Governor asks for $1 million in additional funding for ND grants

Written by
Sabina Haskell

Date
January 27, 2017

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Governor Scott with VSAC nondegree students

By now, you have probably heard a lot about Governor Scott’s FY 18 budget request. It’s the first budget in awhile to focus on higher education – including an extra $1 million for Vermont’s landmark nondegree grant program.

The nondegree grant program pays off in career opportunities and employment gains in truly meaningful ways. A study just completed by our research team found that among adult students, who were unemployed prior to completing the nondegree course, 61 percent were employed either full time or part time and an additional 10 percent were in school or training programs.

This is just the type of investment we need to make in Vermont, said Governor Scott. It creates real opportunities for Vermonters who need education and training for our new economy and the jobs that are waiting to be filled.

We were at the Statehouse to talk about the results of the study at a news conference with Governor Scott. Joining us were eight nondegree students and the directors of Capstone and SkillTech, the adult program over at Center for Technology-Essex.

Vermont’s nondegree program was the first in the nation when it was created 35 years ago to provide unemployed Vermonters affordable access to training and education that would ultimately lead to good-paying jobs. Demand for the program has doubled in the last decade.

Currently, funding for the nondegree grant program usually runs out mid-year, leaving untold Vermonters unable accomplish their immediate career goals. Last year, over 1,700 students received a nondegree grant averaging $1,800 for their studies.

The VSAC study profiled the typical Vermonter who uses the nondegree grant program: she is 33 years old, lives in a household of two and has an annual income of $20,444.

You can watch the press conference here and, of course, the study is published on vsac.org.