Tom Cheney presented Advance Vermont’s budget to the House Commerce Committee on Thursday. They are requesting $350,000 in FY2024 through their fiscal sponsor, the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC), to continue their workforce development efforts in concert with state partners.
With support of a $350K state appropriation in FY2022 and $415K in FY2023, Advance Vermont has worked, in coordination with state partners, to support the state’s postsecondary attainment goal. Their programs, including MyFutureVT.org and the Vermont Credential Transparency Project, fill a unique space within the workforce and education system, yielding strong results (documented in a December 2022 report to the legislature).
He outlined workforce training Challenges:
- Demand for skill and credential attainment.
- Not enough Vermonters are pursuing and completing education and training.
- Increased knowledge of pathways is needed to drive interest in education and training.
Advance Vermont designs and implements its programs to support the policy priorities outlined in Act 80:
- Promote awareness of career pathways and the value of postsecondary education and training.
- Expand access to education and training to students of all ages.
- Increase completion of postsecondary education and training programs by ensuring Vermonters have the support they need to succeed.
- Maximize partnerships across and within sectors to achieve state workforce development and education goals.
He explained what their signature project, MyFutureVT, which was created in May 2021, is all about. It’s a free online resource that provides information about education, career options, and pathways to achieve them in Vermont. It is designed for users of all ages, life stages, and ability levels – with a focus on accessibility.
He proceeded to share their newest venture, the Vermont Credential Transparent Project. This initiative is to inventory all postsecondary credentials available in Vermont for the benefit of students, workers, education and training providers, and state leaders. In the last year, Advance Vermont has doubled the number of credential programs published to MyFutureVT as a result of the new program. Of these, approximately half are non-degree credentials. Currently data has been published from 100% of public colleges, 75% of the CTE centers, and 50% of private colleges.
Note: Tom testified at the end of the day, so his presentation was very brief and focused on the information above.