MONTPELIER, Vt. – Today, 43 students were awarded the Association of Community Rehabilitation Educators’ (ACRE) Basic Certificate, representing the completion of 40 hours of training offered by Community College of Vermont (CCV) in partnership with the Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living (DAIL) and TransCen, Inc. ACRE is a national organization that promotes training and education for vocational rehabilitation workers. CCV is one of seven institutions nationwide that has been approved by ACRE to offer the basic certification.
“In an increasingly tight labor market, upskilling all workers will be critical to the economic viability of Vermont businesses and nonprofit organizations,” said Hugh Bradshaw, employment services manager with Vocational Rehabilitation Vermont (VR), a division of DAIL. “This certificate was developed specifically for those individuals who are helping connect employers to candidates who may have barriers to employment. We believe this unique partnership between the Agency of Human Services and CCV could be a model for workforce development across all sectors of the economy.”
Tuesday’s award ceremony was held at CCV’s Montpelier academic center and was attended by Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees Chair Martha O’Connor, members of the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee, and members of the Vermont Association of Business Industry and Rehabilitation (VABIR), among others.
Many VABIR staff members were among those who earned certificates. “This course has taken [their] confidence to a new level,” VABIR Executive Director Chris McCarthy said of staff. “Because of the tools that they received through the course, they are able to help provide confidence to their clients. People who come from generational poverty now have someone in their corner. Is it benefiting my organization? Yes. It provides better training and better learning. We’re going to be able to better serve people.”
An additional goal of the program is to prepare graduates to sit for the Certified Employment Support Professionals (CESP) exam, and those with one full year of experience working in the field of vocational rehabilitation are expected to be able to meet this goal. The exam qualifies workers for CESP certification, a nationally-recognized credential.