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Labor of Love program


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Catalog from Labor of Love exhibition celebrating 29 women and their work.

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Labor of Love program

  1. 1. A multi-media exhibit honoring 29 Vermont working women created by Exhibition Guide
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  3. 3. 3 Celebrating 25 years of building confidence, teaching skills and changing lives It is a great pleasure to welcome you to Vermont Works for Women’s Labor of Love exhibit. When we thought about our 25th anniversary, we decided it most appropriate to celebrate by honoring women who represent the spirit of our founders and the women and girls who have been part of our history. The twenty-nine women featured in Labor of Love were chosen from among 150 nominated by their peers throughout the state. They were chosen for the quality of their work and the relish with which they do it. Through Labor of Love we not only pay tribute to our honorees, but to work itself. At its best, work not only pays the bills but is a vehicle for self-expression. It can expose us to mentors who encourage us and challenge us to stretch. And it can connect us to a broader community, whose needs and opportunities can influence our opinions and the choices we make over time. If there’s an immediate call to action implied in Labor of Love, it is to encourage deliberate discussion – among adults, and between children and the adults in their lives – about the choices we have made and the twists and turns of our individual journeys. These are stories worth sharing! They can help us to think differently, or more expansively. They can bolster our resolve when patience wears thin. They can help us tolerate periods of ambiguity. And, because storytelling is an act of communion between two or more people, it has the potential to forge relationships that can support us over the long haul. If you like what you’ve seen, tell others about Labor of Love and encourage them to visit the exhibit as it travels the state over the next twelve months. The lives it celebrates can only help to inspire young people to make choices that are better-informed, grounded in self-knowledge, and deliberate. That, in the end, is our fondest, fiercest desire for the children in our lives. Thank you for supporting our work and helping us toast our first 25 years, Tiffany Bluemle Executive Director
  4. 4. 4 Vermont Works for Women helps women and girls recognize their potential and explore, pursue, and excel in work that leads to economic independence. We work toward the day when women and girls make confident, deliberate choices about life and work that reflect an expansive grasp of the world’s possibilities, a fearless commitment to pursuing their dreams, and that contribute to the vitality of our communities. Research proves the link between job training and lower poverty rates. Investments in training can put Vermont women to work — reducing dependency on government services and raising tax revenue. Clearly, investing in girls and women is good for our communities and the economy. Vermont Works for Women’s programs offer opportunities to explore different interests, to build confidence through mentoring or coaching, and to develop and perfect skills through hands-on training. Board of Trustees Staff Amy Judd Angela Emery Beth Sachs Ann Reading Carolyn Cooke Annie Crawford Christa Shute Erin Galloway Jolinda LaClair Jean Sievert Kat Clear Kali Alvarez Kate Robinson Schubart Karen Dolan Linda Markin Kate Welle Lloyd Grunvald Kathy Johnson Mary Anne Sjoblom Kelly Walsh Pat Sears Leigh Steele Polly Nichol Louise Mastin Retta Huttlinger Lucy Comstock-Gay Steve Gold Melissa Corbin Nadine Budbill Nance Nahmias Rachel Jolly Sarah Jumonville Sarah Loveless StaciAnne Grove Tiffany Bluemle Labor of Love Nominations Committee Volunteers Brenda Bisbee Kristen Brownlow Mary Claire Carroll Sabina Haskell Staff Lucy Comstock-Gay StaciAnne Grove
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  6. 6. 6 About the Labor of Love Exhibit Labor of Love celebrates individual women who are passionate about their work, whether as a dairy farmer, law enforcement professional, or educator. They are filmmakers, tattoo artists, heads of colleges, general store clerks, and doctors. They hail from Newport to Vernon. They are young and young-at-heart, well-known and not. These 29 honorees were selected from more than 150 different women who were nominated from across Vermont by friends, family members, and co-workers. Young women with an interest in exploring career choices and leadership were chosen to interview the honorees and learn about their work and passions. Our Creative Partners The Vermont Folklife Center’s mission is to broaden, strengthen, and deepen our understanding of Vermont and the surrounding region; to assure a repository for our collective cultural memory; and to strengthen communities by building connections among the diverse peoples of Vermont. As a Labor of Love partner, the Folklife Center trained the young women involved in this project in ethnographic interviewing and edited audio from their interviews to appear with the exhibit. These interviews and their transcripts have been archived at the Vermont Folklife Center where they will be available for generations to come. Mary Claire Carroll is the photographer for Labor of Love. She says, “When VWW approached me about creating a photo exhibit honoring women and their work, I jumped at the chance to get involved. I traveled around the state photographing the honorees during the spring and early summer. For the most part, each honoree and I collaborated on the photo sessions, particularly in planning where we would hold the sessions. My goal was always to make the portrait shoot fun and to bring out her passion, not just for her work, but for life as well. It was a joy to work with these amazing women.” Lewis Creek Builders is a dynamic team that builds and renovates homes that are beautiful, comfortable, sustainable, healthy, and green. Amy Judd and Mark Couet of Lewis Creek Builders designed and crafted the wooden and copper displays for the Labor of Love exhibit.
