 students in first year of internship program
  • Cortez: $257,000 RISE grant to support expanded career exploration and work-based learning for students
  • Clear Creek: “One of the biggest changes we’ve seen from HTI is sustainability in Clear Creek. We have strengthened community relationships and partnerships. It’s turned our siloed community into a group that is working together across so many different avenues and increasing opportunities for students.” —Karen Quanbeck
  • Holyoke: 37 students participated in internships with 20 local businesses