Building Vermont’s Climate Workforce to Achieve Vermont’s GHG Emission Reduction Goals
Presented by: State Representative Charlie Kimbell, State Representative Gabrielle Stebbins (Energy Futures Group), State Representative Scott Campbell, Rhoni Basden (Vermont Works for Women), Tom Longstreth (ReSOURCE), Breck Knauft (Vermont Youth Conservation Corps)
Summary: To achieve Vermont’s required greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, we need to train thousands of Vermonters with the skills to electrify our transportation sector, install clean energy solutions, weatherize homes, build net zero commercial buildings and sustainably manage our working lands, forests and waterways. Right now we are not building and sustaining this climate workforce pipeline. While there have been past efforts to address workforce shortages, we need a laser focus now on growing the climate workforce specifically, if we are to comply with state laws. Through outreach and interviews with employers, workers, educators, Vermont youth and others, we will identify the gaps, barriers and opportunities to grow our climate workforce. This information will be summarized and prioritized to develop an implementation plan with execution beginning next year. We know that reaching our emissions targets will be hard; without workers, it’s impossible. We must focus now on developing this pipeline to capture the opportunity inherent in the climate crisis: meaningful careers that help Vermonters re-invest in our communities.