Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom has long been characterized by limited economic opportunities and a low percentage of residents with a four-year college education. The Center for Rural Entrepreneurship (CRE) was established in 2007 to help reverse that trend by keeping and creating jobs in the region that require higher skill levels and educational attainment. Central to the CRE’s programs is better aligning the needs of area businesses to education—from kindergarten through college graduation.
iWOW matches the expertise of Lyndon faculty and students in support of local businesses in the form of technical assistance including market analysis, business plan development, cost analysis, and graphic and web design. As of December 2012, iWOW has served 109 businesses and involved 183 students in hands-on learning experiences that helped create or keep 78 jobs.
Initiated in 2011, the NEKMTP delivers customized trainings in response to the needs of the region’s manufacturers. These employers, who collectively employ 14 percent of the region’s workforce, have expressed that they have an ongoing challenge finding skilled workers.