Shumlin Touts Job Openings, Encourages Recent Grads To Fill Them

07/11/12 5:50PM By John Dillon
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Governor Peter Shumlin says Vermont employers are looking for workers. So he's kicked off a new campaign to encourage young people to return home to fill those jobs. 

The governor says a recent survey of Vermont companies with 20 or more employees found more than 2,100 job vacancies.

The state's phone survey of about 600 companies did not differentiate whether firms were looking to fill jobs left vacant during the recession, or if these were new jobs created because of business expansion.

Still, the governor took it as good news.

"The message: cheer up. Vermont has jobs," he says. "We're doing better than many other states. We have more work to do. And we're going to use the Department of Labor's efforts to ensure that we use technology to get the word out so that we can fill the jobs that we have."

The information about job vacancies is being distributed to Labor Department career centers around the state.

The Shumlin Administration also plans to launch an ad campaign and will work with Vermont colleges to entice alumni to return home to work.

The campaign is dubbed Bring it Back to Vermont. And it's somewhat of a work in progress. Lawrence Miller is secretary of commerce and community development. He says the program will be phased in over time.

"So the aim is to ­- I think we'll have stuff in print channels sort of moving into the fall. That's beginning, (then) building the social networking aspects over the course of the summer," he says.

The survey was conducted by two interns at the Labor Department. And they found a common thread among the companies seeking workers. Nicole Ainsworth is a recent graduate of St. Michael's College. She said many employers want well-trained workers with math and science skills.

"The biggest problem that we saw was that a lot of jobs for these employers required highly specialized skills," she says. "But the majority of them, they're able to find the skills in Vermont. It's just a matter of connecting the labor force with the jobs."

The survey work proved valuable for Ainsworth herself. She's turned her internship into a fulltime job with the Labor Department.

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