President’s July Column

by Lisa Ventriss, President

During the Summer Meeting a member asked if my schedule had become less hectic now that we were focusing intently on the Vermont Talent Pipeline Management project rather than numerous separate working groups. And I laughed because, the fact is, we’re even busier than before. But, just as every laboring mother knows, there is productive pain and unproductive pain.  I can attest that your Roundtable is experiencing full-on productive pain! And there is a lot of good news to share.

We have active partners working hand in glove with us on VTPM – Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, Franklin/Grand Isle Workforce Investment Board, LCRCC Workforce Development Committee, and Vermont Department of Economic Development. We have coaches and technical assistance provided by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF). We have CEO Champions for our Construction and Health Care pilots; thank you, Tom Clavelle of Engelberth and John Brumsted, M.D. of University of Vermont Health Network! We have a meeting set with educators/training providers later this month to begin applying our VTPM supply side strategies. So give thanks to Joyce Judy, President of Community Colleges of Vermont, for stepping up as our CEO Champion! And last, we will launch the Manufacturing Collaborative in the Q1 2018. So you can see why our colleagues at USCCF tell us, “You are killing it!” I tend to agree with them.

Earlier in the career progression (Ages 5-18+), we have surveyed members to determine their current levels of direct engagement with students and teachers, and have solicited additional members to step up. We have just partnered with the Upper Valley Business and Education Partnership (UVBEP) to convene two training sessions in August for members that will prepare them to host students in mutually beneficial work-based learning experiences. Please keep your eyes open for details coming soon.

And on a related note, the Roundtable is actively involved in the 70X2025 initiative being led by Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC), to achieve the aspirational goal that by the year 2025, 70 percent of Vermont’s working age adults will possess a postsecondary degree or credential of value. That means by 2025, we need an additional 30,000 Vermonters to earn their degree or credential. In addition to Scott Giles of VSAC, the Advisory Council includes Roundtable members: Tom Dee, CEO of Southwestern Vermont Medical Center; Rob Miller, CEO of VSECU; Paul Millman, CEO of Chroma Technology; Laurie Patton, President of Middlebury College; Dan Smith, President of Vermont Community Foundation; Bill Stritzler, Managing Director and Owner of Smugglers’ Notch Resort; and Lisa Ventriss, President of Vermont Business Roundtable.