Career and Technical Education - March 21, 2024

On Thursday, Gus Seelig (Executive Director, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board) talked to the House Commerce Committee about his annual report and the pictures and write-ups of all the projects they have been involved in throughout the State. But today they are focusing on housing and workforce development. Seelig mentioned that the Chair had asked him to work with the Career Technical Centers to focus on housing and workforce development in the construction/developer careers. He noted that he and Will Belongia (Executive Director, Vermont Community Loan Fund) had talked to CTE Directors throughout the state to find out what is needed. They said they need more students interested in the construction/housing field.

 

Belongia talked about their formula of Impact + Sustainability + Justice equals opportunity. He said that the VCLF is a nonprofit-mission-driven community-focused alternative lender.  It’s been a CDFI since 1996 and is an economic development resource for affordable housing, local business, nonprofits and early care.  Belongia noted that $33M in private impact investor capital has been leveraged for public good and provides access to capital for ALL Vermonters.

Since 1987 VCLF has loaned $140M to:

  1. Create or preserve jobs for 7,974 Vermonters.
  2. Build or rehabilitate affordable homes for 4,629 households.
  3. Create or preserve quality care for 4,913 children and families.
  4. Launch the Justice Forward Fund and made 33 loans to BIPOC entrepreneurs.
  5. Lend from 2020 through 2023 was 83% annualized growth rate!

Belongia noted that the Career Technical Education Construction and Rehabilitation Revolving Loan fund was established through Act 183 with a fund of $15M from the Education Fund.

The details of the fund are as follows: 

  • CTE Revolving loan fund was launched in 2023
  • Expand learning opportunities for CTE students in construction
  • Expand affordable housing and address blighted properties
  • Loans up to $650,000 with 0% interest, no fees
  • Partially forgivable (i.e., for student wages, for affordability)
  • Borrowers can be the CTE and/or their partners
  • Uses include construction, rehabilitation, predevelopment, land acquisition

 

Two projects were highlighted:

  • 23 East Main Street in Newport
  • 41 Central Street in Randolph - 35 students experienced hands on and observational training spending a total of 1,150 educational hours.

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