  7. 7. 7 Labor of Love Interview Team Interviews with the honorees were conducted by a group of talented young women in grades 8-12 from across Vermont. They shared an interest in meeting these remarkable working women to learn about career choices, leadership, and professional inspiration. Thank you for your help in creating Labor of Love! Jordan Cannon Mary Chambers Emma Lea Hearthstone Rosie Kirk Brooke Kurutza Kiana LaFleche Quinn McVeigh Mikayla Montani The Labor of Love exhibit is proudly supported by: Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew, P.C. Lewis Creek Builders Vermont Energy Investment Corporation Bonnie Mullaney Meghan Owens Elizabeth Pidgeon Amanda Preston Lexie Shaw Katie Stames Brooke Wells
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  9. 9. 9 Listen up! Labor of Love champions 29 Vermonters and their work. This exhibit consists of photographs of the honorees and audio excerpts from interviews conducted by young women from across the state. Hear the honorees’ comments and insights on their work. Using your phone, simply dial the number listed below each portrait. We hope you will enjoy this unique opportunity to listen to the women speak about their work in their own words. Listening is free, but your normal cell phone plan minutes will apply. The number for each honoree’s audio is also included in this guide so that you may access it from any location, at any time. Main Number: 802-922-9259 Once in the audio portion of the exhibit, you will hear a brief greeting and instructions on how to access specific recordings. You may use the following commands at any time:  Press 1 Rewind  Press 2 Pause or resume  Press 3 Fast forward  Press # Skip
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  11. 11. 11 Cristina Alicea Recording 303 Artistic Director, Vermont Stage Company Cristina is an example of how important it is for women to actively create the work they want. Only a few years after graduating from college, she became her own boss at her own theater company so that she could produce and direct the plays about which she was most passionate. She consciously continued to seek out the knowledge and ex- perience she needed to continue to do the work she cared about. She is carrying out her vision with the courage of her convictions and a delightful, infectious sense of humor and realism.  Lucie deLaBruere Recording 312 Educational Technology Consultant Lucie is a leader in technology integration in schools - she helps teachers integrate technology into their work with students. Lucie works with elementary, middle and high school students; she does professional development with educators; she teaches graduate courses; she is a Google- certified instructor. Whatever the most current technol- ogy, Lucie learns it while it is cutting edge and takes it to students and educators. Her nominator noted, “She is passionate about technology and about girls and gender equity. She loves her work. It seems there is no end to her enthusiasm, commitment, and zeal.” Meet our Honorees This exhibit recognizes exceptional working women as part of Vermont Works for Women’s 25th anniversary. We honor these women for their hard work and dedication. Their extraordinary passion, determination and courage inspire us in the work we do. We thank them for sharing their stories! The profiles below were crafted from various sources, including the nominations and interviews. To access the recordings, dial 802-922-9259 and follow the directions from the greeting. With each short profile is the recording number you can use to hear an excerpt of the accompanying interview.
