Kremmling Chamber of Commerce Business of the Month
by Tara Sharp
Kremmling Chamber Director
We are so pleased to announce our September 2019 Business of
the Month is Colorado AeroLab.
Colorado AeroLab is a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit corporation that provides after school, Friday and summer programs for middle school and high school students in partnership with West Grand, North Park and South Routt school districts. The AeroLab curriculum is an original, multidisciplinary course in problem-solving design challenges, social-emotional learning, leadership development, Essential Skills-building and social impact projects to create positive change in the local communities. Through the support of a federal 21st Century Community Learning Center grant, they are currently able to offer programs free of charge for students and families in these districts.
Jess Buller is AeroLab’s CEO/CFO, managing daily operations and finances. He and his family have lived in Kremmling for over four years and actively involved in West Grand schools and the community. Elaine Menardi moved to Kremmling in the summer of 2018 to serve as AeroLab’s Chief Innovator and Program Director for the 5th Day Learning Centers.
Starting in October, AeroLab begins a next-level program called the P40 Lab at their new facility located on Park Avenue in Kremmling. In addition to the already established 5th Day activities, the P40 Lab is a work-based learning fellowship for high school students across northwestern Colorado. Their goal is to establish a regional innovation center to increase student engagement and strengthen post-secondary workforce readiness. The P40 Lab will benefit all stakeholders in the broader community by empowering students with strong self-confidence and the employability skills they need to succeed in the Future of Work. These students will be better equipped for the workforce and to make a positive contribution to their communities and families.
Colorado AeroLab was originally established in 2017 with programs targeting Colorado’s high-demand aerospace industry. They have since broadened their scope to focus on preparing students with the personal and professional skills that will lead them to greater success after high school graduation, connecting deeper learning with energetic, fun and playful exploration.
“Not all students want to pursue STEM-related careers, so we focus on giving them positive, engaging educational opportunities that fuel curiosity and inspire lifelong learning,” says Buller. “We believe in sparking a spirit of discovery
in every student.”
“The best thing about working in Kremmling is the kids, the kids, the kids!” Menardi shared. “Enrollment at West Grand Middle School last year was awesome, and the success stories at the high school were amazing! We anticipate the energy and excitement to grow as we prepare to launch a new year in the next few weeks.”
More information is coming soon, and they will host an Open House to all community members to show off their new space. Registration is open for new and returning middle school and high school students and families by going to their website: https://coloradoaerolab.org/enroll-here/. Be on the lookout for upcoming student recruitment and informational nights in September and early October. The first 5th Day Friday will be October 11.
As an educational non-profit, AeroLab is always looking for local business partners and interested volunteers. If you would like to join their good work in preparing the next generation of changemakers, please contact Jess at jbuller@ coloradoaerolab.org and learn more.
On behalf of the Kremmling Area Chamber of Commerce, we would like to thank Colorado AeroLab for being an outstanding business in our community. Thank you for all you do for our children!