Education and Workforce Development

The Education and Workforce Development Working Group focuses on strategies and the development of resources to improve and enhance K-12 education (including core STEM curriculum and career and technical education), higher education, adult and continuing education, and internship/apprenticeship programs that lead to careers in the food system. It also works on strategies which address food system workforce needs and labor issues. 

Since May of 2016 the Working Group has begun to adapt projects to meet the needs and regional diversity found in Vermont.  Of particular note is the re-organization of our work by encouraging WEB (workforce development, education, business), partnerships in three regions and special attention paid to building networks at the regional level between each of the components.  In 2017 2018, the Working Group expanded the number of regions we support in this work.  In 2019, we look to build resilient and sustainable infrastructure for these projects with the help of our taskforce chairs as well as publish the work and resources on the new "RESOURCES" page of the F2P Atlas.  We will continue to act as a hub to share learnings from each region on each of our projects – currently, a joint effort with the VT Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets, our WEB Partnership work and the growing and evolving Food System Career Profiles project.  We will also host 3-4 working group meetings a year.

Members include K-12 and career and technical education center educators, college and university personnel, government agency staff, workforce development program administrators, educational consultants, and other organizational representatives working to improve food system education and workforce development opportunities for Vermonters.


New Partnerships Increase Real World Career Experiences for Students

"The statewide college student gathering is a perfect opportunity for our students in our learning community “A Call to Action: Building Sustainable Communities”. [...] The symposium lands at a perfect place and time to support our goals; we hope that many students, faculty and staff from other Vermont colleges and universities attend. This has the capacity to create the synergy to inspire and fuel the capacity of our statewide student network. Your collaborative planning efforts are brilliant. Your goals are timely and relevant: inspiring students, connecting them to food systems and larger issues of health, community, and/or environmental stewardship, exposure to career opportunities in the diversity and opportunities in the sustainability/ food/agriculture sector." ~ Ellen Hill, Northern Vermont University

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Forming Regional Partnerships across Workforce, Education & Business (WEB) Sectors

In 2016 a pilot project in Washington County brought together organizations, businesses and individuals that represented the workforce, education and business sectors of the food system. The work revealed that each sector had common goals and similar barriers to success, yet competing resources and separate languages. The acronym and organization of the project into the three sectors, W-E-B, has proved fruitful and valuable elsewhere in our Network. Recent activity includes the development of WEB Partnerships in both Windham and Lamoille counties

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