  12. 12. 12 Carina Driscoll Recording 316 Founder, Vermont Woodworking School As co-founder and former Program and Site Director at Vermont Woodworking School for Burlington College, Carina exemplifies how work can fulfill one’s own needs while also serving a greater purpose. Her nominators sin- gled out her entrepreneurial nature and strong leadership skills as key factors that led to the founding of the school. In addition to being “ambitious, bright, and a positive leader, her ability to bring people in to participate in this project, utilize their strengths, and recognize them as an important part of something bigger differentiates her from others in her field.” Kim Furlong & Carolyn Dicicco Recording 326 Former Owners, Barnard General Store Kim and Carolyn owned and operated the Barnard General Store for 18 years. According to their nominator, “They are the hardest working people I have known in my years here in Vermont. They live and work this store 24/7 … and hold a very special place in the hearts of each and every person in this community.” In the wake of Tropical Storm Irene and the snowless winter that followed, Kim and Carolyn made the painful decision to close the store. “We would never have intended to leave the community without their store. It was just the most wonderful place and loving experience. It really was a labor of love.” Anne Galloway Recording 306 Founder/Editor-in-Chief, Anne’s nominator attributed the success of the online news source VT Digger to her. As founder and editor-in-chief, Anne is “committed to the underlying principle of a strong, fact-based press and its critical role in maintaining a functioning democracy.” Posting as many as three stories a day, she is revered by her peers and “runs articulate and credible opinion pieces from all ends of the political spectrum.” In her interview with Mary Chambers, Anne said of her work, “My job is to make the law-making process real for people.”
  13. 13. 13 Nancy Heydinger Recording 323 Executive Director, Girls on the Run Vermont Twelve years ago Nancy began Girls on the Run Vermont with fifteen young women. In 2011, Girls on the Run Vermont managed more than one hundred 10-12 week program sites and hosted two major 5k running events for over 5,000 runners. Nancy pursued the vision that the program could be a big, bold, statewide reality for thousands of girls and their families. Nancy also continues to grow and learn as an athlete. Her nominator said, “Nancy's enthusiasm and determination inject fun and inspiration into my own work and play.” Tara Kelly Recording 324 Executive Director, Rutland Area Farm and Food Link Tara has enthusiastically led and championed the local food movement in the Rutland area. She works toward “big picture” goals that connect farming to health and nutrition initiatives, sustainability movements, and economic development efforts. Her nominator wrote, “Tara's ability to connect with people from across Rutland's socio- economic spectrum … is one of her greatest strengths and what sets her apart in her field. She truly understands that effective community building starts and ends with the people in the community.” Sandy Lincoln Recording 314 Owner, Sandy’s Books and Bakery Through her store in Rochester, Sandy provides “a unique gathering place for the community – an oasis of culture, discussion, and education.” According to her employees who nominated her, “She nourishes and nurtures everyone with her healthy food and generous nature.” Building on prior experience in books and food, Sandy has created a sustainable, year-round business. “She has been basically a self-taught, self-made woman. She learns by doing and tries new things and experiments. All of her success is due to her own hard work and ambition.”
  14. 14. 14 Vermont Works for Women Brings Lunafest to Burlington for a 2nd year! We hope you’ll join us Friday, April 12th, 2013 at Main Street Landing This year’s selection of films includes a short on Burlington resident Georgena Terry, the founder of Terry - the Original Women’s Bicycling Company. Dynamic, hands-on and adventure-based, empowerment programs for girls entering the 6th-8th grades Learn more on our website Next summer’s memories are just waiting to happen! November 10 - December 31, 2012 Winooski Welcome Center & Gallery January 4 - 30, 2013 Vermont Folklife Center, Middlebury February 2 - 28, 2013 Vermont State House, Montpelier March 2013 University of Vermont, Burlington April 4 - June 26, 2013 G.R.A.C.E. Gallery, Hardwick Watch the VWW website for more dates, locations and events!
  15. 15. 15 Deborah Lisi-Baker Recording 305 Associate Director, Center on Disability and Community Inclusion, UVM Deborah has dedicated her career to advocating for the human and civil rights of people with disabilities. Her nominator stated that “She is one of a handful of individuals in Vermont whose name is consistently mentioned when the subject of disability rights is discussed. She has been and continues to be a driving force in this battle.” In her interview with Bonnie Mullaney, Deborah said, “It is part of our commitment as Americans to be equal. Getting people to understand that and own it … is a big challenge. I’ve seen remarkable changes.” Lucy Martin Recording 321 Manager, White’s Fuel Stop As manager of White’s Fuel Stop in Danby who puts in 14-hour days, Lucy loves her work, and her customers love her. According to her daughter who nominated her, some people in town will only go to the store when Lucy is there, and she goes above and beyond for everyone. “My mom shows that her work does pay. She has given herself so much by working, and she has shown me that hard work will get you what you need in life.” Ita Meno Recording 307 Code Enforcement Inspector, City of Burlington Ita ensures that all rental housing in the city of Burlington is safe and habitable. As her nominator stated, she is exceptional, and she makes a difference in people’s lives. “Home is personal and is supposed to be comforting and safe, yet for many people it is not. These people may or may not understand their rights … they may feel scared of eviction, and they might not have anywhere else to go. Ita is there to listen to them when they have concerns and to ensure that their house can be a home. She gives them hope.”
