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Jill Biden in Vermont: 'What you are doing in this community is the future of our workforce'

A woman speaks at a podium with an aircraft in the background
Joia Putnoi
/
Vermont Public
First lady Jill Biden speaks at Beta Technologies in South Burlington on Wednesday, April 5, 2023.

First lady Jill Biden visited South Burlington on Wednesday to highlight the importance of connecting the next working generation to technical education programs.

Biden and Gov. Phil Scott toured Beta Technologies, an electric aerospace company based at the Burlington International Airport. And they viewed presentations by students from North Country Technical Center in Newport.

Biden praised Beta Technologies, the Community College of Vermont and others for making it possible for high school students to explore jobs like designing airplanes and maintaining electric vehicles.

People stand near the door of an airplane inside a building
Joia Putnoi
/
Vermont Public
First lady Jill Biden, in red, speaks with Beta Technologies CEO Kyle Clark on Wednesday, April 5, 2023 in South Burlington. Also pictured are Beta Technologies interns, Gov. Phil Scott, Rep. Becca Balint and Jane O'Meara Sanders.

"What you are doing in this community is the future of our workforce," Biden said, "and how we grow our economy from the bottom up and the middle out."

During her speech, Biden highlighted the importance of investing in workforce training programs. She said many high school students don't see a clear path to earning a living.

Several people inside a large building smile in the same direction
Joia Putnoi
/
Vermont Public
First lady Jill Biden, in red, Jane O'Meara Sanders and Rep. Becca Balint visit Beta Technologies in South Burlington on Wednesday, April 5, 2023.

"For most people, a high school diploma alone isn't enough to find a great career. But they don't often need a four-year degree to pursue their passions, either," Biden said. "As technology brings changes to so many industries, these kinds of learning paths are more important than ever."

The U.S. Department of Labor on Wednesday announced an $80 million grant program to support technical training programs across the nation.

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Joia Putnoi worked as a Newsroom Intern from 2022 - 2023.