Governor addresses workforce shortages: ‘We simply need more people’

This week Gov. Phil Scott joined up with the Vermont Department of Labor and the McClure Foundation to announce “Vermont’s Most Promising Jobs” initiative.

The initiative is a list of more than 50 occupations that are expected to pay more than the state’s median wage of $22.55/hour. These organizations expect to have at least 500 openings over the next 10 years.

In announcing the program, the governor again reminded Vermonters that the state is lacking in the workers for a number of initiatives, such as efforts to weatherize old homes to reduce heating demands.

“To get all this work done with all the jobs we have, we simply need more people,” Scott said.

Public domain

WHERE’S THE WORKFORCE?: Gov. Phil Scott said this week that Vermont has plenty of job openings.

According to the governor, more than 20,000 jobs are currently available in the state that involve various technologies and trades.

“We have the jobs right now we need to fill,” the governor said. “… If you want to be a nurse, or a physician’s assistant, or a dental assistant, or a dental hygienist, there’s a good job here for you.”

The Department of Labor’s Economic and Labor Market Information Director, Mathew Barewicz, said that the list of occupations for Vermonters are areas that have been carefully vetted by their economists.

“These include economic growth, in particular as a result of post-pandemic circumstances, as well as other changes, like retirements or job transfers,” he said. “In Vermont, our labor force is down about 20,000 from its pre-pandemic high, predominately due to retirements, and in spite of an increase to in-state migration. Over the next decade, Vermont is projected to have an average of 41,123 openings per year in over 500 occupations.”

Scott noted that the Green Mountain State has about 1,500 people on unemployment.

Election talk and other issues

Later in the press conference the discussion turned to the upcoming election. When asked if candidates who question the results of the 2020 presidential election should be prevented from holding office, Scott said no.

“No. I think we live in a country where you can run for office, and I don’t think there are any real disqualifying issues,” he said.

The governor also weighed in on people being able to have their records cleared after run-ins with the law. He said that he believes records should be “sealed” but not “expunged.”

“I believe that records should be sealed so we can come back to them if we have to,” he said.

When it comes to the state’s housing stock challenges, the governor touched on the importance of leveraging investments. He referenced a $37 million housing bond that was implemented early during his administration, and added that the bond has attracted an additional $200 million in private investments.

“We put about 2,000 units into use at this point due to that $37 million dollar housing bond initially,” Scott said.

On the topic of voting trends, the governor said many Republican voters are hesitant but still vote for him.

“I have people come up to me all the time and say ‘I voted for you — I’m not going to state that publicly, but I voted for you,'” he said.

The list of jobs can be found at the McClure Foundation’s website.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Cukierspace and Public domain

17 thoughts on “Governor addresses workforce shortages: ‘We simply need more people’

  1. Is anybody going to talk about our GOP candidate who is all over VT digger for fraudulent handling of campaign money?

    So he could get on the debate stage? But Erika couldn’t??????

    Can’t wait to hear the spin on this one.

    Maybe it will get brushed under the rug, just like Molly Gray’s eligibility to hold office.

    Watch the Rino speak, it should be entertaining. I can tell you what they won’t do…anything of substance or honor. Oh this is just the way it has to be, we can’t DO anything….

    • Neil, I wasn’t going to say anything because I continue to hope that Madden splits the progressive vote with Balint, allowing Erika to sneak through to the finish line. So much for surprise. Hopefully the progressives aren’t reading TNR.

  2. Simple answer! Almost 45% of VT’s population is OVER 65 or UNDER 19. It is simple demographics. VT has one of the oldest populations in USA… Better question to ask is WHY young people do not stay in VT or want to move to VT. My two kids? They could not wait to LEAVE. They don’t want $25 hour jobs. They have high paying careers w/ large firms OUT OF STATE, few of which VT has.. Ask why Green Mtn Coffee left VT? Ask why IBM PAID $1 BILLION to Global Foundries to get out of it’s Essex Plant. My kids were tired of frigid weather, deep snow, HIGH taxes, expensive property, HIGH property taxes…sales taxes….and sick to death of the Progressive agenda indoctrinations they suffered and BOTH got K-12 and also UVM. Reap what ye shall sow.

    • Re: “Simple answer! Almost 45% of VT’s population is OVER 65 or UNDER 19. It is simple demographics.”

      I’m afraid the citation of demographics is an over-simplification. In Florida, for example, 42% of the population is under 18 and over 65. In Texas, 38.5% are in this demographic. And according to the Vermont 2020 census, 38.7% of the population are under 18 and over 65.

      High taxes, on the other hand, ARE Vermont’s problem.

      And one of the reason Vermont’s taxes are high is because 40% of its workforce is employed by the heavily tax subsidized government, health, and education sectors. And many of these tax subsidized employees receive ‘guaranteed benefit’ retirement plans that are underfunded, while those in the private sector have, at best, ‘guaranteed contribution’ plans.

      Then consider that Vermont has more non-profit businesses per capita than any other State in the country. These corporations don’t pay taxes. And then Vermont has a social welfare safety net equivalent to $42K per year per household.

      And yes, Vermont’s education system is a disgrace.

      It costs as much to educate a first grader in our public schools as it does to send a college student to one of the Vermont State Universities for a year – including their college room and board. Meanwhile, half of Vermont’s graduating high school students don’t meet minimum grade level standards.

