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Workforce Training, Retention & Recruitment

Submitted by matt.stirnweis… on Fri, 11/04/2022 - 09:50
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Training and Upskilling Workers

  • Career Technical Education (CTE) – Governor Scott has championed CTE and trades training, highlighting the value of trades careers, critical need to grow this workforce, and investing in more opportunities, including:
    • $15 million to purchase delipidated homes, for high school and adult CTE students to rehab as part of their training. (FY23)
    • $500,000 to initiate a trial CTE program for electrical transportation (aviation and vehicle) sector training. (FY23)
    • $1.4 million in federal education aid for a CTE recruitment campaign, encouraging more students to seek this important training. (FY23)
    • Governor Scott proposed investing $45 million in Education Fund surplus to strengthen the CTE system. The Legislature did not support this initiative.
    • Beginning the work to, and building support for, changes in the funding and governance systems for CTE to strengthen the experience for both high school students and CTE students, and to address the current competitive nature of funding CTE programs.
    • $1.7 million to CTE centers to offset pandemic-related costs. (FY22)
    • Beginning the work to allow students to attend a state-designated virtual high school as their sending school for academics, which will give students more time for work-based learning and CTE courses. (FY23)
    • Invested $275,000 to expand apprenticeships, training and post-secondary career and technical education for Vermont workers. (FY20)
    • Proposed and passed a $400,000 investment to purchase training equipment, fit up new space and expand adult career and technical education training opportunities at centers across Vermont. (FY19)

 

  • Internships, Apprenticeships and Work-Based Learning
    • Proposed and secured changes to transition the Department of Labor internship program to a work-based learning and training program to help upskill and reskill Vermont workers for good paying, high-demand jobs. (FY23)
    • Invested $2 million to promote and expand the number of registered apprenticeships, and to reimburse employers and apprentices for up to $300 in tool costs. (FY23)
    • Directed the Department of Labor to review regulatory barriers for apprentices and pursue changes that would provide flexibility for employers who sponsor apprenticeships (ongoing).

 

  • Career Training – Regularly proposed and passed increased investments in VSAC career training programs, most recently (FY23) including $1.5 million for its 802 Opportunity program, $1 million for its Advancement Grant and $2.8 million for its Green Mountain Grad program, all of which provide career training for adults or students for high-demand careers.

 

  • Higher Education – Governor Scott has proposed historic increases to the Vermont State Colleges system, with a focus on affordability for students and emphasis on retaining students for Vermont jobs. Since coming to office, the State has significantly increased its investment in VSC and in FY23 increased the base budget for the University of Vermont for the first time in years, adding $10 million to the University.
    • The Governor also supported and enacted legislative proposals to invest $10 million in one-time federal funds for workforce upskilling and degree completion programs at VSC and UVM in both FY22 and FY23.

 

Retaining and Recruiting Workers

  • Critical Occupations – While the workforce shortage affects every sector, the State invested federal aid and state surpluses in FY22 and FY23 to recruit high-demand workers, including:
    • Trades – $3 million to cover educational expenses for Vermonters pursuing industry-recognized training and certifications for careers such as building, mechanical, industrial or medical trades, emergency services, energy, transportation, robotics, etc.
    • Health Care – Nearly $100 million for retention and recruitment incentives, scholarships, loan repayment and training for nurses and other health care workers and educators. The Governor also proposed an income tax credit for nurses, that the Legislature did not pass.
    • Childcare – $7 million in incentives to help retain child care workers, and nearly $15 million for a critical occupations scholarship, which includes childcare workers. The Governor also proposed an income tax credit for child care workers, that the Legislature did not pass.
    • Infrastructure – Investing $1.6 million to build workforce critical to advancing Governor Scott’s transformational infrastructure investments, including workers to assist with weatherization of homes and broadband deployment.

 

  • Career Placement Proposed and secured $1.5 million in new funding to test a Regional Workforce Expansion program, which will strengthen local placement efforts by better coordinating between employers, job seekers, students, schools and more. Governor Scott proposed piloting this program in six regions, but the Legislature only funded three for FY23.

 

  • Addressing Barriers to Employment – Governor Scott supported initiatives to reduce barriers to employment for historically marginalized communities, new Americans and those who face other barriers, including those with disabilities, who are in recovery, or who are transitioning out of the correctional system. This includes nearly $2 million in new funding for these efforts in FY23; placement of career coaches in recovery centers (launched in FY19); development of resources encouraging better hiring and more employee support; and more.
    • In 2020, the Governor proposed, but the Legislature did not pass, a grant program to support the development of community-based system(s) for relocating refugees, asylum seekers, and other legal immigrants in partnership with the Vermont Relocation Assistance Program and the State Refugee Resettlement Office.

 

  • Worker Recruitment & Relocation – Since FY2019, secured annual funding and implemented program to recruit and relocate workers to work and live in Vermont. Governor Scott has also consistently proposed additional funding that the Legislature has not supported, for targeted workforce recruitment campaigns and to build out a regional network to ensure every corner of our state has resources to find and attract much-needed workers.

 

  • Voluntary Paid Family & Medical Leave Insurance - The Scott Administration has partnered with The Hartford to begin offering VT PFMLI, a voluntary paid family and medical leave program, which will roll out in three phases. In July of 2023, Vermont State employees will begin receiving the paid family and medical leave benefit and serve as a base for coverage that will then be available for employers with two or more employees to purchase for employees beginning in July 2024, and individuals in July 2025. Read more here.

 

Modernizing Licensing Requirements & Processes to Expand Workforce

  • Military Training Recognition - Working with the Secretary of State's Office of Professional Regulation (OPR), proposed and passed Act 119 of 2018, making it easier for servicemen and women to transition into the civilian workforce in Vermont.

 

 

  • Improved Licensing Processes - Proposed with the Secretary of State, and passed as Act 152 of 2020, a package that makes it easier for licensed professionals to relocate to Vermont. Specifically:
    • Make it easier for people with licenses in others states to become licensed in Vermont;
    • Give members of the military and veterans credit for military training;
    • Give a second chance to people who have criminal backgrounds and are trying to earn stable, meaningful employment to become licensed; and
    • Require re-evaluation of continuing education requirements to make sure we don’t add unnecessary time and expense for those already licensed and working. 

 

  • Waiving Occupational Licensure Fees: Proposed, but the Legislature did not pass, waiving occupational licensure fees for those 25 and under to help attract and retain more young workers. (FY23)
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