VWW's office remains closed as staff primarily work remotely. Please contact us in advance if you need to visit our Winooski office; our team is available via phone or email.
Employment and Transition Support For Justice-Involved Women
From In-Facility to Vermont Communities
Vermont Works for Women has always held strong values around the transformative power of work and the potential within every individual to take positive risks, face challenges, and pursue their interests as they develop a greater notion of what is possible. These values are the foundation of our work supporting currently incarcerated women, and women with a history of justice involvement.
VWW has been working as a contracted service provider for the Department of Corrections, providing services for the female population, since 2001. Our programs in the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility (CRCF) strive to give each woman agency around work and life skills and support them to establish goals for their future. Our programs provide hard skills training in trades and culinary, access to a wide range of facility jobs where transferrable skills are acquired, and life skills for communication, conflict, stress management, and more.
Our goal is to create pathways for women where they can apply skills gained during incarceration to sustainable, well-paying jobs when they reenter the community that will lead to economic independence and stability. Core to these programs is a deep understanding of the unique needs of justice-involved women so that our programs and supports are gender- and trauma-responsive.
Build Your Skills
Build Your Skills is a curriculum-focused, open group with a different theme or skill each week.
Build Your Skills aims to work with women on soft skills in the workplace, conflict resolution, communication with a supervisor, self-care, and more.
This group is available to most women inside the facility.
Enrichment Night is a monthlyopen group available to most women in the prison.
VWW brings outside companies and organizations into the facility to give presentations to justice-involved women.
Enrichment Night presenters often talk about their own personal stories, their company and how to get involved, hiring practices, advice, tips for career exploration, and more. Recent presenters have included UVM Medical Center’s Dining Services, Rhino Foods, and Recovery Vermont.
In 2022, VWW was awarded a grant for a three-year reentry program – BEAM (Building Employment and Meaning). The mission of BEAM, currently based in Middlebury, VT, is to provide justice-involved women in Vermont with a safe living environment, inclusive employment, and support services to ensure lifelong stability and success.
This first-of-its-kind program assists women who are transitioning out of CRCF to obtain gainful employment while providing support for basic needs and housing, as they work toward successful independent living and financial stability.
Participants will learn and develop the necessary skills and resources to allow them to successfully live independently and build belonging and connection in the community.
Windows 2 Work is the in-facility worker program. Any woman residing in Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility may put in an application for a multitude of jobs inside the prison. Jobs can include Unit Cleaners, Facility Painters, Law Librarians, Laundry Workers, Kitchen Workers, and so on. VWW oversees hiring decisions and keeps a waitlist of women looking for a job.
The Career Resource and Re-entry Center is a space in Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility designed to aid justice-involved women with career exploration and re-entry resources. VWW staff offers one-on-one sessions to work on resume building, skill development, job exploration, and more.
VWW runs a pilot culinary program at Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility, training small cohorts of participants in a variety of basic chef skills over the course of twelve weeks. This year, VWW is integrating guest instructors into the curriculum. Contact us if you would like to help as a volunteer chef.
“Thank you for providing us with this class that has taught us all so much. We feel blessed to have had the privilege of experiencing something so significant that we were able to cultivate skills that we can utilize in our daily lives and beyond these walls, ultimately becoming part of our success.”
- Culinary Program Graduate, 2022
“I've never really known what I want to do for a living/career and this has reminded me there are many possibilities.”