Federal education grant will serve over 1,500 adults to promote workforce development

Written by
Sabina Haskell

December 5, 2016


Lana Fales, EOC student

VSAC will receive $2.4 million over five years in a federal Educational Opportunity Center grant to promote education and workforce development with Vermont adults.

How the EOC grant helps Vermonters

Meet Joe                      Meet Amy                   Meet Rebecca                   Meet Lana

In a joint statement, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) said:  “While Vermont is fortunate to have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, many Vermonters continue to struggle to find good-paying jobs. Employers are also seeking highly skilled workers to help their businesses grow. In this economic environment, we must continue to do more to help educate and train underemployed workers for the jobs of tomorrow. The type of training and education made possible by VSAC can turn lives around, and this federal grant will help ensure that the economic future we want for Vermont is well within our reach.”

The Educational Opportunity Center grant is one of eight TRIO programs administered by the U.S. Department of Education. The EOC program provides adults who don’t already have a postsecondary degree with education and training access services including help with career exploration; education and funding options; and assistance with financial aid applications.

Too many Vermonters don’t have the education and training they need to obtain jobs that allow them to earn a livable wage. The Department of Labor predicts that over two-thirds of the high-pay, high-demand jobs in Vermont will require some education or training after high school.

Education and training after high school is the single-most important investment a person can make in his or her future. Access to higher education is an essential component of reversing income inequality and creating career opportunities that will last a lifetime.

VSAC counselors worked with over 1,700 adults in their local communities last year and seven out of 10 EOC participants enrolled in a postsecondary education program. Nearly half the participants are 27 years and older.