Marlboro College

NewsPress Release: 10/03/01

President Paul and WSESU Superintendent Ray McNultyBRATTLEBORO, VT - Windham County youth and adults recently gained another educational resource -- one that will give them an edge within one of the fastest-growing job categories in Southeastern Vermont: the field of information technology.

The Southeastern Vermont Career Education Center (SVCEC) and the Marlboro College Technology Center (MCTC) are collaborating to lead a team of local schools, businesses, and government agencies to help students develop the skills necessary for employment in high-skill, high-wage positions of the new economy.

To help the team reach that goal, the Vermont Department of Education's Career and Workforce Development recently awarded SVCEC a three-year, $150,000 grant. This was one of three grants awarded statewide under a new program designed to encourage creative collaborations to prepare young workers for 21st-century jobs.

The grant will be used to develop a new program at SVCEC called the Emerging Technologies Business Program. Critical elements of the new program include Marlboro's expertise in training K-12 teachers to use new technologies, the SVCEC's experience in educating students for a variety of career alternatives, and local businesses' understanding of skill changes needed in tomorrow's workers.

Windham Southeast Supervisory Union Superintendent Ray McNulty and Marlboro College President Paul LeBlanc agree that this collaborative grant is a perfect example of how the community can work together to provide new and appropriate educational and career opportunities for students.

According to LeBlanc, "The dot-com bubble may have burst, but the integration of technology into business practice continues unabated. Indeed, in many ways the real Internet revolution begins now as online technologies are deployed across the full range of organizations and their activities. We need to prepare young people for that competitive and exciting reality."

The grant will enable MCTC to design and offer intensive training courses to SVCEC teachers in each of the three years covered by the grant. SVCEC teachers will, in turn, apply their newly gained knowledge to revise their course offerings to include more extensive exposure to emerging technologies. The ultimate beneficiaries will be hundreds of SVCEC students who will acquire technology-focused skills that are directly transferable to the workforce. The first of the training courses for SVCEC teachers, called "Business in the New Internet Economy," took place in August 2001 at the Technology Center.

Several local employers ­ such as Brattleboro Savings and Loan, Chittenden Bank, Growing Design, Inc., and WebSound, Inc. ­ have responded with enthusiasm to the new program. Their function will be to advise SVCEC and MCTC in the alignment of course content to changing employer needs.

Located at Brattleboro Union High School and directed by Jane Greenwood, SVCEC provides career education opportunities for high school students from six Windham County schools -- Brattleboro, Bellows Falls, Leland and Gray, Whitingham, Wilmington, and The Austine School -- and adults throughout Windham County. SVCEC offerings include courses, internship opportunities, and hands-on experience in social careers, business and marketing, sciences and technologies, and arts and communications. It also offers specialized training in five pre-engineering areas.

The Marlboro College Technology Center, launched in October 2000, brings together education and entrepreneurship, while offering technology resources to the community. According to Vermont Governor Howard Dean, who attended the launch ceremonies, "What Marlboro College is promoting here is the kind of clean and innovative industry that Vermont wants to help stay in the forefront of economic development."

For information regarding SVCEC, please contact Greenwood at (802) 257-7335 or jane_greenwood@fc.brattleboro.k12.vt.us.

For more information about The Marlboro College Technology Center, please call (802) 451-7500 or visit the Tech Center online at http://www.techcenter.marlboro.edu.

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