Helping Vermonters integrate growth, environmental protections and economic opportunities into their regional and local framework matches Ruffa's commitment to the educational, workforce and business development opportunities in regional and local food economies through her work as Executive Director with Northshire Grows Inc. " I am delighted to serve the state in this capacity and to bring my experience using agriculture and food systems as a lever for community growth to this Board." A member of the Town of Dorset's Select Board, Ruffa recently completed the 2018 Snelling Government Center's Vermont Leadership Institute and looks forward to applying her VLI experience to this work.
Participants in this program will visit business and community organizations over the course of the Fall and early Winter to learn about career opportunities, hear from employers about their hopes and expectations, and gain a better understanding of what to expect after high school. These visits will be intertwined with classroom work on setting personal goals, building skills and knowledge, and planning for the transition out of high school. The goal of the program is to place students in structured work-study opportunities for the Spring semester, where they can make a meaningful contribution to a business or organization while continuing their learning in preparation for graduation. Students will be supported by BBA faculty throughout the process.
With the 2013 passage of the Flexible Pathways Initiative, part of Act 77, the Vermont legislature formalized the notion that not all learning needs to happen in the traditional classroom setting, and in fact, powerful and meaningful learning can occur anywhere. Schools across Vermont, as a result, have been creating and expanding work-based learning programs that provide students with structured opportunities to work with business and community partners, to deepen their knowledge and skills in the attainment of their individual academic and professional goals.
The success of Burr and Burton's new program will depend heavily on the support of businesses and organizations in the community. BBA is looking for individuals or organizations that would like to share their knowledge and resources and who recognize that important learning occurs outside of the classroom. Involvement as a business or community partner means helping students to graduate from high school as better citizens, better informed about opportunities available to them, and better prepared to make meaningful contributions to their local communities and businesses. School to Work Program faculty members will be reaching out to local businesses and organizations in the coming months and would love to hear from anyone interested in partnering with the program.
If you are interested in hosting the class for a visit to your organization during the Fall semester or learning about opportunities to host a work-based-learning student next Spring, please contact Jon Mowry (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Leah MacDonald (email@example.com).