VCW VIEW Newsletter, June 2nd

VCW's latest VIEW Newsletter Message.

Recent Events & Resources

  • Governor Shumlin signed H.620, the Access to Birth Control bill into law last week.  The bill codifies the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit for Vermonters, ensuring no-cost birth control; extends the no-cost birth control benefit to vasectomies; allows the dispensing of one year’s supply of prescription birth control; and improves access to long acting reversible contraception (LARC) by increasing LARC reimbursement rate for Medicaid providers, making the devices more economical to stock. The bill also creates a special open enrollment period to uninsured pregnant women.  Vermont is the third state to codify the ACA Birth Control Benefit, and Vermont and Maryland are the first states to extend the benefit to vasectomies.
  • Find out what you need to know about the U.S. Department of Labor’s new overtime rule, which raised the salary threshold from $23,660 to $47,476 per year.

Read Secretary of Labor Tom Perez’s blog post, Middle Class Work Deserves Middle Class Wages.

Explore the data about who benefits from the new rule.  

Learn about what options employers have to comply.

Review sector specific detailed guidance on this rule for employers specific in the private, non-profit, and higher-education sectors.

You can also read the joint report from MomsRising and the Institutie for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), How the New Overtime Rule Will Help Women & Families.

  • The Permanent Fund’s campaign, Let’s Grow Kids released a new report called Stalled at the Start.  The report finds that Vermont’s overall child care supply is far below demand, and that 79% of Vermont’s infants and toddlers don’t have access to high-quality day care, where high quality is defined as receiving a rating of four or five STARS.
  • VT Digger convened a discussion about the opiate crisis on May 18th in White River Junction.  If you missed it, you can view a video of the event online.
  • The Extension Women in Agriculture Learning Network offered a webinar called Labor Law & Your Farm or Ranch on May 17.  If you missed it, you can request a copy of the recording here.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor held a round-table discussion about featuring major corporations about the business benefits of paid leave.  You can hear how paid leave can strengthen businesses’ bottom line here.
  • The Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy and the Center for Social Policy John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies University of Massachusetts Boston published It’s About Time; Costs and Coverage of Paid Family and Medical Leave in Massachusetts, a new report providing timely estimates of the benefits and costs of establishing a paid leave program for Massachusetts workersDownload the full report, and the info-graphics of key findings, including that the average weekly cost is only $3.06 per worker.
  • CLASP compiled a list of the more than 30 U.S. jurisdictions that have passed paid sick days laws and regulations.
  • Champlain College’s center for Financial Literacy launched, an online resource for middle and high school educators to identify classroom curriculum and tools.
  • Mercy Connections celebrates participants and honors David Coates at Annual May Luncheon. Mercy Connections thanks the more than 400 community members who attended the annual May Luncheon at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center.  The room was full of generous sponsors and supporters. Each year the Board of Directors selects a person who exemplifies mercy values and the example of Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy.  This year, the board honored David Coates with the Catherine McAuley award for living and modeling the values of mercy and lifelong service to others. David graciously thanked those in the room and honored the work of Mercy Connections, “This is an organization that has been changing lives in our community one person at a time.  They are the ultimate life changers in our diverse and needy community.  The mission of the Sisters of Mercy continues on through Mercy Connections.” David is a lifelong resident of Colchester, Vt. Attendees also heard testimonies from participants across various Mercy Connections programs. Mark Karas, Crystal Connelly, Coumba Ba, and Lacretia Johnson-Flash all shared stories about the influence of Mercy Connections on their life and careers. Mercy Connections is an educational values-driven non-profit organization living the legacy of the Sisters of Mercy with an enduring concern for women.  By compassionately nurturing self-sufficiency through education, mentoring, entrepreneurship and community, people are empowered to make significant life changes.
  • Digital Safety and Career Opportunities Survey for Parents. The National Cyber Security Alliance, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, National PTA, National Girls Collaborative Project, and Educational Research Center of America, invite you to participate in a short survey on family digital safety practices and cybersecurity careers. If you are the parent of a middle- or high-school student, your input is needed to help make positive changes happen for youth and families. You will also be given the opportunity to voluntarily receive follow-up information about family digital safety practices, cybersecurity careers, and other career and educational opportunities that could be helpful to you and your family. Questions about this project should be directed to:
  • MomsRising is requesting people sign on to ask U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Burwell to issue an LGBTQ non-discrimination mandate for the foster care system.

Employment Opportunities

  • The Vermont Commission on Women has immediate openings for volunteers or student research interns to compile information and statistics on women in leadership and public life in Vermont for eventual publication.  With supervision by VCW staff, this volunteer or intern will collect and record the numbers of women serving in various forms of public office and leadership positions, including select boards, school boards, municipal clerks, and corporate boards.  Hours are flexible and this work may be done from home.  Internships are unpaid.  VCW can work with students to receive academic credit and the internship can extend from summer 2016 to late fall 2016, or can be done entirely in the summer.  Expected time commitment of approximately 8 – 10 hours per week, with a reasonable amount of flexibility.


