The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund is a nonprofit organization committed to nurturing the sustainable development of Vermont’s economy. We develop creative approaches and innovative models that grow Vermont’s economy by elevating the well-being of our people, communities, and the environment. Located in Montpelier, Vermont, VSJF was created by the Vermont Legislature in 1995 to partner with state government, private sector businesses, and nonprofits to build a thriving economic, social, and ecological future for Vermont. Learn more about our background.
The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund provides business assistance, value chain facilitation, network development, and strategic planning in agriculture and food systems, forest products, waste management, renewable energy, and environmental technology. Our partnerships and collaborations position Vermont as a state where social impact entrepreneurs want to start and grow businesses connected to the emerging climate economy. We are able to leverage our comprehensive networks of individuals and organizations in any of our designated economic sectors to strengthen connectivity, alignment, and action that lead to the sustainable development of our economy.
Funding for the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund comes from a variety of state, federal, private foundation, and corporate sources. Funders seek our partnership to advance our shared goals for sustainably developing Vermont’s economy in agriculture and food system, forest product, waste management, renewable energy, and environmental technology sectors.
When funding permits, we provide small, strategic grants in the sectors we serve (agriculture and food system, forest product, waste management, renewable energy, and environmental technology). When capacity exists, we offer administrative support to early stage nonprofit organizations who do not yet have their own 501(c)3 nonprofit status and other special projects that are aligned with our mission. We also laid the groundwork for the Flexible Capital Fund, LC3, an investment company which provides creative growth financing in sustainable agriculture and food systems, forest products, and clean technology sectors.
The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund is not a state agency, but rather a nimble and adaptive 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with strong ties to state government. We are able to leverage our comprehensive networks of individuals and organizations in any of our designated economic sectors to strengthen connectivity, alignment, and action that lead to the sustainable development of our economy.
Our work strengthens the support systems for businesses in the sectors we serve (agriculture and food system, forest product, waste management, renewable energy, and environmental technology) and we help create the conditions that lead to expanded market opportunities, which leads to stable and sustainable jobs. For instance, by actively promoting the local food system, eliminating bottlenecks, and opening up new markets to consumers and other activities, food system businesses have felt the pull of consumer demand for local food and thus have expanded their production and jobs in order to meet this growing demand. Food system employers created at least 6,370 net new jobs in the food system here in Vermont between 2009 and 2016.
A sustainable job is more than just one that lasts for many years. We believe sustainable jobs are ones that pay at least a livable income, in a supportive work environment, in an organization that does not negatively impact the environment (or has a net positive impact), and one that makes products or offers services that are of value to society and meet real human needs. Vermont is home to many triple bottom line employers who routinely win awards for their social, environmental, and economic performance. Learn more by checking out the membership of Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility or the Vermont Business Magazine’s Book of Lists.
There are many services and websites in Vermont to help people find available jobs. Often, business trade associations, businesses, and organizations have job postings on their website.
We encourage job seekers to visit the following websites:
Agriculture and Food Systems:
That is the central question of the biennial report produced by the Joint Fiscal Office of the Vermont Legislature. It is also a primary driver for VSJF business assistance services – assisting Vermont businesses to be more profitable so that they can afford to pay their workers better. Part of the definition of being a sustainable business is paying employees enough so that they do not also qualify for public assistance benefits. Otherwise society as a whole bears the burden to making up the shortfall not paid by employers.
Read more in the Basic Needs Budgets and the Livable Wage Report from the State of Vermont