Milton, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott and Austrian Ambassador to Unites States Petra Schneebauer today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) pledging close collaboration between the State of Vermont and Austria on advancing apprenticeships, vocational and professional education and training, and other work-based learning. They were joined by business leaders and stakeholders at Husky Technologies in Milton for the event and signing ceremony.
“For the last seven years, my team has focused on the need to grow our workforce and to help fill the good jobs we have available right now,” said Governor Scott. “Any strategy to increase the skill and size of the labor pool should include an emphasis on apprenticeships and on the job training. It's also important for us to learn from friends abroad, like our partners in Austria, how to best serve Vermonters into the future. That's why we're happy sign this MOU, and I appreciate Ambassador Schneebauer for the collaboration.”
“In Austria, we believe that our model of dual education is key to providing businesses with the skilled labor they need. In our experience, workforce development is most effective through high-quality apprenticeship programs,” said Ambassador Schneebauer. “These apprenticeships do not only contribute decisively to the economic development and competitiveness of companies, but they are also an important way to support the surrounding communities. I am delighted that Austria and Vermont have created a framework with this MOU for exchanging know-how and best practices to advance and promote high-quality apprenticeships. This exchange is a win-win—it is in the interest of U.S. businesses and Austrian subsidiaries alike. We are looking forward to this new dialogue and to working and sharing our expertise with our friends from Vermont. Our newly-established apprenticeship cooperation is the next step in our growing relationship with the State of Vermont after the State Partnership Agreement between the Vermont National Guard and the Austrian Armed Forces was signed last year. We are pleased to continue to work together and deepen our relationship on both of these issues.”
By signing this MOU, the State of Vermont and Austria are laying the foundation for a framework that will not only strengthen existing apprenticeship pathways, but also pave the way for innovative and inclusive apprenticeship programs that meet the evolving needs of individuals, industries, and building Vermont’s workforce.
Housed in the Department of Labor, the Vermont Registered Apprenticeship Program brings together businesses, job seekers, students, and educators to develop apprenticeship opportunities to upskill the labor force through an ‘earn while you learn’ model. Today, there are over 1,600 active apprentices in 28 industries across Vermont.
A full transcript of the Governor’s remarks at today’s event can be found below:
Governor Scott: Good afternoon and thank you all for being here today as we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week across the country and here in Vermont.
We're also here to launch a new partnership with our friends in Austria to expand and promote apprenticeships as an important career path for Vermonters.
So, it's an honor to welcome the Austrian Ambassador to Vermont today and thank you for traveling from Washington to join us here in Milton.
This is the latest opportunity for Vermont and Austria to carve out areas of agreement and cooperation, to share ideas and experiences.
As many of you might recall, last year the Vermont National Guard, led by General Knight, and the Austrian Armed Forces also signed a historic partnership agreement.
So, Ambassador, thank you for being here today and for Austria's continued commitment to our state and our growing relationship. I know this will have a positive impact on both Vermonters and Austrians.
For the last seven years, my team has focused on the need to grow our workforce and to help fill the good jobs we have available right now.
Any strategy to increase the skill and size of the labor pool should include an emphasis on apprenticeships and on the job training.
This approach gives workers the opportunity to learn something new, work with industry experts, and gain experience, all while earning a good paycheck.
Businesses who participate in apprenticeships benefit with recruitment and retention.
And as we plan our future, we know we're going to need more skilled workers in manufacturing, healthcare, the trades, and construction. Not only to fill the openings we have now, but to solve issues we face today, like increasing our housing stock, solving our nursing shortage, and keeping and attracting employers.
So, that's why it was important to join other states in proclaiming this week as National Apprenticeship Week here in Vermont and have apprenticeship leaders from the Department of Labor and Agency of Education, as well as our private sector partners, here with us today.
As you'll hear from our hosts at Husky, there's real value in this career path, and as the labor market changes, efforts like this need to become more common among other industries.
And that's why it's important to highlight the tools available for employers here in Vermont, how to access them, and how to build a successful program.
It's also important for us to learn from friends abroad, like our partners in Austria, how to best serve Vermonters into the future.
That's why we're happy to be signing this important MOU today.
So again, thank you, Ambassador, and thanks to our friends here at Husky for hosting us today.
We look forward to listening and learning as we continue to build a strong and successful apprenticeship program here in Vermont.
With that, I'd like to welcome the Ambassador to say a few words.