Vermont Works for Women hosts weekly virtual workforce discussion panels
7/2/2020 update: Throughout June, VWW virtual discussion panels have tracked the changing landscape of work in Vermont as we adapt to the “new normal.” Guests included James Moore of SunCommon, Caitlin Goss of Rhino Foods and Monica Chapman of PuroClean (both also VWW Board members), and Kadie Brenes of PC Construction.
As businesses and employees become used to new safety and health protocols, production goals (reduced in April and May) are increasing and employers are hiring, particularly in manufacturing and construction. One constant theme has been that Vermont businesses have worked hard to maintain transparency with their employees in order to keep them informed, and to offer financial and emotional supports through creatively maintaining benefits, assisting laid off workers with finding new jobs, and relying on Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs).
If you’d like to find out more about the rapid changes Vermont employers and workers are navigating, contact Missy Mackin at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. The panel meets every Monday from 1 – 2 pm.
5/27/2020 update: At the May 18th State of the Workforce discussion panel, 19 employers, employment consultants, and non-profit representatives welcomed Natalie Glynn, Business Strategy Manager at Let’s Grow Kids, to hear about what’s happening with child care in Vermont. With the uncertainty caused by COVID-19, LGK is an invaluable resource for parents and businesses as we navigate reopening and examine opportunities for thinking about policy around this truly essential aspect of work and life in Vermont.
Since the beginning of April, VWW Program Manager Missy Mackin has convened employers, workers, and employment specialists from Chittenden and Franklin/Grand Isle counties for weekly Zoom meetings to discuss issues and resources pertaining to the Covid-19 response.
With many businesses shut down while others stay open, and the definition of “essential” changing almost daily as the Governor and his team work to preserve Vermonters’ safety; with workers laid off and employers navigating a challenging present and uncertain future, this is a chance for us to share our concerns and make connections that will strengthen the workforce going forward.
Representatives from manufacturing, transportation, construction, and the nonprofit sectors are sharing what their organizations are doing right now and what they anticipate in the coming months, and are making connections with employment specialists from VWW and Creative Workforce Solutions who will be able to send workers their way once they are hiring. And women enrolled in VWW’s workforce training programs are attending so they can find out which employers will best support their career goals once they’re ready to apply for jobs.
The list of attendees has included VTrans, Peterson Consulting, Efficiency Vermont, Teknor Apex, Trombly Plumbing & Heating, Lewis Creek Builders, Wal Mart, the Vermont Rural Water Association, Bourne’s Energy, Stay Safe Traffic Products, Almond Blossoms child care, CorTech staffing, Vermont Technical College, Champlain College Career Collaborative, and the Vermont Talent Pipeline.