  16. 16. 16 Barbara Murphy Recording 320 President, Johnson State College As President of Johnson State College since 2001, Barbara is known for her ability to “balance policy and mission with compassion and a human touch.” Her nominator stated that “she is positively regarded by her peers, both in higher education circles and in the community, but also by those she supervises as well as those who supervise her. It's the quality of her wide-ranging intellect that distinguishes her, plus the way she empowers those around her. She exudes genuine enthusiasm for all things Johnson State College, and makes them grist for her incredibly hard-working mill.” Meredith Muse Martin Recording 301 Owner, Shady Lady Tattoo Parlour Meredith is a tattoo artist and the owner of the Shady Lady Tattoo Parlour. According to her nominator, “She is so much more than a tattoo artist. She helps people work through difficult times … and has created her own shop, not clinical like most tattoo parlors, but magical, welcoming, and special.” As Meredith told her interviewer Elizabeth Pidgeon, “I’ve made a really good business despite having not really gotten a good education. I feel I’m not only a good business owner but also a teacher and a leader in my community.” Bess O’Brien Recording 328 Filmmaker, Kingdom County Productions Bess is one of Vermont's leading filmmakers and creative artists. For more than 20 years, she has produced documentaries, feature films, and theatrical works that explore and illuminate the fabric, landscape, and culture of Vermont. Her nominator cited her persistence, determination, and compassion as qualities that distinguish her in her field. “Despite the very daunting challenges of running a non-profit arts organization, the work that Bess produces is important, all-consuming, engaging, and rewarding. It is central to who she is as a person and is based on her values and ‘personal mission’ of social justice.”
  17. 17. 17 Nari Penson Recording 319 Teacher, The Schoolhouse Learning Center Nari is in her 30th year as a teacher at The Schoolhouse, a private, non-profit elementary school. Growing up in the south during the life and time of Martin Luther King, Jr., Nari brings with her a depth of experience that few in Ver- mont can claim. Her nomination noted that she “deserves recognition for the way she demands justice in the fairest way possible, the way she teaches her charges with great love and equanimity, and for her graciousness through the many years of melt-downs and other challenges that she has finessed. She understands the beauty on the inside of every child and gently encourages them to be their best.” Diana V. Perez Recording 310 Legal Advocate, Women Helping Battered Women Chinese Medicine Practitioner Diana provides direct service to victims of domestic violence, largely to seek relief and protection in Family Court, and en- sures the program is running smoothly. Her nominator noted that, “She has also introduced the notion of active self-care to our staff at Women Helping. Doing crisis work, you can forget how much you take out on yourself or your colleagues, and she has created space and focus on our own needs so that we may better help those we serve.” When not at Women Helping, she practices Chinese medicine. Mary Powell Recording 302 Chief Executive Officer, Green Mountain Power Mary manages her high profile position with grace and com- posure. As a deeply engaged board member at Vermont Public Radio, Champlain College, and previously at the Vermont Land Trust, Mary balances her demanding career with civic and philanthropic engagement, inspiring colleagues and community members alike. Powell spoke about what keeps her going. “For me, it’s been really important to do work that is meaningful, in the context of Green Mountain Power, it is about moving towards a cleaner, greener future but in a cost-effective way for Vermonters.”
