Previous Equity Initiatives

The City of Burlington strives to be a vibrant, diverse, and livable community that fosters innovation, enriches the lives of all its residents, and embraces intentional community engagement. As Vermont's population becomes more diverse and reflective of a global citizenry, the City of Burlington has committed to embracing our diversity and reducing racial disparities through the past initiatives listed below. These past initiatives have since evolved into our current ongoing programs which seek to bring new voices to the table to help us with this vital work. 


2018 Workforce Education/Construction & Safety and Training Program 


CEDO, in partnership with ReSOURCE, teamed up to train people in Construction and Safety Training after receiving a grant award from the Vermont Department of Labor in February of 2018. Called Preparing Targeted Populations for Construction Jobs, the 10-week intensive program kicked off on June 4th, 2018, with the first six to eight weeks dedicated to training in construction math, carpentry, tool usage, and other construction related courses. Trainees spent the final 2 weeks getting hands-on experience on construction sites, developing their personal and professional skills and preparing for permanent careers - the first two trainee groups graduated from this course in 2018.

The program qualified targeted populations for skilled entry level and livable wage construction jobs available in Vermont as a result of several major incoming and already ongoing development projects in Burlington. 


The 2018 Construction and Safety Training Program focused on underserved population groups - unemployed, underemployed, low-income populations, young adults, at-risk youths, ex-offenders, women and New Americans - the program aims to train an additional 12 persons in construction and safety to take advantage of the hundreds of skilled entry level, high-wage construction jobs in Vermont. With multiple development projects on the line or in the pipeline in Burlington and neighboring cities, Vermont is in need of the skilled construction labor which this program provides. To date, the current program has trained 10 persons. All but one have in hand the NCCER Construction Certificate and OSHA 10 Certification. Eight of the graduates are employed with construction companies such as POLLI Construction, Inc., Valhalla Builders and E&M Mechanical.

The average starting wage for these new hires is $16.30 an hour, well above Vermont's 2019 livable wage of $13.34 per hour and Burlington's livable wage of $14.52, if health insurance is offered.

2018 - The first group of Construction & Safety Graduates


For more information on the Construction Jobs Training Program, please call Gillian Nanton, Assistant Director, 

CEDO at # 802-865-7179 or email: gnanton@burlingtonvt.gov


2015-16 CEDO Hosts Equity and Inclusion Training Program 


CEDO hosted a new equity coaching and training program called We All Belong in 2016 to help Burlington area non-profits, schools and city departments create more inclusive workplaces and more effectively serve Burlington's diverse community. The program was designed for non-profits and municipal departments with a commitment to diversity and equity and who were looking for help in making system-level changes. We All Belong partnered with a consultant team (CQ Strategies) to deliver coaching and training to involved participants; In 2015-2016, the program consultants provided more than 50 hours of equity and diversity training to 131 leaders - representing 17 organizations, city departments, and other agencies. 


Throughout the year, agencies received support in: 

  • Strategic planning, assessment, and skills training for each organization's Cultural Competency Team
  • A series of full and half-day retreats and small group coaching sessions to develop awareness, skills, and strategy to achieve your organization's equity goals. Retreats facilitated a rich learning network among participating agencies. 

Read more about participant experiences, impressions, and overall impact of We All Belong


2012-14 Diversity & Equity Strategic Plan


On July 16, 2012, with the full support of Mayor Weinberger, the Burlington City Council unanimously adopted a resolution to create a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee to facilitate the development of a Diversity & Equity Strategic Plan. Over the course of two years, the Committee and the Vermont Partnership for Fairness & Diversity completed the City of Burlington Diversity & Equity Strategic Plan (the Plan), which was communicated to City Council on June 23, 2014.
The Plan contains 33 findings, 31 recommendations, and 49 action steps.  The action steps are meant to address three goals:

  • Eliminate race-based disparities across all City departments
  • Promote inclusion and engagement of all community members
  • Eliminate race-based disparities in the greater Burlington community


The Plan contains serious and substantive recommendations and associated action steps required for implementation. A summary of the recommendations made in a memo from Mayor Weinberger can be viewed in English, French, Nepali, and Somali


For more information on CEDO's past equity initiatives, please contact Marcella Gange at mgange@burlingtonvt.gov