Vermont’s farm and food economy gained 742 net new businesses between 2010-2017, and economic output expanded 48% from $7.5 billion to $11.3 billion between 2007-2017. Despite this growth, these businesses are affected by the workforce shortage impacting all sectors in Vermont, and many report that a lack of employees with the required skills is holding back their production and planned growth. In order to sustain the expansion of Vermont’s agricultural economy, existing workforce solutions must be adapted for the unique needs of farms and food system businesses. Simultaneously, despite the overall workforce shortage in the state, individuals living in Vermont often have difficulty finding careers that provide a livable wage, and need greater access to training and employment resources. Preserving the local food system as a viable economic driver requires workforce solutions that benefit both employees and employers.
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