Grant Allows Vermonters to Take Two Free Career-building Courses at UVM


Vermont residents are getting a $1million incentive to head back to school at The University of Vermont for professional development. UVM announced today that it is the recipient of a $1million grant from the State of Vermont. The Workforce Upskill Opportunity Grant will enable Vermont residents to get free access to career advancement and academic success workshops and take up to two free college courses resulting in college credit or professional certificate program in the 2021/22 academic year.

The grant is part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) appropriated funds and will be used, in partnership with Community College of Vermont (CCV), towards affecting positions that will have an immediate impact on Vermont’s economy, including courses in digital marketing, healthcare, and leadership and management. All Vermont residents qualify to sign-up for these classes.

“Since my first day in office, I’ve discussed the need to focus on Vermont’s workforce shortage and reverse our demographic trends, which were further strained by the pandemic,” said Gov. Phil Scott. “This program is a perfect example of an impactful, important tool in our toolbox that will help provide more Vermonters the skills needed to successfully reenter the workforce or advance in their current field and rise on the economic ladder. I want to thank UVM and CCV for their creativity and all their work in these areas.”

“UVM’s professional development courses will directly help hundreds of Vermonters and employers in growing sectors of the state’s economy,” said UVM President Suresh Garimella. “Upskill Vermont is a textbook example of the university’s unwavering commitment to Vermont’s people and the economy. We’re proud to be part of this initiative along with the Community College of Vermont.”

Cynthia Belliveau, dean of UVM’s Continuing and Distance Education, said: “This is an incredible opportunity for Vermont to develop a stronger workforce and for students to venture down a new career path that will benefit them professionally and personally. The Upskill Vermont Scholarship Program helps alleviate the financial barrier for those seeking professional development for advancement in their current job or for those looking to change careers to get the initial education that they need to secure a position in their new chosen field.”

UVM is working collaboratively with CCV to increase the number of courses and space that they can make available to Vermonters. The intent is to provide free courses to 550 students for this round of the grant. The free career and academic success workshops will be offered digitally starting August 16 for Vermont residents.

“We want to be able to prove a beginning to end solution for Vermonters statewide who are looking to change or advance their careers,” continued Belliveau. “By partnering with CCV and other organizations, we will be able to help students determine what they want to do, outline the pathway that will help them achieve that goal, and then assist them with finding a position within Vermont that aligns with their new skill set. We see this process as building a solid foundation for a successful career for each student.”

“Over the past couple of years, our business has performed well, and the need for talented team members has only increased, especially those with digital and management skills,” explained Marc Sherman, owner of Outdoor Great Exchange and GearX. “With the Upskill Vermont Scholarship, I am excited for the professional development that our team can access and that this program will help us to be able to promote from within our organization.”

Interested Vermonters are encouraged to begin the registration process soon, as space is limited. For more information and to begin the registration process, visit www.UpSkillVermont.org.



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