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.
To address barriers pertaining to transportation, members of the extended partner network have formed the Transportation Taskforce. The group has designed surveys for Employers and Service Providers to gather data pertaining to awareness and utilization around existing transportation services. The group will also be examining areas with unmet transportation.
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.
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.
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