Katherine Ash: Skilled trade jobs are in high demand. Vermont can seize the moment. – vtdigger.org

by | Nov 21, 2022 | Jobs

This commentary is by Katherine Ash, founder and principal at Second Mountain Strategies, a national economic opportunity and workforce policy consulting firm. She splits her time between Washington, D.C., and her home state of Vermont, where she previously was deputy Irene recovery officer and a field representative for a member of the federal delegation.

Our country is facing a critical shortage of skilled trades workers and Vermont is no exception. Fortunately, our brave little state is about to face an unprecedented windfall of federal funds to massively transform our public infrastructure and, by extension, our workforce. 

States have considerable power to shape how these federal investments will be used and chief among them is the creation of good jobs.

So exactly how much money can Vermont expect? Experts estimate Vermont will receive at least $2.6 billion over the next 10 years that will spur new trade jobs in broadband, highway and transportation, electric, manufacturing, and more. That’s a billion with a “B.” 

The largest chunk comes from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which is expected to deliver at least $2.1 billion to rebuild Vermont roads and bridges, improve wastewater systems, modernize the climate sector, and more. 

Vermont will also receive additional funding from ARPA, the CHIPS Act, and be eligible to compete for grants from programs that include the Talent Pipeline Challenge. 

What remains to be seen is how Vermont will make good on these investments to create and sustain even better local jobs. 

To seize the moment, states will need to build ne …

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