The Northern Windsor and Orange County Regional Council identified “Increase awareness of early childhood positions available and training options to support workforce recruitment and retention“ as a priority for the year. At our February Council meeting we invited a Community College of Vermont Upper Valley representative and River Valley Community College representative to talk to the council about programs they have in early childhood such as accelerated programs and new courses. We also learned a bit about the make-up of students in the classroom to better understand workforce challenges in our region. We learned that most students in the class are currently employed in the profession and therefore not necessarily contributing to increasing the numbers of job openings. We also had Janet McLaughlin from Lets Grow Kids talk to us about her work on the initiatives happening at the state level. We were also able to dig into the Building Vermont’s Future from the Child Up Think Tank Report and share our thoughts on what was in the report.
Our March meeting fell on the same day as the Early Childhood Day at the Legislature so instead of holding a council meeting we encouraged members to go to this event and advocate for children and families in our region. Additionally, on this day we also held our first Resilience screening in partnership with the Special Needs Support Center and Artistree in Bethel. We had over 40 people attend, followed by a great discussion on what we can do to help support our communities’ response to Adverse Childhood Experiences.