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Advance Vermont New Year 2020 Newsletter

Who Are Today’s Students?

In the fall of 2019, Advance Vermont conducted a survey of current and recent postsecondary students to quantify the changing student demographics in Vermont. The key takeaway: Vermont students are juggling work, family, financial, and other life responsibilities like no generation before them.

One in three postsecondary students is over the age of 30 and one in four is a parent. Eighty percent of today’s students work and 25 percent work full-time. Fifty-five percent of today’s students commute, almost 40 percent attend part-time, and one in every three students attends online. One in three students experience hunger or challenges securing housing.

Additionally, students are increasingly financially independent, low-income, and the first in their family to attend postsecondary education and training. More are students of color, veterans, and incarcerated or formerly incarcerated.

Read more about the urgent need to take action in Vermont to better serve today’s students in a blog post Advance Vermont wrote for the Today’s Students Coalition and in a new post from McClure Foundation Executive Director, Carolyn Weir.

New Video: Today’s Students Summit

Recognizing the need for action and understanding the importance of addressing changing demographics of postsecondary students, Advance Vermont convened a statewide network of leaders to the Today’s Students Summit in November 2019. This cross-sector event of employers, educators, government officials, nonprofit, and philanthropic leaders addressed a central question: How can our postsecondary education and workforce system better serve today’s students?

The Summit took a deep dive into the demographics of today’s students in Vermont, the challenges they’re facing, and the relationship between postsecondary education and Vermont’s communities and economy.

Many thanks to the over 160 registrants, speakers, and sponsors for making this event a success! Whether you attended or not, we hope the above video leaves you better informed about the needs of today’s students and inspired to take action.

ICYMI: Data Dashboard is Live!

We were excited last week to announce the launch of a new interactive data dashboard to measure progress toward Vermont’s postsecondary attainment goal, illuminate equity-related gaps, and prompt action to increase Vermont’s postsecondary attainment rate. When making policy and programming decisions, it’s important to have hard data. This dashboard gives policymakers, education and training providers, and workforce development professionals a valuable new tool as we work to ensure that all Vermonters have access to the education and training they need for both their own individual prosperity and the economic growth of the state.

New Funding Opportunity from the McClure Foundation

The J. Warren & Lois McClure Foundations has launched its annual competitive grant round. The foundation is seeking Letters of Interest from growth-stage efforts and programs looking to pilot a model or a big idea, demonstrative effectiveness, expand delivery, or improve systems coordination in alignment with the its mission of improving equitable access to the postsecondary and career education that leads to Vermont’s most promising jobs.

Letter of Interest submissions must be submitted via the Online Grants Manager by 5pm by Thursday, February 6th.

Call for Proposals: Workforce and Talent Summit

Advance Vermont is proud to partner once again with the the Vermont Chamber of Commerce to present the annual Workforce & Talent Summit scheduled for May 28, 2020 at the Hilton Hotel in Burlington from 8:00am-3:00pm. The Summit will provide tools to support talent recruitment and retention strategies which are essential to business growth and require partnerships between employers, educators, training providers, and government. The people, skills and training that power the economy today and the challenge of ensuring a new workforce generation will be at the heart of this event.

The Call for Presentations for the conference is now open. We are seeking presentation proposals for 60-minute seminars that provide attendees with solutions to workforce challenges and information about ongoing opportunities. Successful submissions will be informative, relevant, and engaging. Conference coordinators are looking for creative applications that utilize a variety of interactive formats that involve attendees. Proposals that focus on program awareness will not be accepted.

The submission deadline for presentation proposals is Friday, February 14th.

GlobalFoundries and VTC Partnership

GlobalFoundries, a semiconductor manufacturer in Essex Junction, is the latest Vermont company to start a training program aimed at creating the kind of skilled employees that it can’t find on the open market. The company announced an apprenticeship program that will provide high school graduates with internal training and classes through Vermont Technical College. After four years of successful participation while working for $18-20 an hour, the worker will end up with a certificate and 34 college credits. Participants in the GlobalFoundries program will be instructed in areas such as vacuum systems, basic maintenance, radio frequency, and other equipment used in semiconductor wafers.

Many Vermont executives say a lack of qualified workers is the No. 1 problem they face right now. Several companies have turned to internal training programs as a way to bring on the people they can, and then help them gain the skills necessary for the job.