Governor highlights Vermont’s Most Promising Jobs brochure during briefing focused on workforce development
Vermont Governor Phil Scott focused his weekly briefing today on the state’s workforce development needs and a program that highlights available jobs.
The Republican began his briefing noting that since he first took office six years ago he has been discussing the state’s demographic challenges and impacts on the workforce. He noted that the current low unemployment rate is creating challenges for the state’s workforce needs.
“In some respects some governors would say great news, we have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. But in this case while we do, it’s 2.1 percent I believe right now, one of the lowest in the country, that’s not necessarily good news. Because we have 20,000 jobs available. That 2.1 percent represents about 15-to-17-hundred people. So if you do the math if you took all the people on unemployment now, we need more people here to fill those jobs. And so employment is our problem, the labor force is our problem, not the unemployment.”
Scott explained that there is a simple reason for the loss of in-state workforce.
“They retired. They aged out. It’s our demographics. We’re one of the oldest states in the country. We’re losing six workers out of our workforce every single day due to, mainly, just aging out of the system. So if you’re not backfilling with more people you’re going to have a labor force problem eventually. The pandemic exacerbated that but it was going to happen anyhow.”
For eight years the state Department of Labor has partnered with the McClure Foundation to publish Vermont’s Most Promising Jobs. Labor Commissioner Paul Harrington explained that it highlights Vermont’s top occupations based on salary and demand for workers.
“This brochure is a roadmap to Vermont’s future. Highlighted in this publication are Vermont’s most in-demand occupations both now and over the coming years. It includes registered nurses, fitness trainers, substance use and mental health counselors, diesel mechanics, truck drivers, telecom installers, graphic designers and paralegals, just to name a few. Not only are these in-demand jobs but also offer competitive salaries and room for growth and advancement. Additionally, many of these employers already have quality training programs available to new hires. And with National Apprenticeship Week happening in November, Vermont’s Most Promising Jobs is well timed as many of the apprenticeship programs offered in Vermont have a direct link to these in-demand jobs. This is an invaluable tool in our effort to grow Vermont’s workforce.”
McClure Foundation Executive Director Carolyn Weir helps coordinate education and training that may be needed to obtain the jobs.
"These promising jobs typically require some form of education or training after high school. That could be on the job training. It could be a short-term credential like a certificate. It could be a registered apprenticeship through the Vermont Department of Labor. It could be an Associate’s Degree, a Bachelor’s Degree or even beyond. In a state where relatively few young people are choosing education and training immediately after high school the McClure Foundation and Community Foundation are committed to making those pathways more accessible and more affordable.”
Scott faces Democrat Brenda Siegel in November’s election.