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New Funding and Resources for Education and Training

Since COVID-19 hit, local, state, and federal governments, employers, educators, philanthropy, and non-profits have stepped up to support our current and future workforce. In this newsletter you will see a number of new efforts to support prospective students and workers impacted by the pandemic, from new funding to new informational resources.

Please take a moment to read through and share this newsletter with your network. And follow Advance Vermont on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn to see new opportunities and resources as they become available.

Advance Vermont Launches “My Life, My Path” 

Advance Vermont has released a new resource and marketing campaign, called “My Life, My Path,” to increase the awareness of the variety of post-high school credentials. Vermonters of any age should know that there is an education pathway available to build their skills and employability – whether that is a Registered Apprenticeship to a certificate program, or an industry recognized credential to a degree. This new web resource and campaign empowers users to explore their options to find a path that fits their life.

You may have already seen Advance Vermont’s recent posts and ads on social media. In the coming weeks, we will release a “navigator” toolkit which will include a variety of resources for those who work with students and workers looking to continue their education and training.

What can you do?

  • Follow Advance Vermont on social media (@advancevt on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn)and share our posts.
  • Use and share the My Life, My Path resource with your clients, family, and friends.
  • Stay tuned for our toolkit with additional resources!

Free Courses at the Vermont State Colleges

The Vermont State Colleges System, through its four institutions and in coordination with the Department of Labor, is offering FREE classes and trainings for Vermonters whose jobs have been affected by COVID-19.

The program, funded through $2.3 million in federal stimulus dollars, provides tuition, supplies, and support services to Vermonters who have been laid off, furloughed, had hours cut, or been employed in an industry that has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible Vermonters can enroll in a wide variety of classes and training at the Community College of Vermont, Castleton University, Northern Vermont University, and Vermont Technical College. Classes and training are available in high-demand fields such as early childhood education, healthcare, business, and manufacturing.

There are additional resources available to Vermonters seeking to further their education and training through VDOL. Prospective students should reach out to a Job Center Specialist for more information.

New Scholarship for Adult CTE

The State of Vermont recently announced  the creation of a new $1,000 scholarship for those enrolled in Adult CTE programs. Funds can be used on tuition and other related expenses. Applicants must be a Vermont resident, have completed high school, and connect with a Vermont Department of Labor job specialist.

The program is in partnership with the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC).

McClure, VDOL Identify Vermont’s High-Pay, High Demand Jobs

With so many Vermonters looking for work or thinking about changing career fields, it’s never been more important to be able to access information about the skills and credentials that are most in demand. 
The McClure Foundation and the Vermont Department of Labor recently released their updated list of Vermont’s most promising jobs for the next 10 years. The free, easy-to-use print and online resource lists more than 60 occupations expected to pay at least $22/hour and have at least 220 openings over the next decade.
A tool allowing users to dig deep into Vermont’s most promising careers will be a core feature of Advance Vermont’s MyFutureVT career and education resource hub, slated to launch in early 2021.

Financial Assistance for “Best Bet” Programs

Two special funding opportunities are available for Vermonters who enroll in one of the seven “best bet” career training programs as identified by the McClure foundation. These short-term credentials can lead to a promising job within 18 months.  
Up to 40 Vermonters enrolled in each program will receive $1,000 tuition discount thanks to the VT COVID-19 Response Fund at the Vermont Community Foundation. Interested Vermonters should contact the Community College of Vermont (802-262-6557) and Vermont Tech (800-965-8790) to learn more. 

Additional scholarships for these “best bet” programs are available through the Curtis Fund, administered by the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation. To learn more about VSAC-connected scholarships, call 877-961-4369 to connect with an education outreach counselor.

How to Appeal Financial Aid Awards and Other Resources from VSAC

Fall marks the start of a new financial aid season for students and families. VSAC has a lineup of financial aid resources and virtual offerings to show students how to get started.
Appeal your financial aid award. Financially, this year has been a roller coaster for many Vermonters but VSAC can help students appeal their financial aid due to new COVID-19 financial circumstances.

Every year, students and families experience unexpected circumstances that impact their original financial aid award package — a loss of a job, an increase in family size, or unanticipated medical expenses and other one-time events.

This is true for many more Vermonters this year. Families are struggling with a variety of financial and personal pressures caused by COVID-19.  If that’s their situation, students can appeal their financial aid offer by asking for reconsideration and are encouraged to contact VSAC’s grant program (800-882-4166) or watch the recorded webinar to learn more.

For those just getting started, VSAC will walk students through their applications, answer questions, and help people apply for scholarships too. Check it out:

  • FAFSA is the first step to getting financial aid, yet every year millions of dollars in financial aid goes unused because students simply don’t complete the FAFSA. VSAC is here to help. Visit VSAC’s FAFSA First page and share this short video from Advance Vermont and VSAC explaining the benefits of filling out the FAFSA.
  • Vermont grant – Mark your calendars for November 18, 6 p.m. and join the latest VSAC Shows You How to access Vermont’s grant programs. Registration information is here
  • VSAC-assisted scholarships – The deadline for all applications this year is February 11, 2021. Students can get a jump start on their application by viewing the online scholarship booklet online or by ordering a print copy.

If students need more information or want to set up a private 1:1 appointment, they can take a look at all of VSAC’s virtual resources here.

Reminder: High School Students Can Earn Free College Credits

Amidst all of today’s challenges we can’t forget the great opportunities for high school students to get a jump-start on their post-high school education and training. The Dual Enrollment, Fast Forward, and Early College programs allow students to graduate from high school already having earned college credits.
Dual Enrollment: High school juniors and seniors can take advantage of two free courses on campus or at a participating high school. VSAC has provided a step by step guide to applying for dual enrollment. To learn mroe and apply for a voucher, visit AOE’s dual enrollment page.
Fast Forward: The program allows CTE students to earn credit for up to two college courses taken during the day at their regional CTE center or online. Learn more from AOE here.
Early College: High school seniors can complete their high school career as a full-time college student. Program options are found here. For more information, visit AOE’s early college page.
Remind a high school student in your life that they have options!