Workforce Development Policy Delivers
Sunday, October 1, 2023
by: Matt Musgrave

Section: Legislative Update

Last week a ribbon cutting ceremony was held in Newport, Vermont to celebrate the first project in a new program to put hands on training and technical program students together while improving Vermonts housing supply. The ceremony was well attended with multiple state agencies, Senators, Representatives, Governor Phil Scott ,many community members, the press and AGC/VT. There were grateful speeches including politicians, career center representatives and our Governor. Representative Michael Marcotte, chair of the House Commerce Committee, recognized all of the parties who worked together to craft the CTE Construction Rehabilitation Experiential Learning Program and Revolving Loan Fund and gave special mention to the work the Associated General Contractors of Vermonts lobbying team had added.

The program helped the North Country Career Center and a nonprofit local development organization purchase a vacant farmhouse that students of the center will renovate into habitable housing. The lot purchased also has the possibility of the addition of more units on the property to be rented or sold. The money for the purchase came through the revolving loan program set up in the Experiential Learning Program and once the home is sold to a new owner that money will be returned to the fund and available for the next purchase in Newport of any other Vermont location.

This program will give the students both young and adults the opportunity to have the in class learning they are already getting and real life hands on experience. That hands on experience is something that many many AGC/VT members have shared with staff so we know this was a good program to work through. By renovating delapadated housing the students will reap the benefits of seeing what happens when a 50+ year old wall is exposed and learn creative ways to return it to a working building. 

One of the top priorities that AGC/VTs lobbying team insisted on was that the projects would primarily be residential housing based so that we can effect two major challenges at once. The first of course being a trained workforce but the second and as important building houses that will keep those trained contractors here in Vermont. 

Seeing the students take pride in the work they were accomplishing was a good way to see the results of our advocacy works in the Vermont state house from the writing of the bill to the actual deliverables on the ground. If you have any interest in participating in the AGC/VT Government Affairs and Lobbying Team please email me at .