Southern Vermont Area Health Education Center (AHEC) to receive US Department of Labor Funds

Rutland, Vermont: The National AHEC Organization (NAO) selected Southern Vermont Area Health Education Center (AHEC) as one of seven AHECs nationwide to receive funds from a $2 million-dollar Workforce Pathways for Youth Grant from the US Department of Labor.

This three-year grant beginning October 1, 2023, is earmarked to enhance and expand health careers exploration programming and work-based learning experiences using innovative technologies for for youth ages 14-21 in rural and underserved communities. Southern Vermont AHEC has the distinction to be the only AHEC Center on the east coast to receive this funding.

The project, “PAVE”-Pathways by AHECs using Virtual Reality (VR) Education, will integrate VR simulations into their out of school time pathway programs in partnership with Transfr, a nationally renowned workforce training solutions organization. PAVE will also enable AHECs to advance existing partnerships with healthcare, education, and community organizations to construct more robust pathways that will support students toward new employment opportunities in high demand fields.

In addition to Southern Vermont AHEC, other AHEC centers receiving funds to expand their pathway programming include:


  • Hawaii/Pacific Basin
  • High Sierra AHEC
  • North Central Wisconsin in partnership with Northeastern Wisconsin
  • Northeast Kentucky
  • South Central Montana in partnership with North Central Montana
  • West Central Alabama

“This is a fantastic growth opportunity for students in our region,” said Jennifer Scott, Executive Director of Southern Vermont AHEC. “We are grateful to NAO for choosing us and enthusiastically welcome Transfr’s immersive, hands-on VR training capabilities to our health careers exploration and preparation programming.”

For more information on the Workforce Pathways for Youth Grant, contact