November 24, 2020
Today, the Vermont State Colleges System announced that the $2.3 million Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) Workforce Initiative established by the State made free courses and trainings possible for 971 Vermonters.
Many participants enrolled in multiple courses and a total of 1,398 classes and trainings are being taken this fall across all four institutions – Castleton University, the Community College of Vermont, Northern Vermont University, and Vermont Technical College – thanks to the investment in this initiative by the State.
Susan Stoutes of Rutland is taking two of the classes offered by the Community College of Vermont. “I really appreciate everything the VSC and the State of Vermont are doing for myself and others who have had their jobs affected by COVID-19,” she said. “I was let go from my employment of 30 years and was so excited to see the course offerings. Thinking about getting back into the workforce is a bit intimidating, but I feel that these two classes I am taking will better prepare me for what employment I may be interested in pursuing.”
Vermont State Colleges System Chancellor Sophie Zdatny added, “for over two-hundred years, the institutions of the Vermont State Colleges have filled an important role in our state. Our institutions are the economic anchor of communities across the state that create pathways to affordable, high-quality, postsecondary education to Vermonters of all ages, all income levels, and all backgrounds. The CRF Workforce Initiative is a tremendous example of how the Vermont State Colleges System can meet Vermonters where they are, enhance their skills and experiences, and prepare them to re-enter the workforce. In just one month, we were able to establish courses and trainings, market the initiative, enroll Vermonters from across the state, and successfully begin instruction. We are incredibly grateful for this investment in the VSCS and in Vermonters by the legislature and the Governor, and we are thrilled to share the success of this program today. We look forward to continuing to measure the success of this initiative and exploring the potential for future programs like this.”