ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt., May 18 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) met with roughly 325 Vermont high school students Friday to discuss job training and career opportunities after graduation.
Students from the Burlington Technical Center, Essex Center for Technology, Essex High School and Northwest Technical Center participated in the discussion. Sanders, who serves on the Senate education committee, was joined by six area businesses and several state agencies that coordinate job training and student financial assistance.
“I invited these companies to explain that there are jobs available in Vermont, to outline what skills are needed for those jobs – and to share how students can get those skills and training,” Sanders said.
The Community Health Centers of Burlington, Global Foundries, Hazelett Corporation, NuHarbor Security, PC Construction and SunCommon participated in the panel and discussed training and job opportunities they offer young Vermonters.
By 2020, two-thirds of all Vermont jobs will require some education beyond high school. “When we talk about ‘higher education,’ we don’t just mean a four-year college degree. We are also talking about a certificate or credential program, an associate’s degree, a job training opportunity or an apprenticeship,” Sanders said.
“College is not for everyone, and not every decent-paying job requires a four-year college degree,” Sanders said. “Students thinking of going into the workforce need to understand what jobs are out there, what skills are needed for those jobs and how to get those skills. Students should know that, in some cases, they can learn on the job while getting paid, and that some employers will pay for job-training tuition.”
Bob Travers, the director of Essex Center for Technology, said, “We are grateful to Senator Sanders and the panel of business leaders for their focus on this issue and all that it means for the economic stability of the region and the future of our students.”
“For decades,” Travers said, “our center has committed itself to providing the very best learning opportunities in career and technical education for the students of Chittenden and Franklin Counties.”
Last month, Sanders held a similar discussion with roughly 300 Vermont high school students and three Vermont businesses at the Central Vermont Career Center at Spaulding High School in Barre. Sanders has also held several college and career fairs throughout Vermont in recent months, connecting students with higher education opportunities, including financial aid resources, which would help them achieve their career goals.
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