      That our politicians persist at deflecting these criticisms is unconscionable.

      • You are incorrect…the average age in VT for 2022 census is just under of oldest populations in US….Second, I stated under 19!….not 18….VT HAS A DEMOGRAPHIC PROBLEM….Economist Art Wolff , retired UVM prof, has harped on this for a LONG time.. VT is full of old people and fewer young people wanting to be here…it is why thousands of low pay (relativelly) go unfilled. Mine have real CAREER upward trajectory. $$…not a $22 hour fixed job like our GOV touts is around….WHAT do you have left at $22 an hour…..federal income tax, Social security tax, VT income Tax etc…then sales taxes, gas taxes,high gas costs, hIGH heatng oil costs, HIGH ENVIRO caused utility costs.,..high rent, expensive housing, huge KILLER property taxes, 10% tax if you have any dinner out…it never ends…there’s nothing left…there is NO reason to settle in VT…if you are young , talented, smart and driven. GET OUT NOW,,,ha-ha…before you have to replace a dead (or stolen) mandated VT EV battery for $10,000, as VT FORCES YOU TO BUY AN EV.. READ:

        “Vermont Median Age 42.8 Total 41.1 Male 44.3 Female Vermont Adults

  3. Governor Santes should be sending his buses with just walk-in illegals to Montpelier and Burlington to reduce crime, poverty, illiteracy, lack of skills, and “wokeful”wackiness

  4. Maybe they should stop aborting our future workforce! I find it ironic that Seventh Generation, Ben and Jerry’s, GMP and all the other woke businesses are so adamant about aborting their future clientele!

  5. Whenever I hear Phil talk about this issue, it almost sounds like the greatest argument to oppose Prop 5 / Art 22 in this coming election. Seems Vermont’s obsession with it’s culture of death has some drawbacks after all…

    • Killing viable infants up to one day before delivery is allowed by law in Vermont, but almost nowhere else in the world.

      Vermont, a true leader of immorality and genocide?

  6. I suspect Vermont has plenty of people.

    In 2019 there were 624,000 people in Vermont. About the same number as ten years ago in 2012. Today there are 645,500 people in Vermont.

    Today, Vermont currently has a labor force of 336,500 people. In 2019 the labor force was 356,000. In 2012 the labor force was about the same.

    So, while Vermont’s population is increasing, it’s labor force is shrinking. This means the workers are here. They just don’t want to work. And why should they work when a Vermont household can receive about $42K per year in social welfare subsidies doing nothing. That’s equivalent to more than $20/hr. on average.

    Vermont doesn’t need more workers. Vermont needs people who want to work.

    • 🙂 there you go confusing people and policy makers with facts…….

      We’ll have none of that on any comment boards of Vt Digger, VPR, Seven Days, Front Porch Forum……

  7. Vermont’s Governor Scott, just doesn’t get….. ” we need people ” !!

    Why would any one want to come to a state that overtaxes everything, and that
    includes housing, and has millions in unfunded liablities and this feckless Governor
    keeps siding with the liberals and there world saving projects, keep working as they
    will P-you tax dollars away ………. fools in charge.

    He Governor, how many college grads did we have last year through out the state
    and how many are still here, that’s what I thought, most will have a useless degree
    but they see the light !!!

    Governor Scott, I use that title lightly ……………….

  8. What we need is for government to stop giving away free money, especially that which is based on the “pandemic” which according to Dementia Joe is OVER. Every business in the State of Vermont has a help wanted sign up and no one is paying less than $15/hour. The spinning of the currency printing presses is the primary driver of inflation.

    • @ Rich L

      Sadly, many employers here are indeed paying less than $15/hr. There are many people currently working for less than that here and many jobs on offer that pay less.

      Of course many people can’t/won’t take those jobs. They often can’t afford to as housing costs far above what a job paying $13-14/hr will provide for. And the long commute required if one lives in a cheaper rural area precludes working for $13-14:hr.

  9. 2nd highest cost of living to wages and top 5 in overall taxes per capita; what is the incentive to stay here? It’s a good thing Phil paid people to move here who aren’t taking the jobs, that is just brilliant planning.
    I can assure people I won’t be voting for the progressive governor because I know he has sold out the party and the state multiple times.

  10. Where are these new employees going to live? There seems to be a housing shortage in VT. I have read that during the plandemic what housing that was for sale was snapped up by “the flatlanders” so they had a place to escape to when the next lockdown is forced upon them.

    Then who in their right mind would want to be a landlord with the State blindly siding with deadbeat tenants instead of the landlord. I have two good friends that bought a house in Plainfield that, at the time of purchase during the plandemic, had a tenant from the previous owner. My friends had to pay this squatter $10,000 to vacate THEIR house. I have also heard similar stories from other friends who are/were landlords.

    And don’t forget all of the permits and excessive regulations you have to go through to build a house or multiple housing. The State of Vermont is regulating itself out of existence, and the liberal fools in Montpelier are so full of themselves that they can’t see it.

    Then add to that the cost of fuel; gasoline, home heating oil, and LP gas, and who in their right mind would move to Vermont unless they were independently wealthy or retired, in which case they would not be participating in the workforce.

    Vermont is the canary in the coalmine for everything that is wrong with liberal, progressive, socialism as currently being practiced by the Democratic Party.

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