  18. 18. 18 Annie Ramniceanu Recording 309 Clinical Director, Spectrum Youth and Family Services Annie works at Spectrum in the dual role of Associate Ex- ecutive Director and Clinical Director. As such, she oversees all of the programs at Spectrum, including the mental health/ substance abuse counseling unit, the substance abuse prevention program in schools, the drop-in center for homeless and at-risk teens, the residences for homeless and foster youth, and the domestic violence intervention and prevention programs. Her work sets the stage for these clients to make better choices in their lives. Jan Ruta Recording 317 Owner/Master Electrician, Jan Ruta Electric Jan is a master electrician in central Vermont. In addition to owning her own business, she also teaches frequently at Yestermorrow Design/Build School and Barre Tech Center. Jan is dedicated to passing along her skill and knowledge to others, specifically mentoring other women. Her nominator noted that, “When I went through the Step Up program in 1999, Jan was the electrical instructor for my class. She inspired me to actually pursue a career in the electrical field, which I did and have been working in it for over 10 years. Jan is the catalyst for that.” Amanda Sheppard Recording 322 Therapeutic Riding Instructor Amanda is a single mother who works tirelessly to better her own life, the life of her son, and her community by being a therapeutic riding instructor for adults and children with special needs, be they physical or emotional challenges. With her loving support and guidance, people's lives are transformed by riding and caring for horses. Her nominator wrote, “The impact is amazing, I have seen her work with autistic children who really open up and achieve in other areas of their lives because of her therapeutic riding instructions. It is truly heartwarming.”
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  21. 21. 21 Tracy Simon Recording 318 Lieutenant, Orange County Sherriff’s Office Tracy is lead detective with the Special Investigations Unit. She also assists in training new police officers, investigates animal abuse and neglect cases, and does a lot of work with troubled and at-risk children. In addition to serving as a police officer, she has been an activist in working to improve our DUI laws, and a resource for everyone from troubled families to community leaders and the Vermont legislature. Her special passion is mentoring, so that the people she interacts with can not only solve problems and improve things for themselves, but can also grow to the point where they can pass it on. Karen Sokol Recording 325 Owner, At Home Physicians Karen is the founder and sole physician of At Home Physicians, a home visit practice. She developed this business because of her desire to spend more time with her patients. She sees all her patients, from birth to end of life, in their homes and in nursing homes, throughout Chittenden County. She was nominated by one of her patients, who said: “I am grateful for the logistical ease we experience because Dr. Sokol comes to us. Mother has dementia, and I take comfort in Dr. Sokol’s kind, gentle manner as she interacts with her. She questions, listens and evaluates with patience, warmth, and genuine concern.” Michelle Tarryk Recording 311 Executive Director, Northeast Kingdom Learning Services Michelle started her life in Vermont as a herdswoman on a dairy farm. When the farm she was working on was sold, she started as a recruiter for an UVM Extension Program with the migrant farmer program, and moved to NEKLS afterwards. A co-worker wrote of Michelle’s work, “Her enthusiasm to try new ideas in service of our students has had an impact on our community. The dedication, enthusiasm and belief in others makes her an inspiration and role model to many.”
  22. 22. 22 Candace Taylor Recording 304 Coordinator of Programming and Leadership Development , UVM Candace is the coordinator of events and educational pro- gramming at the UVM Women's Center. She supervises stu- dents, and plans many events for the Women's Center in- cluding The Vagina Monologues, Women of Color Retreat, Women at Noon, and the Women's Award Banquet. She makes time for and empowers those she comes in contact with. Candace has deep roots outside the community of UVM as well, working closely with community organizations like RU12, Women Helping Battered Women, Women's Rape Crisis Center, and Winooski Judicial Board. Marie Tiemann Recording 308 Endowment Accountant, UVM Marie is an Endowment Accountant at the University of Vermont. Her journey from welfare recipient to accountant for a $300 million endowment is truly inspirational. Her nominator wrote, “She attended college part time so she could prepare for a better life and still concentrate on raising three children in a stable and loving home. Although she was on welfare, she refused to let herself or her children consider themselves poor; they were rich in relationships - both family and friends. Today she encourages other single mothers, mentors college students, is active in her church and passes on her life skills in multiple settings.” Brenda Torpy Recording 313 Chief Executive Officer, Champlain Housing Trust Brenda was nominated by a group of colleagues and supporters who wrote that, “Brenda is a force to be reckoned with, constantly in motion inspiring all around her, demanding all with whom she works to do more for affordable housing. She is an inspiration to her staff, her colleagues and to funders, helping all of us to make the case that we can do the impossible and do it well. She is passionate and articulate, never afraid to make the case for social justice and equitable treatment of the least fortunate among us.”
