$84.5 mil: Vermont uses state, ARPA funds to address economic, work force development

By Brent Addleman | The Center Square

New investments in work force and economic development are on the way in Vermont, Gov. Phil Scott said.

The governor announced he has signed Senate Bill 11 which will deliver $84.5 million that will expand the state’s work force education and training initiatives while urging new economic development projects throughout the state.

“This bill makes historic investments to help solve some of our state’s biggest challenges,” Scott said in the release. “It is an opportunity to change our course for the better, to grow our workforce and support our communities in their continued recovery and revitalization.”

Scott said the legislation gives the state an opportunity to “develop new programs” and provide funding for them “at levels that can make a difference” in the coming years.

The bill, according to the release, will spend a mixture of state and federal American Rescue Plan Act dollars in an effort to stem the work force shortage and give local municipalities and business growth capital.

Under the bill, according to the release, the state will invest $3 million in regional work force expansion efforts and work-based learning and training programs. The efforts will aid the Department of Labor and would bring together jobseekers and employers while at the same time providing opportunities for career changes and giving jobseekers new skills.

The state’s trade scholarship program will receive $3 million, according to the release, for scholarships to students who are taking industry-recognized training and certification initiatives that lead to employment in high-demand jobs.

According to the release, $10 million will be used for grants, loans, loan forgiveness and other incentive programs in an effort to ease health-care worker shortages in the state.

The state, according to the release, is also investing $3 million to recruit new employees via grants to cover moving expenses under the New Relocating Worker Program.

Additionally, the state will invest $720,000 into the corrections work force in an effort to make reentry into the work force easier through creating community-based reentry programs, according to the release.

For economic development programs, according to the release, $40 million will be spent to boost municipalities, businesses and the nonprofit sector that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The investments will help with recovery and revitalization efforts.

Plus, $19 million, according to the release, will be put into the Forgivable Loan Program through the Economic Development Authority to administer forgivable loans to those businesses suffering from economic shortfalls due to the pandemic.

“We look forward to working with businesses and municipalities in using this historic investment to continue to help our most impacted sectors recover from the pandemic and work toward a stronger future for communities around the state,” Agency of Commerce and Community Development Secretary Lindsay Kurrle said in the release. “These are needed investments to create a brighter future for Vermont.”

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Paul R. Burley

One thought on “$84.5 mil: Vermont uses state, ARPA funds to address economic, work force development

  1. I agree, let’s train for the trades, the only problem is that when these people get the
    education they need, and the certificates …………. they’ll be leaving the state where
    they can afford to live !!

    When Vermont get it tax base undercontrol ” lower taxes ” people will stay, but in today’s
    enviroment they’ll be moving to greener pastures as soon as possible, along with all the
    retirees……….. Montpelier needs to wake up, but it ” they ” won’t…..power hungry fools.

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