Legislative Solution to Workforce Shortage Elusive

With broad recognition that no legislative solution can fix the current workforce crisis, the House Commerce Committee reviewed the efficacy of existing government training programs. The Vermont Chamber voiced support for continued funding for the relocation and new worker grants, skills building efforts like the Vermont Training Program and support for second-chance hiring programs.

The testimony also cautioned the Committee that the real problem is the lack of people to fill education and training slots, proposing that Vermont needs a robust and sustained marketing effort to recruit more workers. Creating a message that promotes Vermont as a welcoming place can be demonstrated by the adoption of the Declaration of Inclusion, a statement that 25 towns in Vermont have adopted, the continued support for refugee resettlement initiatives and the passage of removing the tax on military retirement pay.

Vermont does many things well and while housing and childcare issues still need attention, recruiting more people cannot wait.