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  24. 24. 24 The Schoolhouse Learning Center is beaming with pride, Nari. Thanks for sharing your labor and your love with us for the past 30 years! is proudly supported by Vermont Recycles Flowers A “Good Will” Branch of Chappell’s Florist New life for donated flowers
  25. 25. 25 Rosina Wallace Recording 315 Dairy Farmer Rosina was nominated by a friend who wrote, “Rosina's labor of love is being a dairy farmer. She also works at the Cabot Annex selling the products of her labor. Vermont farming is Rosina's life and she loves to share her farm and knowledge with schools and day care groups every chance she gets. She has a program where the children come for a visit at the farm to learn about Vermont dairy farming and to taste the health benefits that come from having farms in our state. Rosina works long hours to care for her animals and is a steward of the land. Anyone that knows her respects her dedication.” Hannah Deene Wood Recording 327 Owner, Talent Skatepark Hannah’s nomination was from a fellow Zumba® instructor. Her nomination spoke of Hannah’s deep passion for working with kids. “Talent Skatepark is more than just a recreation facility. Hannah has helped create a place where kids can go, be safe and practice what they love. Hannah knows and cares about each and every person who walks in the door. She has kids that started skating at Talent 10 years ago still hanging out and/or working at the park and shop. They see Hannah as a role model and respect her tremendously.”
  26. 26. 26 Training Women Using foodservice skills to prepare women for the workforce Feeding Children Providing nutritious meals to the youth in our community Sourcing Locally Supporting local agriculture and building relationships with Vermont businesses VWW Celebrates All the remarkable Women who were Nominated for their Labor of Love Erin Ahearn Julia Andrews  Dee Barbic PJ Beauchamp Trine Bech  Carol Bick Susan Biggam Carol Blattspieler Janette Bombardier  Jaime Bressler Valerie Brosseau  Maureen Brown  Anjali Budreski  Cornelia Carey  Sarah Carpenter Adrianne Carr  Nancy Cassidy Jennifer Castle  Kim Coe  Jennifer Cohen Sara Couture  Diane Dalmasse  Sally Dames  Lauren-Glenn Davitian Amy Dohner  Lucille Dyer  Daisy Frederick  Poppy Gall  Victoria Garrison Barbara Geries  Patricia Giavara  Sue Gillis  Rachel Gitajn Sky Barsch Gleiner  Barbara Grimes  Sharon Gutwin  Elise Guyette Addie Hall  Gwen Hallsmith  Leslie Halperin Carole Harvey Ellen Hill Mary Hill  Morgaine Jennings  Marie Jewett  Linda Johnson  Ingrid Jonas  Dorigen Keeney  Jess Kell Jill Krowinski Cheryl LaLancette  Susan Leader  Cindy Locke  Victoria Loner Rita Markley  Patricia McAllister  Wendy McArdle  Pam McCarthy Jennifer McGowan  Felicia Messuri  Natalie Miller  Sue Minter Colleen Montgomery  Carol Morgan-Brown  Meg Mott Lauren Moye  Emma Mulvaney-Stanak  Louise Murphy  Aimee Nolan Audra Pinto  Renee Bourget Place  Carol Pratt  Linda Ramsdell Judy Rickstad  Jan Riordan  Sharon Ross  Kris Rowley Jessica Sidway  Sherry Siebenaler  Kim Simonds Chris Staats  Janice Stuart  Lisa Sylvester  Heidi Tappan Eve Thorsen  Helen Toor  Becca Van Dyke Kate Vanderminden  Lynn Vera  Ann Vivian  Marieken Volz Bernadette Wagner  Ann Weinstein Jodi Wheeler Sandra Wilbur Jennifer Williams  Maryann Zavez For more information, contact Melissa Corbin at 655.8900, x114
  27. 27. 27 LABOR OF LOVE DISCUSSION GUIDE At its best, work connects us to our communities and to colleagues who open our eyes and affirm our efforts. It gives us a sense of purpose. It engages our passion, our intelligence, and our talent. Children develop opinions about their abilities at an early age. VWW offers programs that introduce young women to technical activities and the skilled trades – not necessarily to encourage girls to choose a specific career but rather to help them express themselves, think critically, and develop the capacities and confidence to go forward in the world with eagerness and self-confidence – all with a sense that they can be or do whatever they wish. Labor of Love offers a unique opportunity to expose young people to a range of careers. We hope that after you experience the exhibit you will feel inspired to both ask about—and listen to — other’s stories. Questions you may want to ask the children or youth in your life:  What are some careers you think you might enjoy when you are older?  What are your favorite subjects in school?  How do you like to spend your time outside of school?  How do you like to work? (with others, on your own, with your hands, on a computer, using your body, inside, etc.)  What kind of training or education will you need to pursue these careers?  If you don’t know what kind of training you would need, who can help you find out? Questions for children and youth to ask of people they respect and look up to:  Describe what you do and what you love about it.  What did you do after high school and how did you find your way to your current career?  Describe what you do and what work means to you.  Describe a “turning point” moment or a “special person” who influenced you.  What advice would you have for a young person interested in exploring career choices?
