Vermont is experiencing a regional trend where many members of our workforce are aging. To keep up with expected retirements and growth in our economy, Vermont will need 10,000 new workers each year to meet the needs of businesses. This employment gap creates opportunities for Vermonters, as well as job prospects for those who are considering a move to Vermont.
In the House, the Commerce and Economic Development Committee develops bills to address workforce challenges head on. We are working to advance policies to fill existing jobs, attract new workers, and retain current employees. Looking ahead to the needs of the future, we are developing strategies to better equip the nearly 3,000 high school seniors who graduate annually without solid job skills or career plans.
In Vermont, there are workforce needs across every industry. The most pressing needs are in the sectors of health care, construction, hospitality, transportation, and advanced manufacturing. The House is focusing its work on getting more Vermonters employed in meaningful skilled jobs through apprenticeships, certificates and associate degrees. Vermont has well established programs at our Career and Technical Centers, the Community College of Vermont, and Vermont Tech. The House Commerce and Economic Development Committee is working on strategies to attract more students to these programs, especially in rural areas. We are looking to expand programs for adult students and provide more opportunities in the evenings and weekends to access education. By expanding training in all sectors of our population, we can solve our staffing crisis and provide good paying, quality jobs to all Vermonters.