High pay, high demand Vermont careers identified by McClure Foundation

VERMONT – Electricians, nurses, and web developers are just some of the 60-plus Vermont careers expected to pay at least $20/hour and have at least 250 openings over the next decade. Newly updated research from the J. Warren & Lois McClure Foundation and the Vermont Department of Labor makes clear that high-pay, high-demand jobs do exist across the Green Mountain State for people of all interests and backgrounds. They don’t all require a four-year degree, but the data reveals that employers are usually looking for training and education beyond a high school diploma.

The 62 job categories listed in their free easy-to-use brochure include information on median wages, number of projected openings, and minimum education requirements. Most of the jobs require certificates, apprenticeships, associate’s degree, bachelor’s degrees, or beyond. Yet only 60 percent of Vermont’s high school graduates are enrolling in postsecondary education within 16 months of graduation and for low-income graduates that rate drops to 37 percent. This “training gap” means a lot of current openings are unfilled due to a lack of qualified candidates.

The accompanying online resource, called “Pathways to Promising Careers” www.mcclurevt.org/pathways, lists the Vermont-based training and education programs that will put students and jobseekers in the state on the right track to rewarding careers.

For a limited time, the McClure Foundation, a supporting organization of the Vermont Community Foundation, is offering grants for programs that connect Vermonters with these training and education pathways. This grantmaking support dovetails with the Community Foundation’s work to close the opportunity gap ─ the divide in access to education, jobs, health, and community vitality that keeps many Vermonters from getting ahead in life.

“We envision a Vermont in which everyone has the access to the education they need to succeed in the workforce and that no promising job goes unfilled for lack of a qualified applicant,” explains McClure Foundation Senior Philanthropic Advisor Carolyn Weir. “That’s why we’re thrilled to know that information about these jobs is helping students choose career pathways and helping adults build their credentials or switch career tracks.”

Fifty-five thousand of these free updated brochures are being distributed to high schools, colleges, state agencies, counseling organizations, and nonprofits across the state. Since its first edition four years ago, there has been consistent feedback that this simple, concise resource has prompted career changes and helped guide Vermonters’ decisions about education and training pathways.

“This resource reflects the enormous diversity of jobs in the state. There are tremendous employment opportunities right here in Vermont for people of all interests and backgrounds. The goal of our work is to promote the skills in demand and dispel some of the myths about our local economy,” says Mathew Barewicz, economic and labor market information chief at the Vermont Department of Labor.

This new data will also help colleges, legislators, employers, and career counseling organizations. Grant funding from the McClure Foundation is available to support the growth-stage programs of nonprofits, schools, workforce development groups, and others working to build equitable access to career and college education for low-income Vermont learners. More about the application guidelines and funding priorities can be found at www.mcclurevt.org.

For more information or to request copies of the Pathways brochure, visit www.mcclurevt.org/pathways or contact Carolyn Weir at cweir@vermontcf.org, 802-388-3355 ext. 239, or through Twitter @McClureVTFdn.

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