The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) recently announced the awardees for the third competitive round of the Climate Catalyst Innovation Fund. The funding supports projects that make a meaningful, community-scale impact. VCRD received more than $99,000 in requests and was able to fund 25 projects totaling $82,500 to support local climate solutions in Vermont. We’re excited to share that our Energy Works program was one of the projects selected!
Energy Works provides hands-on, no-cost training in weatherization and heat pump installation and connects participants to additional VAL services when needed. The program helps address several areas of urgent need, including growing demand for skilled workers in the green energy sector; a collective reduction of Vermont’s carbon footprint; an increased ability for low-to-moderate income Vermonters to remain in their homes despite the impact of climate change; and career and skill-building opportunities for adult learners around the state. The funds received will be allocated towards a pilot program focused on developing an Energy Works-specific ELL curriculum designed to open the door to more green energy job opportunities for non-native English-speaking Vermonters. The Energy Works ELL pilot will be hosted out of VAL’s Brattleboro Learning Center and is intended to serve as a model for future statewide expansion.
In collaboration with generous funders including VT Low Income Trust for Electricity, VT State Employee Credit Union, the Sunflower Fund, the Vermont Community Foundation Flood Recovery Fund, the Ruth H. Brown Foundation, and the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, VCRD is supporting local innovators in developing solutions that move Vermont closer to its climate and energy goals. Read the full story in Vermont Business Magazine and visit our Energy Works page to learn more about upcoming training opportunities!