  28. 28. 28 building confidence Teaching Skills changing lives VWW programs are designed with one central aim in mind: to assist women and girls in thinking about their lives in the broadest terms — and to help them develop skills and capacities that are critical to long-term economic independence. It is widely known that women are twice as likely as men, across all educational levels and age groups, to live in poverty. What many don’t know is the fact that of women living below the poverty rate, half are single with no dependent children. The reasons are many, and generally well-documented. Women are paid 77% of what a man earns for the same work with comparable experience and education. Over the course of a lifetime, that income gap amounts to over $400,000 in lost earnings – which not only reduces her buying power while employed, but reduces the social security benefit she will receive upon retirement. Women in the workforce also earn less because 40% work in traditionally female fields (health care, education, elder or childcare, hospitality or retail sales) in which wages are typically low – and lag about $3-5 behind entry- level rates in traditionally male fields like construction, law enforcement or manufacturing. Women now provide almost 50% of the nation’s labor – and 36% of the average family’s income. Addressing women’s poverty isn’t just a women’s issue – it’s an issue for our families and the economy. This is where Vermont Works for Women comes in. PROVIDING ACCESS TO NONTRADITIONAL CAREERS VWW offers intensive training programs for women interested in pursuing nontraditional career paths such as building trades, renewable energy and efficiency, and law enforcement. These programs – including Step Up to Green Electrical and Plumbing, Step Up to Law Enforcement, and Step Up to Telecommunications – are offered in partnership with leading employers and are designed to help women enter and flourish in those fields. MOVING WOMEN INTO EMPLOYMENT AND SUPPORTING THEIR SUCCESS Our Transitional Jobs program is designed for women in Washington and Chittenden Counties with little or no work experience (among them, women coming off of public assistance) and/or women who are returning to the community after incarceration. Through this program, participants are placed in part-time transitional jobs and are supported by workplace men- tors and weekly classes with VWW staff.
  29. 29. 29 FRESH Food, a social enterprise of VWW, uses the culinary field as the backdrop for job training, providing nutritious meals to nearby childcare centers while helping women develop the confidence and marketable skills needed to transition into permanent employment. We prepare meals from scratch and sell wholesome, nutritious food products with a commitment to incorporating local ingredients and promoting socially responsible practices that respect the environment and the trainees’ holistic wellbeing. Beginning in 2011 with just four childcare centers, FRESH Food now serves 250 meals per day at 15 childcare centers and youth groups. The Centers for Disease Control Obesity Prevention branch has recognized this program as an exemplary central kitchen model in early care and education. Our prison-based programs prepare inmates for re-entry through job training and one-on-one pre-release planning. Through a partnership with Mercy Connections, our mentoring program assists incarcerated women as they transition into their community by helping them set goals and connect with community resources. The recidivism rate for women who participate in the mentoring program is one-tenth the state average. INVESTING IN THE NEXT GENERATION: BUILDING CONFIDENCE AND AWARENESS Rosie’s Girls and Dirt Divas are summer programs that serve over 100 middle school girls each year. Through the skilled trades or mountain bik- ing activities, participants develop self-efficacy and a broader sense of their options. Our annual Women Can Do conference, now approaching its 15h year, exposes high school girls to nontraditional career opportunities and encour- ages them to take technical courses, enroll at technical high schools, and consider careers in these fields. Nearly 500 hundred girls and their teachers attend the conference each year. Stay Connected to the Vision of VWW Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter at Follow the VWW programs on Facebook: /vtworksforwomen /rosiesgirls /freshfoodvt
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