ReSOURCE: A Nonprofit Community Enterprise. An aptly-named title for an organization that masters three points of community service: job skills training, environmental services, and poverty relief. ReSOURCE may be multidimensional, but they do what they do in pursuit of one mission: less waste and more opportunity.

Job Skills Training

ReSOURCE’s job skills programs focus on paving the way to a successful future for Vermonters of all ages who may have barriers to developing a working skill set and obtaining gainful employment. These programs have two tracks: workforce development training and work experience training.

In 2016, 95% of the 300 trainees in a ReSOURCE job skills training program were matched with a full-time position once graduated.

The workforce development track is intended to prepare students for jobs or post-secondary education by providing them with hands-on training in their desired field. This track includes three different programs: Apprentice-Style, YouthBuild, and Career Path.

Apprentice-Style

  • Who It’s For: Vermonters who are ready to work, but need marketable job skills.
  • What It Teaches: This program offers apprenticeships in office administration, major appliance repair, manufacturing, customer service and retail management.
  • The Day-to-Day: 3-9 months of paid training ($54 bi-weekly stipend) from 8:30 AM-4:30 PM Monday through Thursday. Successful graduates are matched with local employers in full-time positions.
  • Added Bonus: Participants become fully immersed in the daily operations at ReSOURCE, allowing them to get vital customer service experience and teamwork experience as well as technical skills.

YouthBuild

  • Who It’s For: Vermonters ages 16-24 who have left traditional high school and are in need of comprehensive development and job training.
  • What It Teaches: Students in this program learn construction skills while building affordable housing, developing energy efficiency skills, and working alongside certified instructors. It also teaches soft skills, such as timeliness, interview skills, and teamwork.
  • The Day-to-Day: Students in this 12-month program break their week into three parts: two days in a small classroom setting with focused attention; two days in a workshop getting hands-on training by qualified instructors; and one day doing community service.
  • Added Bonus: YouthBuild participants have an opportunity to graduate with their high school diplomas, and earn certificates in OSHA10, NCCER, First Aid & CPR Training, and earn an AmeriCorps Education Award.

Career Path

  • Who It’s For: Youth ages 18-24 with obstacles to employment.
  • What It Teaches: Career Path offers hands-on work experience, personal and professional development classes, awards industry-recognized certifications, and prepares students for full-time work in manufacturing or large appliance repair.
  • The Day-to-Day: Students will spend two full school days per week training with Career Path, and they will be paid a bi-weekly stipend ($54).
  • Added Bonus: Successful graduates will be placed in full-time positions in manufacturing or large appliance repair.
ReSOURCE’s YouthBuild team worked on rebuilding low-income housing in Waterbury in 2011 after Tropical Storm Irene.

The work experience training track focuses on pre-vocational and workforce readiness that gives students a foundation of employable skills while providing valuable hands-on experience. This track includes three different programs: LEAP (Learn, Earn, and Prosper), Career Start, and Work Readiness.

LEAP (Learn, Earn, and Prosper)

  • Who It’s For: Youth ages 16-24 who are blind or visually impaired.
  • What It Teaches: This program gives blind or visually impaired students the opportunity to become more independent, confident and productive by allowing them to live on their own and get experience taking public transportation, preparing a personal budget, cooking for themselves, and learning to manage their time. It also gives them work experience in operating a cash register, repairing computers, and providing customer service in food and retail environments.
  • The Day-to-Day: This program is a summer internship. The students will live in a dormitory setting (Champlain College and UVM dorms) with their peers and they will learn life skills and work at ReSOURCE’s Overlook Café.
  • Added Bonus: The group of students will spend time together on kayak trips, hikes, visits to the Farmers’ Market, and sailing voyages.

Career Start

  • Who It’s For: Enrolled high school students with a diagnosed disability.
  • What It Teaches: This program serves participating students with individualized education plans (IEPs). It gives the students experience in a wide range of job skills, such as computers and electronics, large appliances, office administration, and customer service and retail. The program also offers monthly personal and professional development classes and allows the students to earn a monthly $55 stipend.
  • The Day-to-Day: Students will work regular work shifts during the school day in a ReSOURCE department.
  • Added Bonus: Students who complete the program are matched with job shadows and ultimately, job placement.

Work Readiness

  • Who It’s For: Vermonters of all ages with little or no work experience.
  • What It Teaches: This program focuses on individualized soft skills training in customer service, communication, and independence.
  • The Day-to-Day: Part-time training sessions are hosted in various ReSOURCE departments.
  • Added Bonus: This program allows for possible certifications in: Cash Register & Cash Handling Skills, Forklift Operation, A+ Preparation, Refrigeration, and Customer Service.
ReSOURCE is the home organization for LEAP, a program designed to help blind and visually impaired students gain technical and professional skills and the independence necessary for their future.

ReSOURCE has found a productive and symbiotic way to provide opportunities to Vermonters of all ages while promoting a “reduce, reuse, recycle” lifestyle. Their workforce development programs are deeply beneficial to our community, on both a micro- and macro-scale. If you’d like to get your business involved with the great work that ReSOURCE is doing, there are multiple ways that you can do so:

  1. SPONSOR. ReSOURCE is always looking for businesses to sponsor one of their many programs, events, and vehicles.
  2. VOLUNTEER. ReSOURCE always has a variety of volunteer opportunities – coordinate a team-building staff community service day!
  3. DONATE. Time to remodel the office? One office’s junk is another’s treasure – donate your used furniture and computers to ReSOURCE (free pickup!).
  4. PARTNER. ReSOURCE is always looking for new and exciting job placement partnerships to match with their well-trained students.
  5. SHOP. Most of ReSOURCE’s budget for these programs comes from the revenue of their many retail stores located all over Vermont – shop small, save big, make a difference!

For more information on ways your business can help further ReSOURCE’s mission in a mutually beneficial way, contact Pam Laser, Employment and Transition Coordinator, at (802) 658-4143 ext. 17 or plaser@resourcevt.org. To learn more about the wide variety of ways ReSOURCE gives back to our community, visit their website.

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