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Newport welcomes Trailblazers training program for women

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NEWPORT — Vermont Works for Women is introducing its free trades training program, Trailblazers, for the first time in Newport, aiming to empower women and gender-expansive individuals through a seven-week course at the North Country Career Center from May 20 to July 3.

The program, designed for participants aged 18 and up, will offer hands-on training in various trades, including construction and renewable energy.

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Chris Damato, the Assistant Director for Adult Education at the North Country Career Center, highlighted the opportunity for local construction companies to find skilled employees. The program includes a unique “live work” project, allowing participants to remodel a house in Newport, covering a spectrum of skills from heavy equipment operation to finish carpentry.

Trailblazers has trained 145 individuals since its inception in 2019, focusing on creating a safe and supportive environment. This pre-apprenticeship program helps build vital skills and confidence, and encourages participants to explore traditionally male-dominated career fields.

In addition to practical training, the program features a paid onsite internship with local employers who have undergone gender equity training. Missy Mackin, Trailblazers Program Manager at VWW, emphasized the program’s impact on empowerment, skill-building, and career advancement.

Applications are open at www.vtworksforwomen.org/trailblazers. Businesses and organizations interested in partnership opportunities are encouraged to contact Missy Mackin at [email protected].

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