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Manufacturers’ Round Table: Focusing on Workforce Development

Posted April 4, 2016 / Adam Grinold, BDCC Executive Director

On March 9 the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC) held a Southern Vermont business roundtable discussion for the region’s manufacturers to hear a joint proposal from the Community College of Vermont (CCV) and the BDCC for a workforce recruitment and training program. Many of the region’s manufacturers were able to hear how CCV has developed a special CPT program to fast-track future employees for work-ready conditional employment. For those not able to attend, this link directs you to a Vermont Business Magazine summary of the event. The launch of this program seeks to take advantage of a short window of new federal funding that will cover the majority of training costs for the new hires.

Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, this program sees CCV partnering with staffing agency, Adecco to supply the recruitment needs for the program. CCV and Adecco have partnered on a similar program in Rutland, providing GE with over 100 new hires in the last 10 months. In addition to the CCV partnership, the BDCC detailed other workforce development programs it is currently leading. The programs include both long-term and short-term workforce development, recruitment, and retention initiatives, and consist of a High School career awareness and readiness program, the Six College Collaborative Internship program, and the Southern Vermont Young Professionals program. These programs provide workforce related engagement linkages for students, recent graduates, and incumbent workers. The Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation encourages all employers to engage in both long-term and short-term workforce development programming to ensure our future workforce is highly skilled and well prepared, and to consider hosting a high school field trip and/or college intern at their respective places of work.

The BDCC also shared a proposal by the Vermont Partnership For Fairness and Diversity that calls for regional employers to join together to form a Windham Region component to the website, iamavermonter.org. The website will be a tool for regional employers as they recruit prospective candidates of color. A recent promotion of the program claims,“Human resource professionals in the Burlington area have found the site very useful in their recruitment efforts as well as a powerful professional development tool on the range of insights and experiences of a rapidly growing population. “The very modest recent growth in population in Windham County has come mostly from an increase in minority residence, as such the BDCC welcomes this new tool for the business community and residents at large.

The inaugural Southern Vermont business roundtable event closed with the solicitation for future topics. Doing business in Southern Vermont provides for both challenges AND opportunities and the roundtable effort aims to offer business owners, human resource professionals and management the opportunity to learn from and share with others having similar experiences