The Springfield, Vt.,-area team received a three-year, $300,000 grant to implement an initiative focused on increasing workforce participation in the region. The work aims to find higher quality jobs for the underemployed and jobs for the unemployed. This will be done by bridging the gap between service providers and industry partners, reducing the churn of employee movement, and increasing overall workforce participation by matching clients with employment that fits their interests.
The Springfield area struggles with entrenched generational poverty, the loss of its vibrant industrial economy, and low educational attainment. It also sees higher-than-average participation in state benefits program, such as Reach Up. As a result, the area has low workforce participation, which ultimately leaves families without means to provide necessities, including food, transportation, and healthcare.
The region also has a unique asset. A dedicated gigabit fiber, which offers high-speed fiber internet connection, links to properties in Springfield and Chester. The Black River Innovation Campus was created around this fiber to build a digital ecosystem that incorporates education and training for all ages.
- Create a collaborative, sustainable workforce development pipeline that focuses on the recruitment and retention of employees and employers. This “no wrong door,” holistic approach will strengthen systems that help residents engage in the workforce by addressing training, education, housing, childcare, transportation, and/or early addiction recovery needs.
- Create a sustainable referral and support system that includes assessment of employee needs and the development of appropriate services, programs, and educational and training pathways. The system will rely on cross-sector case management and coordination.
Increase workforce participation in the Springfield area by matching unemployed with quality jobs and matching the underemployed with quality jobs that meet their skill level.
- VT Department of Labor
- River Valley Technical Center
- Springfield Restorative Justice Center
- Creative Workforce Solutions/VABIR
- Reach Up, Agency of Human Services
- Springfield Regional Development Corporation
- Vermont Packinghouse, LLC
- VT Agency of Human Services