Make a career in the skilled trades – without studying. New Interest-Free Forgivable Loan Pays Up to 100% Tuition for Education and Certification in Select High-In-Demand Career Sectors in Vermont – vtdigger.org | Vette Leader

WINOOSKI, Vt. – The new Vermont Trades Scholarship Forgivable Loan Program proposed by Gov. Scott to the Vermont Legislature and supported by the Vermont Student Assistance Corp. (VSAC), provides Vermont and non-Vermont residents with tuition, initial license fee, and exam fee funding for qualified recipients enrolling in high-need training and certificate programs.
Funding for the $3 million artisan grant program is part of the broader $84.5 million human resources and economic development initiative signed into law by Governor Scott in June. The bill invests both state and federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to address Vermont’s labor shortage and provide local businesses and communities with resources to grow in the years to come.
“Investing in commerce is a top priority for my administration, and this program will help address some of our state’s greatest challenges. It is an opportunity to change our course for the better, grow our workforce and support our communities in their continued recovery and revitalization,” said Governor Scott.
The new program, open to Vermont and non-Vermont residents, will help meet Vermont’s acute need for a better educated workforce in select construction, engineering, industrial or medical careers; Emergency services; energy including clean energy, energy efficiency or weathering; Transport; broadband; Robotics and other high-demand sectors. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on an ongoing basis until all funds have been allocated. Programs beginning after September 1st are eligible.
“VSAC knows that the path to meaningful employment for almost every Vermonter is through post-high school education or training. And we know that for many Vermonters, the cost of education and training is the biggest barrier to students achieving their dreams. VSAC is excited to offer this program to enable eligible students of all ages to pay for the tuition, exams and licenses for the education they need to pursue the career they want,” said Scott Giles, President and CEO of VSAC.
Funding is granted to qualified applicants with financial needs on a first come, first served basis until all funds are exhausted. Applicants must register with the Vermont Department of Labor to receive relevant job recommendations if unemployed.
The awards are in the form of an interest-free loan that is forgiven if the recipient signs a promissory note and completes work in their profession in Vermont for at least one year after completion of licensing or certification for each year of funding received.
Additional funds from the historic bill also provide scholarships and forgivable loans to eligible students pursuing careers in critical areas such as early childhood education, nursing, dentistry, mental health care and more.
Legislators have raised the family income eligibility level to $75,000 or less for the popular 802Opportunity program, which, in combination with other state and federal grants, provides free tuition at the Community College of Vermont. Nearly 2,000 students took advantage of free tuition at CCV in 802 Opportunity’s first year.
Eligible Vermonters can also take advantage of the VSAC Advancement Grant program, which provides funding for training in an on-going program or a short-term training program that improves job skills to improve their ability to get a job.
“This investment in our workforce comes at a time when Vermont employers desperately need talent,” said Michael Harrington, commissioner of the Department of Labor. “This support will enable the Department of Labor to provide much-needed resources and information to help employers better outreach to fill vacancies while developing talent pipelines for sustained internal growth. We look forward to continuing to help connect Vermonters to good jobs and other important human development efforts.”

For details on how to apply, visit www.vsac.org/workforce-development-funding or call 888-253-4819.

About VSAC – Changing Lives through Education and Training since 1965: The Vermont Student Assistance Corporation is a public, not-for-profit organization established by the Vermont Legislature in 1965 to help Vermont residents achieve their post-University education and training goals to reach high school. VSAC serves students and their families in grades 7-12 and adults returning to school by providing education and career planning services, need-based grants, scholarships and educational loans. VSAC has awarded more than $600 million in grants and scholarships to Vermont students and administers Vermont’s 529 College Savings Plan. Learn more at www.vsac.org.

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