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Can Vermont solve its workforce crisis with career & technical education?

Three photos showing various trades in Vermont's career and technical education fields, including a masked welder using a torch, a crew cutting wood planks on a construction site, and an electrician working on power lines at the top of a telephone pole.
Photos (from left) by Christopher Burns, Annie Gray, and Sigmund via Unsplash.
This hour, we're talking about Vermont's career and technical education pathways as the state faces roughly 23,000 open jobs and a shrinking workforce.

Live call-in discussion: It’s a common sight these days: a business with a "help wanted" sign hanging out front, seeking workers. It's a symptom of statewide shortage of workers to fill what Gov. Phil Scott described as some 23,000 open jobs in Vermont. One way to address the workforce shortage, the Governor says, is getting more people into the trades through career and technical education, or CTE. This hour, we discussion Vermont's CTE pathways, and some of the hurdles that keep students from pursuing these careers.

Our guests are:

  • Jay Ramsey, assistant division director for the Agency of Education
  • Sarah Ballou, program coordinator for the electrical and plumbing apprenticeship program at , Vermont Technical College
  • Melissa Connor, director and principal at Stafford Technical Center

Broadcast live on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or tweet us @vermontedition.

Connor Cyrus joined Vermont Public as host and senior producer in March 2021. He was a morning reporter at WJAR in Providence, Rhode Island. A graduate of Lyndon State College (now Northern Vermont University), he started his reporting career as an intern at WPTZ, later working for WAGM in Presque Isle, Maine, and WCAX Channel 3, where he covered a broad range of stories from Vermont’s dairy industry to the nurses’ strikes at UVM Medical Center. He’s passionate about journalism’s ability to shed light on complex or difficult topics, as well as giving voice to underrepresented communities.
Originally from Delaware, Matt moved to Alaska in 2010 for his first job in radio. He spent five years working as a radio and television reporter, radio producer, talk show host, and news director. His reporting received awards from the Alaska Press Club and the Alaska Broadcasters Association. Relocating to southwest Florida, he was a producer for television news and NPR member station WGCU for their daily radio show, Gulf Coast Live. He joined Vermont Public in October 2017 as producer of Vermont Edition.