Governor continues to push for career and technical education

Governor Scott held his weekly press conference at the Green Mountain Tech & Career Center, as he continues to push for CTE programs across the state. Screen Grab. Click image to watch.

Vermont Business Magazine At his weekly media briefing in Hyde Park on Tuesday, Governor Phil Scott highlighted available Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, new state investments in the affordability and accessibility of these programs, and the important role of CTE in the development of new infrastructure and housing here in Vermont.

The governor was joined by state leaders from the Agency of Education, the Department of Labor, Green Mountain Technology and Career Center (GMTCC), and Vermont Student Assistance Corporation (VSAC) to discuss available programs and newly passed assistance that will make CTE pathways more accessible for all Vermonters.

More details can be found in the below transcript of Governor Scott’s remarks or by clicking here to view the press conference.

Governor Scott: Good afternoon, it’s great to be here.

Thanks to the Green Mountain Tech and Career Center for hosting us and to everyone for joining us today to talk about the importance of CTE and a career in the trades.

Now, I often get asked if I’m having fun as Governor, and I always say if you’re governor and you’re having a lot of fun, you may not be paying attention.

But today is the kind of day where – while it’s still challenging work – it’s fun because I get to work with my hands, and construct something that you can touch and feel, which has always been my passion.

I started the morning at DBI in Morrisville where I worked a bit in their cabinet shop, and also got to talk with some pretty impressive workers about the intricacies of their work and the pride they take in doing it.

Now I’m here in Lamoille County to shine a spotlight on this great program and the great students they develop.

And when I leave here, I’m headed to a County Plumbing & Heating jobsite to work with a crew on a bathroom installation.


I know this may not appeal to every Governor, but as I said before, these are days I really enjoy. I did this when I was Lt. Governor on my Vermont Everyday Jobs Tour, and learned a lot from working alongside others and walking in someone else’s shoes for a day.

I started down this path when I was at Spaulding High School in Barre. I took my college prep classes in the morning and then would head off to the machine trades program at the vocational school in the afternoon. And when I went to college, I studied to become a CTE instructor. I graduated from UVM with a teaching degree but decided to give business a try instead.

So, I can say from my own personal experience that I know it’s not always easy to choose the CTE track, even when it’s your passion.

And we’ve been working to change that. Because the fact is, we need more workers in the trades, and these are great careers that more students should consider.


Just think about this for a minute: Over the last two years, we’ve put over a billion dollars – let me repeat that – one billion dollars into infrastructure projects.

This is money that’s going towards housing, building out thousands of miles of broadband, weatherizing tens of thousands of older homes, installing water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure and repairing our roads and bridges – and this is all on top of the normal maintenance we do every year.

The bottom line is, we have an incredible amount of work to do – work that will change the lives of Vermonters and transform our state. And the people who are going to do it are people trained in the trades.

And we’re in desperate need of more of them, which is why – as I said in my State of the State Address in January – it’s just as important, valuable and impressive to become an electrician, welder or EMT as it is to get an Ivy League education.

So, we have to get serious about doing more to point students toward these great careers. And that’s what we’re doing.


We worked with the Legislature this year to make smart changes to current policy so we can open the door to Career and Technical Education and adult trades training for more Vermonters.

In a few minutes Scott Giles from VSAC, Secretary French, and Commissioner Harrington will talk about some of the new programs we’re rolling out, like the Trades Training Scholarship Program, and additional money for apprenticeships and tool costs.

This also includes something I’ve advocated for after seeing it used in the Canaan CTE program: funding for students to rehab dilapidated housing in their communities. This will not only teach important skills, but helps add to our housing stock, which we know we’re in desperate need of.

These are just a few examples of how we’re trying to strengthen these programs and make them easier to access, but we know that’s not enough. So, we’re also launching a statewide CTE enrollment campaign, because it’s critical we get more Vermonters trained in these skilled jobs.

I’m confident that with a continued focus on the value of these careers, these new investments and the work of many partners across the state, we’ll be able to do just that, which benefits all of us as we work to build a stronger, more prosperous future for Vermont.