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McClure Foundation Awards $489,000 to Support Programs that Increase Access to College and Career Education in Vermont

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The J. Warren & Lois McClure Foundation has announced $489,000 in grants for the 2018-19 school year to programs that improve equitable access to the postsecondary and career education that lead to Vermont’s most promising jobs. A supporting organization of the Vermont Community Foundation, the McClure Foundation envisions a Vermont where no promising job goes unfilled for lack of a qualified applicant.

The McClure Foundation’s primary interest is in funding projects with statewide impact that are aligned with multi-sector postsecondary attainment or workforce development efforts. For the 2018-19 school year, McClure Foundation funding prioritized projects that accomplish one or more of the following: identify and/or eliminate barriers to postsecondary access and success for low-income and first-generation youth and adults; strengthen the pathways between education and employment; and change the narrative to ensure public recognition of postsecondary education and college and career readiness as a shared value.

The recipient of the largest amount of funds this grant round is the Community College of Vermont (CCV), which has received nearly  $1,700,000 from the McClure Foundation since 2008, including several grants awarded in partnership with funds at the Vermont Community Foundation. This year, the McClure Foundation is supporting the efforts of CCV to continue its pilot project that brings two college courses and intensive college and career advising to inmates at the Vermont Department of Corrections facility in Newport. The McClure Foundation will also continue funding CCV’s work with Vermont middle and high school students as well as CCV’s career services and veteran student services.

Said McClure Foundation President Barbara Benedict, “As in past years, it is our privilege to partner with so many dedicated professionals and collaborative organizations working day to day to more fully develop Vermont's greatest resource—Vermonters!” She continued, “The programs and projects receiving funding this year represent some of the strongest and most innovative work to make career and college education accessible to all Vermonters.”

A primary goal of the McClure Foundation’s grantmaking program is to improve education and training pathways to jobs listed in Pathways to Promising Careers, a resource published in partnership with the Vermont Department of Labor. Pathways identifies 54 promising jobs expected to pay at least $20/hour and have at least 100 openings over the next decade. The resource is available online at

“Occupational data reveals many high-paying, high-demand jobs available here in Vermont,” offered Benedict. “Getting students thinking about their education pathways early and often is key to ensuring they’re preparing for these careers. That’s why we’re thrilled to know that over 80,000 Pathways to Promising Careers brochures have been distributed to students, jobseekers, schools, state agencies, and organizations across Vermont.”

A list of grants is below; greater detail can be found on the Foundation website, The letter of interest for the next round of McClure Foundation funding will be available in January 2019. To be notified of its release, follow @mcclurevtfdn on Twitter.


70x2025VT received $50,000 to execute a communications and public affairs campaign to broaden the understanding of the importance of postsecondary education and college and career readiness, particularly among decision makers, prospective students, and parents.

Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation received $30,000 to support a five-year pilot of a new model for regional career education and awareness wherein BDCC will hire a career education professional who will work in all four Windham County high schools to offer integrated career advising.

Careers CLiC received $25,000 to support a high-quality statewide work-based learning system that connects schools with employers to ensure Vermont youth are career-ready and have meaningful opportunities to explore career pathways.

Community College of Vermont received four separate grants including $25,000 to continue support for ReSET VT: a prison-to-career pathway program at the Northern State Correctional Facility in Newport; $45,000 in continued support for academic and career services for veterans, military-connected students, and their dependent children; $60,000 to support the development of occupational credentialing programs serving Vermonters who need targeted skills and credentials to move ahead in their careers; and $90,000 to build CCV’s capacity to support Vermont middle and high school students in their planning for postsecondary education and training.

The DREAM Program received $15,000 to support a multi-year expansion effort to reach more children in Bennington with their mentoring program.

Governor's Institutes of Vermont received $6,000 to support scholarships that improve the access of young Vermonters in low-income families to the Institutes’ in-depth, hands-on programming that offers students pathways from curiosity into careers.

Johnson State College received $15,000 in continued support for the Northern Vermont University Summer Bridge Programs which ease the transition to college life and enhance the academic preparation, motivation, and retention of Johnson and Lyndon low-income, first-generation, and disabled students.

Patricia A. Hannaford Regional Technical School District received $10,000 to develop and implement an integrated employment training model incorporating academic, career, transferable, and technical skills learning opportunities for disengaged youth in Addison County.

Spectrum Youth & Family Services received $25,000 to support their Youth Development Program which helps youth ages 14-22 who are in and aging out of foster care to set goals, build life skills, and maintain stability through case management, referrals, and financial assistance for housing, education, employment, and other critical concerns.

Vermont Afterschool received $30,000 to continue to address gaps in access to meaningful expanded learning and work-based learning opportunities in rural Vermont by training high school students to teach STEM content to younger students in afterschool and summer learning programs. received $10,000 to continue to support in-depth reporting on public education in Vermont.

Vermont Student Assistance Corporation received $20,000 to provide information and counseling to low-income, first-generation Franklin County students and their families with the goal of increasing participation in dual enrollment, early college, and adult technical programs.

Vermont Technical College received $5,500 to provide scholarships for programs that engage and mentor middle and high school boys and girls in STEM disciplines and encourage them to continue with math and science into high school and college.

Vermont Works for Women received $12,500 to continue support for the Women Can Do Conference at Vermont Technical College which ignites high school girls’ curiosity about STEM and trades careers through hands-on activities and learning.

Vermont Youth Conservation Corps received $15,000 to support enhanced workforce development training and post-experience support for young adult Vermonters.