Workforce Investment System

The House Commerce Committee took up the workforce investment system & registered apprenticeship program annual report on Tuesday. Because the full report is 70 pages, Chairman Marcotte asked that a summary of the report be provided to the Committee.

The following is a summary of the summary:

  • Introduction
    • The report is a ‘systematic evaluation’ by the Vermont Department of Labor (VDOL) on its workforce investment system.
    • The VDOL's largest division is the workforce development division (WDD).
    • The WDD is responsible for "employment services, training assistance, job counseling, and recruitment and placement aid to businesses, job seekers, and workers throughout the state”
    • The WDD also operates the Vermont JobLink, which is the states online career, employment, and training resource center.
  • Apprenticeship programs
    • In July of 2023, Act 55 took effect. This law helped modernize the state's apprenticeship system.
    • The legislation created the state Apprenticeship Advisory Board
    • Act 55 also created a framework for youth apprenticeships. In November of 2023, VDOL convened with several relevant stakeholders and identified key components of a successful youth apprenticeship program. 
  • Current state of apprenticeships
    • As of fiscal year 2023, there were 50 apprenticeship programs and 1,589 apprentices in the state.
    • Currently 616 people are registered as apprentice electricians and 366 people are registered as apprentice plumbers.
    • VDOL has identified a shortage of plumbers and electricians in the state and is focused specifically on ensuring that people pursue and complete their plumbing or electrical apprenticeships.
  • State workforce development programs
    • Vermont Training Fund – the fund provides a revenue source for public, private and nonprofit entities, including school districts.
    • Work-based learning & training – this program provides those transitioning from a post-secondary educational institution or a CTE program with a paid on-the-job experience lasting up to 12 weeks. Funds for the program are primarily allocated towards intern-stipends and assistance for employers to implement work-based learning.
  • Federal workforce development system
    • Vermont is required by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to pursue certain goals in the realm of workforce development.
    • VDOL currently receives funding for administrative programs under WIOA Titles I and III.
    • Title II programs targeted workforce development focused on job training and related services.
    • Title III programs encompass labor exchange services.
      • Migrant and seasonal farm workers program - under this program a state monitor works to ensure migrant and seasonal formworks have suitable access to career services, skill development, and workforce protection.
    • Trade Adjustment Act (TAA) – this is a federal program that assists workers who have lost their job due to foreign trade competition.
    • Jobs for Veterans State Grants (JVSG) program - the JVSG provides career and training related services to veterans.  The program works with both state entities and the Department of Defense.
    • Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) - the WOTC is a federal tax credit provided to employers designed to incentivize hiring individuals from groups who have traditionally faced barriers to employment. 
    • Federal bonding program (FBP) - The FBP provides fidelity bonds to employers who hire individuals who may pose a risk to the employer based on their background. Each bond has a $5,000 limit with a $0 deductible, which covers the first six moths of a selected individuals employment
    • Individual Career Advancement Network (ICAN) - the ICAN program is a cooperation between VDOL and the Sustainable Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). The program offers voluntary services to SNAP recipients, such as job training, education (both basic and vocational), and job retention assistance.

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