Summer Trailblazers’ participants graduate; program will expand into Rutland this fall!
By Missy Mackin, Program Manager
What a summer it’s been! The construction and clean energy trades have been as hot as the weather, with many businesses across Vermont hiring new employees. This is great news for the eight participants who recently completed the summer cohort of VWW’s highly successful Trailblazers program, where they got hands-on practice in the basics of carpentry, electrical, solar, and HVAC, and earned their NCCER and OSHA-10 certifications.
Graduating from the program on August 21, they were fresh off of their three-week, onsite work experiences with local employers large and small – Birdseye of Vermont, Vermont Agency of Transportation, Wooden Hammer, Breadloaf Construction, SunCommon, VerMod Homes, Champlain Water District, Richmond Water Department, Energy Co Op of Vermont, and Lewis Creek Builders.
Taught and mentored by Vermont tradeswomen and supervised by folks experienced in their trades, these newest Trailblazers have worked in the real world of construction, honing their skills in barns, shops, highways, water treatment plants, and on really, really hot roofs.
Integrating this work experience into the program has not only expanded participants’ opportunity to get hands-on time in the field, but has introduced them to the trades in ways that can’t be replicated in the classroom. And working closely with veteran tradespeople has benefited everyone involved by bridging the gaps between seasoned pros and folks starting out in their careers.
As crew leaders have said of their participants, “She’s fitting in perfectly” and “She has a great future here.” Their strong work ethic and willingness to show up and learn have balanced out the inexperience. Now that they’ve gained so many skills and their time in the field is coming to an end, we’re excited to see where they choose to start their careers!
We are thrilled to expand Trailblazers to Rutland this September! The fall cohort will be held at Rutland’s new makerspace, The MINT, and incorporate a new component – an introduction to manufacturing.
Thank you to our 2021 Trailblazers supporters!
Canaday Family Charitable Trust, Carpenters Local Union 349 and 352, Encore Renewable Energy, Hoehl Family Foundation, KEEN She Builds Grant Program, VEIC Founders’ Fund, and VSAC Advancement Grants