Frequently asked questions
When and where will the next Trailblazers class take place? In 2023 Trailblazers classes will tentatively be held in South Burlington, Barre, and Hartford.
Who is eligible for the Trailblazers program? Trailblazers is open to women and gender-expansive individuals ages 16+, no experience necessary! Students enrolled in high school and/or tech centers are encouraged to apply.
How long is the program? Each Trailblazers session lasts seven weeks. Weeks 1-4 are classroom and shop experience from 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Saturdays from 8:00 am – 3:00 pm. During weeks 5-7, to enable participants to completetheir internships during the day, only Thursday evening classes will continue.
Is the work experience required for participation in the class? Yes for Trailblazers: Green. For the classic Trailblazers program, no, but it is a great opportunity to see what it is like on a worksite.
I can’t take off 3 weeks to do the work experience but really want to participate. What can I do? We can adjust the work experience schedule based on your availability, and provide financial assistance to defray such costs as taking time off, transportation, or child care.
What skills will I learn in the program? In Trailblazers: Classic you’ll learn the basics of carpentry, electrical, solar, and plumbing or HVAC depending on instructor availability. In Trailblazers: Green you'll learn solar installation basics, hand and power tool use, and construction math. All of our instructors are experienced tradeswomen who are passionate about sharing their love of what they do and creating a fun and safe learning environment
What certifications will I earn? NCCER (National Center for Construction Education & Research) and OSHA 10. Trailblazers: Green participants will also earn Solar Photovoltaics certification and if you choose to sit for the NABCEP PV Installation Professional exam after completing this class, Vermont Works for Women can assist you with study materials and exam fees.
How do I know I’ll be comfortable at the work site as a woman or gender-expansive individual? While VWW can’t guarantee a completely smooth experience, we require every employer and their employees to complete a minimum of one 90-minute Gender Equity training before placing students with them to increase their awareness and ability to provide a supportive environment. We’re also available throughout the work experience to address any issues which might arise.
What is the cost of the class? Due to generous grant funding this year, the cost to participate in Trailblazers is free! VWW will also provide financial assistance to those in need to complete their three-week work experience with a local employer.
Can I still access job search support from VWW after I complete the class? Yes; VWW staff are always available during and after the completion of Trailblazers to assist with all job-related issues and questions.
How do I apply? Contact Program Manager Missy Mackin at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. After receiving your application, VWW will contact you to schedule an online information session and a subsequent interview.