Lamoille County received a three-year, $300,000 grant to improve employment opportunities by focusing on workforce transitions and reducing systemic barriers to work. The multidisciplinary team will work with health and human services, municipal governments, the education sector, local businesses, and the Vermont Department of Labor to help restore employment, lower workforce barriers, and build economic diversity in Lamoille County.
Lamoille County is rich in natural beauty and an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. The region offers a vibrant art community, breweries, iconic covered bridges, and a world-class hospital. It’s seen business growth in agriculture, manufacturing, industrial ventures, and cottage industries. Residents throughout the county’s 10 towns share a strong sense of community and are committed to environmental stewardship. But Lamoille County’s economy is overdependent on tourism, and it suffers from high rates of opioid addiction. Additionally, following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lamoille County’s unemployment rate flipped from Vermont’s lowest to the state’s highest at 25.6% (in April 2020). Workers face systemic barriers, such as lack of access to internet, workplace inequity for minority groups, inadequate childcare resources, and poor public transportation. Workers and businesses also struggle with workforce transitions, specifically young adults entering the workforce and older adults either leaving full-time work or unable to find employment opportunities because they are suffering from substance addiction.
Connect the Working Communities Challenge Lamoille County team’s work with youth employment programs and offer students job experience, work training, and higher education opportunities.
The team will work with the Lamoille Economic Development Corporation to support the creation and retention of jobs around the region.
The team will work with Creative Workforce Solutions to create programming in response to community needs, merging economic and human services.
Additionally, the team will create a Community Information Hub to help residents understand the resources available in the region, and it will hire a resource navigator to assist residents seeking services and support.
By 2024, the team hopes to reduce the unemployment rate to the state level or lower and see improvements in workforce transitions and reductions in systemic barriers to economic opportunity. Additionally, the team aims to reduce cyclical poverty and increase income levels, moving the numbers closer to the state averages.
- United Way of Lamoille County
- Capstone Community Action
- Lamoille County Planning Commission
- Town of Johnson
- Creative Workforce Solutions
- Lamoille Economic Development Corporation
- Lamoille Restorative Center
- N. Central Vermont Recovery Center
- Racial Equity Alliance of Lamoille
- Northern VT University
- Green MT Tech & Career Center
- Vermont Department of Health