james and bongartz

State Reps. Kathleen James and Seth Bongartz are working this summer to plan two events, a housing summit and a career expo, for fall.

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State Reps. Kathleen James and Seth Bongartz have announced that they are planning two “solution summits” for the fall.

The first event, Vermont Housing Summit 2021, is set for Oct. 13 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Arlington. It’s an all-day workshop focused on the nuts and bolts of building housing for low- and moderate-income Vermonters.

Key players from Vermont’s housing community will attend, including Josh Hanford, the commissioner of the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development; Gus Seelig (executive director, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board), and representatives from Vermont Housing Finance Agency, Bennington County Regional Commission, Shires Housing, and the towns of Arlington and Manchester.

The housing workshop is open to anyone interested in learning more about expanding housing across the state. A full agenda and registration link will be ready later this summer.

The second event, Northshire Career Expo 2021, will be held Nov. 4 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester. It’s a hands-on career fair for high-school students and adult job-seekers focused on Vermont’s most promising high-pay, high-demand careers, plus best-bet short-term training programs.

The three-hour expo will include display tables, mobile vans, three fast-paced mini-panels, and representatives from the Department of Labor, Vermont State Colleges and Community College of Vermont, UVM, Advance Vermont and the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation, and employers across key industries (healthcare and mental health, business management and manufacturing, building trades, military and law enforcement, education, tourism and hospitality, and many more).

This free event is open to high-school students from BBA, Arlington Memorial and Long Trail School, plus any adult Northshire resident who’d like to learn more about Vermont’s most promising career pathways. Advance registration may be required; look for details later this summer.

In addition to planning these events, James and Bongartz are staying in touch with constituents and working on legislative projects for the 2022 session, which begins on Jan. 4.

James is serving on the Task Force on the Implementation of the Pupil Weighting Factors Report, a bipartisan House-Senate panel charged with recommending to the General Assembly an action plan and legislation to ensure that all public-school students have equitable access to educational opportunities. Nominated by House Speaker Jill Krowinski, she’s also been accepted to two leadership programs: the Council of State Governments Eastern Leadership Academy in August in Philadelphia, Pa., and the National Conference of State Legislatures Emerging Leaders Program in December in Alexandria, Va. (These conferences are funded by the host organizations, not by Vermont taxpayers.)

Bongartz is co-chairing a summer study workgroup on the challenges and opportunities of Vermont’s forest economy. The plan includes Zoom and in-person meetings with leaders in this vital economic sector, and site visits around the state. He’s also collaborating with several colleagues to submit legislation that will update Act 250, Vermont’s landmark land-use law.

For more information, contact James at 802-733-1435 or KJames@leg.state.vt.us, or Bongartz at 802-598-3477 or SBongartz@leg.state.vt.us.


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