-strong commitment to the principles of equity, justice, and empowerment for women, and the overall mission of the Vermont Commission on Women
-excellent writing, research, and communications skills
-a high degree of professionalism in presentation and conduct
-mature judgment and a high capacity for self-direction and autonomy
-exceptional follow-through and attention to detail

To apply, email us a cover letter and résumé.

  • Pride Center of Vermont is seeking a full time co-coordinator for our SafeSpace Anti-Violence Program. SafeSpace provides free and confidential direct services and advocacy to LGBTQ survivors of violence. Pride Center of Vermont also has several internship opportunities.  Find a full job description and more details here.
  • UTC Aerospace Systems is an equal opportunity employer actively seeking female, minority, disabled and veteran candidates, and is currently hiring in Vermont. View the available positions here.

Funding Opportunities

  • The Walter Cerf Community Fund makes grants to address charitable needs in the state of Vermont. Priority interests are the arts, education, historic preservation, and social services, reflecting the pattern of giving established by Mr. Cerf over many years. Within these issue areas, there is a strong desire to support work that addresses the needs of under-served populations. Roughly two-thirds of the grants are reserved for Addison County/Brandon projects and roughly one-third is reserved for statewide projects.  Fund advisors will award multiple grants up to $5,000 and one grant up to $25,000. Applications to the fund will be accepted through June 8, 2016 through the Online Grants Manager. Visit to learn more.

Upcoming Events

Vermont Works For Women Dirt Divas and Rosie’s Girls Summer Camps sill have some space available! Several camp weeks are already full, register now! Camp tuition is $300 with financial aid available.

Dirt Divas

Mountain bike & empowerment program for middle school girls! Dirt Divas is a one-week summer day camp that helps girls cultivate confidence, courage and leadership through outdoor adventure. Girls entering 6, 7 and 8th grades practice mountain bike skills and bicycle mechanics, as well as games, swimming and self-defense. It’s a safe, supportive, girl-centered atmosphere that emphasizes leadership, team-building and healthy body image – with lots of fun woven in! A place where girls are encouraged to build strong bodies and minds in the beautiful Vermont outdoors.

Rosie’s Girls

Trades & STEM exploration program for middle school girls! Rosie’s Girls™ is a one-week summer day camp that helps girls develop grit, connection and expanded possibilities as they explore hands-on STEM- and trades-related activities. Girls entering 6, 7 and 8th grades practice the skills of carpenters and engineers as they invent, design and build cooperative projects. It’s a safe, supportive, girl-centered environment and emphasizes friendship, teamwork and healthy body image – with tons of fun woven in! A place where girls can get their hands dirty, take positive risks and try something new. This summer, they’ve given Rosie’s Girls a cool, new makeover! They are piloting a 1-week program (instead of 3 weeks) to give more girls access and to increase the diversity of participants.  They’ve tweaked the curriculum to make it more kid-led. Girls will construct Rube Goldberg machines, utilizing power tools and STEM concepts as before, but with greater focus on problem-solving and critical thinking together. (Think of the game, Mousetrap, times 100!) All, in an effort to build the essential skills of perseverance, self-advocacy, goal-setting, relationship building, conflict resolution, among others, as future women in the workforce.

Want to support these fantastic opportunities for VT Girls?  You can donate to help send a girl to camp here.

The Green Mountain Audobon Center in Huntington offers summer day camps for kids ages 3 – high school, and scholarships are available.

When Survivors Give Birth; Understanding and Healing the Effects of Trauma and Sexual Abuse on Child Bearing Women
Tomorrow, Friday, June 3rd from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Capital Plaza Hotel, Montpelier

This workshop led by Penny Simkin, PT CEE, CD(DONA) is geared toward professionals who work directly with childbearing women (nurses doulas, doctors, midwives, social workers, therapists, etc.).  Attendees can expect to: Advance their understanding of an all too common issue for childbearing women and families; expand care practices for women at risk of poor physical and psycho-social childbirth outcomes; and improve their response to women who express emotional concerns about childbearing.  For more information on CEUs or with any questions, contact Maria Noyes, Washington County Mental Health Services Doula Project Director at (802) 522-8637. Learn more and register here.  Cost is $125.

VermontGives, a 24 hour online fundraising drive, is Tuesday, June 7th.  Join CommonGood VT in uniting our communities around local causes for Vermont’s first day of giving.  VT Non-profits can register to participate, and all can prepare to give to local organizations.

The Women’s Health Resource Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock offers a wide variety of classes and workshops, some of which are free! Offerings include reiki, mindfullness-based stress reduction, first aid, car seat basics, babysitting, birth classes, prenatal yoga, “Look Good, Feel Better” for cancer patients, and new mom and baby groups.  They also have a diaper bank.  Find out all the details here.

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) Meeting
Thursday, June 9 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Peace & Justice Center, 60 Lake St, Burlington

WILPF members create the peaceful transformation they wish to see in the world by making connections that: Provide continuity with the past so that knowledge of historical events and patterns informs current activities for change; create analysis and action that reflect and reinforce each other; link and challenge root causes of oppression, especially racism, sexism, heterosexism, militarism, economic disparity, and political disempowerment; and build and strengthen relationships and movements for justice, peace, and radical democracy.  All are welcome to attend. First Thursdays.

