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The vtTA Joins with Governor to Promote Computer Science Education in Vermont Schools

Tuesday, February 5, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jeff Couture

At a press conference on January 30, the Vermont Technology Alliance and representatives of Vermont tech businesses joined with, Governor Phil Scott and Education Secretary Dan French to proclaim January 30th as “Make Computer Science Count” Day in Vermont.

The proclamation comes with a letter to school districts from Secretary French, highlighting the importance of computer science classes and recommending school districts consider making computer science count as a math or science credit.

“The benefits are clear. STEM and computer science programs not only prepare our students for the workforce but also encourage students to follow through on their education by providing exciting and valuable learning opportunities,” said Governor Scott. “Our goal is to make more of these learning opportunities available to students across the state.”

With only 26 teachers in Vermont with a computer science credential, a curriculum mandate is not a practicable solution. However, there are resources and opportunities available to educators right now through the Vermont Computer Science Alliance. Governor Scott also recently announced a digital alliance with Microsoft, aimed at delivering digital education to more students and families across the state.

“We’re thrilled the Governor recognizes the importance of computer science education for the youngest generation of Vermonters,” said Marty Thieret, Co-Founder & CEO of C2 - Competitive Computing. “As a growing Vermont company, we look for candidates with a deep passion for technology and a drive to be at the forefront of this ever-evolving industry. We’re committed to working together to invest in and grow our workforce to attract and retain talent in Vermont,” Thieret added.

The outlook for computer science jobs in Vermont is bright with over 500 open positions today, in industries from manufacturing to agriculture to health care. Vermont is investing significant resources in developing 7th – 12th grade Career Pathways, including cybersecurity and related computer-based fields, that are aligned with projected state workforce needs.

According to the most recent Vermont Department of Labor study, the state has about 74,000 tech sector job and workers in these jobs make 67 percent above the state average wage for all occupations.

The following organizations joined the Governor for the signing of the proclamation: Microsoft; Competitive Computing, Inc; Green Mountain Semiconductor, Inc; rbTechnologies, LLC; Vermont Chamber of Commerce; Burlington Code Academy; GlobalFoundries; Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce; Logic Supply; Renaissance Information Systems; Vermont Computer Science Alliance; Vermont Technology Alliance; and Generator

Read Secretary French’s message to school districts, here.

Read the Governor's proclamation here.