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Serve, Learn and Earn: New Collaborative Workforce Effort

by elaine ezerins

Directors of Serve, Learn & Earn collaborating organizations pose for photo.

By: Maisie Howard, VWW Director of Development and Communications

Four prominent Vermont nonprofits gathered today at the Vermont Granite Museum to announce a new collaborative workforce development effort – called Serve, Learn & Earn – as they celebrated the graduation of one of the funded programs (ReSOURCE’s Construction 101 training).

Serve, Learn & Earn is a collaboration of Vermont Works for Women, Audubon Vermont, ReSOURCE, and Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. The group is centered on the shared vision that every Vermonter should have a viable pathway to employment and affordable education in exchange for serving their state. Participants serve by working on important projects in priority areas such as climate, housing, and outdoor recreation.

In 2021, the Vermont Legislature recognized the importance of this work – and this collaboration – with an appropriation of $1.85M, administered by the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation. This funding supports each organization’s direct service training programs, increasing opportunities for Vermonters to obtain jobs that meet their needs, even during these challenging times, while also meeting the needs of Vermont’s businesses facing workforce shortages.

Words from the Partners

Equity is a top priority in this work. Rhoni Basden, Executive Director of Vermont Works for Women, explained, “Investing in women and girls is good for our communities and the economy.  Working to remove the barriers and challenges many women and youth face entering high-demand, high-wage jobs requires collaboration and support. VWW aims to train, empower and advance the opportunities that are available and works to ensure economic security for women.”

“COVID accelerated a twenty-year trend toward lower labor force participation” added Tom Longstreth, Executive Director of ReSOURCE. “And while the unemployment rate has bounced back to pre-pandemic levels, the Vermont workforce is still down by 30,000 workers while the employment to population ratio is down by 10%. By retraining side-lined workers we can reverse these negative trends. ReSOURCE is achieving strong results through our Construction Intensives and helping to meet urgent needs among employers.”


Graduates of ReSource's Construction 101 Training pose at a Serve, Learn & Earn event.

Expected Outcomes

Just this year, Serve, Learn & Earn expects to:

  • Create 375 jobs for youth and young adults in Vermont
  • Complete an anticipated 3,400 participant weeks of service
  • Provide $1,224,412 in earned wages and/or stipends
  • Offer 147 AmeriCorps positions that lead to Segal Education awards totaling $354,730
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