In recent remarks before the Montpelier Rotary Club, Dan Smith, the new interim president of Vermont Technical College in Randolph Center, painted a picture of an institution critical to the success both of the Vermont labor force and to the Vermont economy generally, but one that has financial challenges. Those challenges stem in large part from demographic trends (a drop in the number of young Vermonters coming out of high school, a drop in their interest in math and science among other things) coupled with a commitment by the school to assure tuitions are affordable. State budget pressures also add to the problem.
“I’m very bullish on VTC,” Smith said, noting he’s working hard to stabilize the finances, saying the state can’t afford not to have a technical college preparing students for the workforce. He said he hears from businesses on a regular basis the question: “why can’t you turn out more people?”
VTC offers both two- and four-year degrees and is focused on training young Vermonters for good paying jobs in Vermont businesses. Job placement rate is about 90 percent; there are about 1300 students at VTC now. Tuition is about $20,000 a year (on-campus.)
Smith is a native of Middlesex.