The Springfield Area is one of four regions in Vermont to receive the Working Communities Challenge grant. The 3-year, $300,000 grant is provided by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and supported by the State of Vermont and several philanthropic organizations.
The goal of the Springfield Area Working Communities Challenge (SAWCC) team is to increase workforce participation throughout the region by addressing the challenges that prevent residents from finding and maintaining employment. More specifically, the team aims to address systemic barriers associated with transportation, childcare, housing, education, and recovery.
The strategy for the SAWCC Team is to create a holistic, wrap-around approach to meet the needs of individuals seeking employment. This will be done by creating a collaborative network of regional employers and social service providers. Cross-sector engagement from these community partners will contribute to strengthening existing systems and help develop new ones.
Employment Research Study
The SAWCC Team has the opportunity to launch our own research study focused on employment patterns within our region. The Research Study will aim to collect data-driven information from employers and residents of the region to identify the barriers that prevent individuals from finding and maintaining employment.
Residents will receive $40 per survey completed, and a bonus of $200 if all surveys are completed during the duration of the study.
The responses will be anonymous. The contact information gathered from residents will only be used to send the $40 stipend.
Who can participate?
Anyone living in the SAWCC region (see map) can join, regardless of employment status, and businesses of all sizes are encouraged to participate.
What are the questions like?
The surveys will include questions on employment, housing, transportation, and childcare.
When does it begin?
The study will launch on September 1st, 2021 and surveys will be released every other month for 2 years, totaling 12 surveys.
Recruitment for the study is on a rolling basis, so if you would like to participate please fill out the Intake Form below. (paper copies are available)
Residents of the region – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WCCResidentIntake
Employers – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/EmployerIntake
Please contact Amanda Porter, WCC Coordinator, with any questions.
WCC Childcare Assistance Fund
The Springfield Area Working Communities Challenge has created a subsidy to help support families within our region who are having difficulty with costs related to childcare.
It is open to all families and can be used to cover current costs, back bills, and registration fees. Our goal is to help parents and guardians during this difficult time continue working or re-enter the workforce.
To be eligible:
- The family must live within the SAWCC region (see below)
- Must have physical custody of at least one child living in the home.
- At least one parent/guardian in the household is working or seeking employment.
- There is no income requirement for families to access this fund.
The Springfield Area Parent Child Center is distributing the fund on behalf of the SAWCC Team. To learn more about the WCC Fund contact:
Springfield Area Parent Child Center
Childcare Counts Coalition
This group of WCC partners is dedicated to increasing the availability of high-quality childcare in the working community’s region. Recognizing that access to childcare is a critical economic and workforce development issue. The group seeks to engage a broad range of partners and families on the issues impacting childcare.
The Springfield Area Parent Child Center has developed an Employer Childcare Guide to enable employers to assist staff in the search for childcare.
To address barriers pertaining to transportation, members of the extended partner network have formed the Transportation Taskforce.
Partners at Southeast Vermont Transit have designed a comprehensive Ride Guide to help disseminate information to Employers, Service Providers, and Residents of the Springfield Region.
Springfield Area Employer Resource Meetings
These monthly meetings are an opportunity for businesses to discuss challenges and gain knowledge pertaining to HR-related topics. Previous meetings have addressed topics such as onboarding best practices and navigating workforce development. These monthly meetings are FREE and open to all employers in the area. They would be likely most valuable for HR representatives or those functioning in similar roles. The virtual meetings are held on the first Wed of the month from 9 am to 10:30 am.
To join please visit our Facebook page for the latest invitation.
Free Laptop/Device Program
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of access to internet-enabled technology for all individuals. In an attempt to help job seekers overcome this barrier, the SAWCC team created the Free Laptop/Device Distribution program.
This program allows those seeking employment to receive a free refurbished laptop or Chromebook from the River Valley Tech Center. To qualify, applicants must meet income requirements, have internet access and live within the SAWCC region (see map below). Applicants must have a member of a partner agency certify the that information within the application is accurate.
Application: SAWCC Laptop Program
The Springfield SAWCC Region includes Andover, Baltimore, Cavendish, Chester, Grafton, Londonderry, Ludlow, Plymouth, Reading, Rockingham, Springfield, Weathersfield, Weston, Windham, West Windsor, and Windsor.
SAWCC Core Team Members
- VT Department of Labor – Cindy Delgatto
- River Valley Technical Center – Scott Farr
- Springfield Restorative Justice Center – Frank Nobile
- Reach Up, VT Agency of Human Services – Jeanne Neal
- Springfield Regional Development Corporation – Bob Flint
- Vermont Packinghouse, LLC – Karen Murray
- VT Agency of Human Services – Sue Graff
- Springfield Area Parent Child Center
- Building Bright Futures
- Edgar May Health & Recreation Center
- Vermont Adult Learning
- Turning Point Center of Springfield
- Springfield Supported Housing Project
- Springfield Medical Care Systems
- Mt. Ascutney Regional Commission
- Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Southeast Vermont Transit/ The MOOver
- Mount Ascutney Hospital & Health Center
- Let’s Grow Kids
- Parks Place
- Vermont Adult Leanring
- Vermont 211