The goal of the BCIC Workforce and Education Committee is to connect and promote k-16 education, adult education, the general public and area businesses to enhance employability and vitality in the region by:

  • Increasing dialogue about common areas of interest and need
  • Increasing awareness of a broad range of careers in the region
  • Articulating the role of post-secondary education and training in economic development
  • Encouraging and supporting entrepreneurial activity in Bennington County
  • Measuring the impact of our activities

Community Initiatives
April Career Month
During April of each year, the Committee engages the community in celebrating the diversity of career opportunities in Bennington County. Activities include the We Do Cool Things newspaper series, discussions with professionals in local high school classes, Career and College Fairs, open houses at colleges, workshops for job changers and seekers, Dress for Success events, and career activities at elementary schools.

Northshire Workforce & Education Chapter
The Committee has worked with representatives in Manchester to convene a Northshire Chapter of the group. The inaugural meeting, held on June 21, 2017, drew two dozen individuals representing businesses, schools, colleges, state agencies, municipalities, and community development and other non-profit organizations. In subsequent monthly meetings, key employers have detailed specific workforce development needs, including recruitment and transportation issues. Community and regional partners in education and labor are developing a proposed “reverse job fair” to be held at the Taconic Hotel. The group is targeting April for the reverse job fair, and will work to integrate it into the existing Career Month programming.

Adult Initiatives
Certified Production Technician
Advanced manufacturing training program leading to nationally recognized certification.  Recruitment targets job changers, unemployed, and new hires in manufacturing.  Collaborating partners include CCV, VDOL, VTC and area employers.

Certified Public Bookkeeper
Participants earn 4 national certifications and 8 college credits in this 3-month accelerated program.  Recruitment targets employees in small businesses wanting to upgrade skills, job changers and job seekers.  Collaborating partners include CCV, VDOL, and area employers.

High School Initiatives
Sophomore Career Summit
This full day April event is for Bennington County high school sophomores and highlights area opportunities in 14 broad career areas.  MAUHS takes the lead both in organizing the event and providing financial support.  The planning committee includes MAUHS, VDOL, CCV, CDC, and BCIC/BCRC.  The event takes place at Bennington College.

Financial Reality Fair
Fall event for high school sophomores that emphasizes the connection between education and career opportunities by having students spend down a monthly paycheck. Collaborating partners include MAUHS, SVC, and community volunteers.  The event takes place at SVC.

Middle and Elementary School
Seedlings Program
This multi-year program provides a nurturing afterschool environment for elementary school children.  Students enter in first grade and stay with the program through their transition to middle school.  The program focuses on academic achievement, the development of resilience and self-confidence and building positive community connections. Collaborating partners include Bennington Elementary, Molly Stark Elementary, SVSU and The Tutorial Center with volunteers from CCV, SVC, Bennington College and the Bennington community.

Shires Business Challenge
Teams of 5th and/or 6th grade students at area elementary schools are provided the opportunity to create their own businesses and then sell their wares at Business Fairs at their schools.  An outgrowth of a successful pilot at Bennington Elementary in spring 2017, the program brings in area professionals and tech center and college students to work with elementary students to build successful businesses.  Participating schools this year include Bennington Elementary, Pownal Elementary, and MEMS.  Supported by a VDOL grant.

working at computer