Originally published in the St. Albans Messenger on November 20, 2020.

The Community College of Vermont is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2020. For forty-five of those fifty years, one of CCV’s twelve statewide academic centers has been located in St. Albans. We have always been proud to be members of this community.

This fall, we are excited to announce our move from South Main Street to a new location at the corner of Congress and Main. This is a much-anticipated change, and one that comes with many benefits.

Amid the impressive revitalization efforts underway in the city of St. Albans, CCV is eager to bring its students, faculty, and staff to the heart of downtown. During our fall semester, almost 400 students in the St. Albans area are taking classes at CCV. Our learning community is diverse, and includes high school students getting a jump start on their college education, veterans and military personnel, and working adults looking to upskill and move forward in their careers.

And as Vermont responds to and recovers from the impacts of COVID-19, CCV is playing an important role in helping Vermonters get back on their feet. We’re seeing strong participation in initiatives designed to provide greater access to CCV’s supportive advising, career-focused programs, and flexible, innovative course models.

This fall, the number of recent high school graduates enrolled at CCV was roughly double that of previous years, thanks to a generous gift from the J. Warren and Lois McClure Foundation of one free CCV course for all members of the Vermont high school class of 2020. The McClure Foundation recognized that these young Vermonters, who faced so much uncertainty as they left high school, stood to benefit from CCV’s one-on-one advising and college and career resources.

With support from the Governor, the Vermont Legislature allocated $2.3 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds to the Vermont State Colleges System so that Vermonters whose jobs have been impacted by COVID-19 could sign up for free classes and training. Nearly 500 people have chosen to take advantage of this opportunity at CCV.

In addition, the J. Warren and Lois McClure Foundation recently identified seven ‘best bet’ career training programs for Vermonters in 2021 that lead to a credential, and a chance to land a promising job, within 18 months. Four of the seven programs are available through CCV, in graphic design, bookkeeping, IT, and manufacturing. Up to 40 Vermonters in each program will be eligible for $1,000 scholarships through the Vermont Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund.

CCV is also offering more short-term credentials that easily build toward degrees in high-demand fields such as manufacturing, child care, and IT. We’re collaborating closely with businesses, and at our new St. Albans center, we’ll be working alongside Vermont Tech and Northwestern Medical Center to expand pathways into nursing careers. With close to 25 years of expertise in online education, we’re well-suited to continue delivering a high-quality academic experience in a remote setting, and have diversified our course delivery models to offer flexible, synchronous, and accelerated classes.

As we prioritize the health and safety of our community with robust online offerings this fall and next spring, we look forward to the day when students, faculty, staff, and community members can return to our state-of-the-art classrooms and facilities at 97 North Main St. Thank you for welcoming CCV to your downtown as we embark on this exciting next chapter in our 45-year history in St. Albans.

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