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Governor continues to push for vocational and technical education

Governor Scott held his weekly press conference at the Green Mountain Tech & Career Center as he continues to push for CTE programs statewide. Screenshot. Click on the image to watch.

Vermont Business Magazine At his weekly press conference in Hyde Park on Tuesday, Governor Phil Scott highlighted the Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs available, the state’s new investments in the affordability and accessibility of these programs, and the important role of CTE in the development of new infrastructure and housing here in Vermont.

The governor was joined by state heads from the Education Agency, Department of Labor, Green Mountain Technology and Career Center (GMTCC), and Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) to discuss available programs and recently passed assistance that will make CTE lanes more accessible to all Vermonters.

More details can be found in the below transcript of Governor Scott’s remarks or by clicking here to view the press conference.

Governor Scott: Hello, it’s great to be here.

Thanks to the Green Mountain Tech and Career Center for hosting us and everyone for joining us today to talk about the importance of CTE and a career in the trades.

Now, I’m often asked if I’m having fun being a governor, and I always say that if you’re a governor and you’re having a lot of fun, maybe you’re not paying attention.

But today is the kind of day where – even though it’s still hard work – it’s fun because I get to work with my hands and build something that you can touch and feel, which has always been my passion.

I started the morning at DBI in Morrisville, where I worked a bit in their cabinet shop, and also got to talk with some pretty impressive workers about the intricacy of their work and the pride they pull to do it.

Now I am here in Lamoille County to shine the spotlight on this excellent program and the excellent students it produces.

And when I leave here, I head to a county plumbing and heating job site to work with a crew on installing a bathroom.

***

I know this may not appeal to all governors, but as I said before, these are days that I really enjoy. I did this when I was Lieutenant Governor on my Vermont Everyday Jobs tour, and I learned a lot working alongside others and walking in someone else’s shoes for a day.

I started down this path when I was at Spaulding High School in Barre. I took my college prep classes in the morning, then headed to the machine trades program at vocational school in the afternoon. And when I went to college, I studied to be a CTE instructor. I graduated from UVM with a teaching degree, but decided to try business instead.

So, I can say from my own personal experience that I know it’s not always easy to choose the CTE stream, even when it’s your passion.

And we have worked to change that. Because the fact is, we need more workers in the trades, and these are great careers that more students should consider.

***

Think about it for a moment: in the last two years, we have invested more than a billion dollars – let me repeat it – a billion dollars in infrastructure projects.

It’s money that goes to housing, to building thousands of miles of broadband, to weatherizing tens of thousands of older homes, to installing water, sewer and storm drains and repairing our roads and bridges – all of this is on top of the normal maintenance we do every year.

Ultimately, we have an incredible amount of work to do – work that will change the lives of Vermonters and transform our state. And the people who are going to do it are people trained in the trades.

And we desperately need more, which is why — as I said in my January State of the State Address — becoming an electrician, welder, or EMT is equally important, valuable, and awesome. than getting an Ivy League education.

So we seriously need to do more to steer students towards these great careers. And that’s what we do.

***

We worked with the Legislative Assembly this year to make smart changes to current policy so we can open the door to vocational and technical education and adult trades training for more Vermonters.

In a few minutes, Scott Giles from VSAC, Secretary French and Commissioner Harrington will talk about some of the new programs we are putting in place, such as the Trades Training Bursary Program, and additional funding for apprenticeships and tools.

It also includes something I advocated for after seeing it used in the Canaan CTE program: funding for students to rehabilitate dilapidated housing in their communities. This will not only build important skills, but also increase our housing stock, which we know is desperately needed.

These are just a few examples of how we are trying to strengthen these programs and make them more accessible, but we know that is not enough. So we’re also launching a statewide CTE enrollment drive, because it’s critical that more Vermonters are trained for these skilled jobs.

I am confident that by focusing on the value of these careers, these new investments, and the work of many partners across the state, we will be able to do just that, which benefits us all as we working to build a stronger, more prosperous future for Vermont.

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