10th Annual Community Partners Classic Golf Tournament
Friday, June 17th at 7:30 a.m., Champlain Country Club, Swanton

The tournament provides a fun opportunity for local businesses and individuals to partner with key community organizations and work together to build a strong future for our region.  By participating in this community event, you will be supporting three local non-profit organizations working to improve quality of life across the region:

  • United Way of Northwest Vermont is dedicated to improving lives in our area by connecting people and resources to find solutions to our communities most pressing needs.
  • Northwestern Counseling & Support Services is a private, non-profit, human services agency serving Franklin and Grand Isle Counties providing intervention and support to children, teens, and adults with emotional and behavioral problems, mental illness and developmental disabilities.
  • Northwestern Medical Center is a vibrant, not-for-profit, primary care hospital nestled at the top of Fairfield Street in St. Albans, Vermont.  The small size of this community hospital brings a family feel to a modern facility with high-tech equipment.
  • Tickets cost $93.84 and are available here.

Loving Day
Saturday, June 18, 2pm-4pm, Loving Day 2016 at Pride Center Vermont, Burlington.

Join the 3rd annual Loving Day in Vermont, which celebrates the legalization of interracial marriage, diversity, and community! This year’s event will be held in collaboration with the Pride Center of Vermont, celebrating the recent legalization of same-sex marriage. A thoughtful discussion with local activists and couples affected by both court decisions will be the primary focus. Co-sponsored by Loving Day Vermont, Pride Center Vermont, and the Peace & Justice Center. Free and refreshments are provided. For more information contact:

Pediatricians and Anti-Poverty Organizations: Building Bridges
Monday, June 20th from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. online

Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity encourages you to register for a national webinar to hear from prominent AAP voices and from leaders of state and local anti-poverty efforts. On this call you will learn about the different ways AAP and individual pediatricians can address the detrimental effects of poverty on children’s health. You will also hear how local and state anti-poverty leaders are working to build new or stronger alliances with AAP chapters and pediatricians.  Click here to register and for more details.

Contemporary Topics in Prevention, Intervention and Treatment of Alcohol, Opioids and Other Drugs
Friday, June 24th from 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. in Union Institute, Brattleboro

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Tod Miller, MD, Medical Director, Springfield Medical Care Systems, Inc.  Additional Workshop Topics will include: Understanding Opioid Dependence and Treatment; Addiction and Co-Occurring Issues; Cannabis in the Year 2016; Key Concepts in Motivational Interviewing; Cultural Considerations in Building Relationships; and Zero Suicide. Registration is available here for $60.

aWALKening to Personal Leadership!
Friday, August 12 at 1:30 p.m. – Sunday, August 14 at 3:30 p.m., at the Marlboro College Grad Center, Brattleboro. Cost is $295 – $350.
Wednesday, August 17 at 1:30 p.m. – Friday, August 19, at 3:30 p.m. at the Inn at Waters Edge, Ludlow. Cost is $450 – $705

Join other “leaders” from  Education, Health Care, and Community Services, across public, private and non-profit sectors for an enjoyable, challenging and growth oriented professional development experience. Kate Link and Marijne van den Kieboom met during a year-long international leadership program in Spain. Together they co-created and launched “The WALKshop” which they conducted in The Netherlands. The response was so positive and participants wanted more — more walking, more self-reflection, more time together. The aWALKening to Personal Leadership retreat is the result. Kate and Marijne facilitate the retreats using collaborative leadership — giving each participant an experience of them both leaning in 100% together. Certified by the International Coach Federation, each has extensive education through the Coaches Training Institute. For more information and to register for this three-day retreat visit:

Gubernatorial Candidate Forum on Women’s Issues
Wednesday, September 14th at noon at the State House, Montpelier

Please mark your calendars: The Vermont Commission on Women, the League of Women Voters, and Business and Professional Women will present a gubernatorial candidate forum on women’s issues, Wednesday, September 14th at noon in the State House. The moderator will be Anne Galloway of VT Digger. What issues for women and girls would influence your vote for or against a candidate? We invite your questions: email us.

VCW Commissioner Kerry Secrest, in partnership with Marlboro College Center for New Leadership, is organizing the Women’s Leadership Circle of Windham County this fall.  The Women’s Leadership Circles of Vermont were developed to support accomplished women in leadership positions across sectors. Participants have the initiative and vision to push themselves toward greater personal and professional achievement and to grow in their roles as influential change-makers.  They build participant groups of powerful women with the awareness, experience and professionalism to create a safe place where frank discussions can happen. Each Circle is comprised of 10-12 women in a specific geographical location who meet formally over six months, during which time they establish the foundation for an ongoing network of support. WLC participants support each other to meet the challenges of leadership with clarity and confidence.  Please let women leaders in Windham County know about this opportunity.  The Application deadline is June 30th.