Frequently asked questions
When and where will the next Trailblazers class take place? The class begins April 4th, 2022 in South Burlington, VT.
Who is eligible for the Trailblazers program? Trailblazers is open to women and gender non-conforming 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 two evenings per week from 5:30-8:30 and Saturdays from 8 am – 3 pm. Weeks 5—7 consist of 3 hour Friday and Saturday morning classes, plus optional onsite work experiences Monday through Thursday.
Is the work experience required for participation in the class? No; however, if you plan to pursue a career in the trades we encourage you to take advantage of it.
I can’t take off 3 weeks to do the work experience but really want to participate. What can I do? We can sometimes adjust scheduling based on your availability. We may also provide financial assistance if you qualify to defray such costs as taking time off, transportation, or child care.
If I’m not doing a work experience, will I still need to come to class during the final three weeks? Yes, on Fridays and Saturdays. You’ll complete your NCCER certifications at that time.
What skills will I learn in the program? You’ll learn basics of carpentry, electrical, and plumbing or HVAC depending on instructor availability. 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) Core Curriculum and OSHA 10.
How do I know I’ll be comfortable at the work site as a woman or gender non-conforming 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? The cost is $2500, with scholarships and grants available. VWW is committed to making the program available to all women and gender non-conforming individuals who are interested in exploring a career in the trades regardless of ability to pay. Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) provides scholarships to qualifying applicants which fully cover the costs. For students who do not qualify for VSAC support, we offer sliding scale tuition and scholarships. VWW requires that students apply for VSAC before offering scholarships or reduced tuition unless the student does not meet VSAC residency requirements.
How does sliding scale tuition work? Students pay the amount they are able to afford on a self-reported basis. The sliding scale system also impacts a participant’s eligibility for Work Experience Financial Support. Please refer to the table below for a breakdown of payment amounts and Work Experience Support eligibility.
Can I still access job search support from VWW if I do not participate in a work experience? Yes, even if you are not looking for a career in the trades. 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 email@example.com. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. After receiving your application, VWW will contact you to schedule an online information session and subsequent interview.
What if I still have questions? Online information sessions will take place in January, February, and March. Dates and a link to register will be available soon.