Expanding Career Change Options

Robert (Bob) Whitlaw was born with bone deformities in both his feet. By age forty, he had four foot surgeries. Bob worked as a machinist and quit his job due to his medical conditions. He joined ReSOURCE’s Apprentice Style program in May 2017, hoping to gain office skills and find jobs where he wasn’t on his feet as often.


In the seven months Bob worked at ReSOURCE as the office administrator, he became accustomed to using Microsoft Office and Excel, performed data entry, fielded phone inquiries, and operated the printer and scanner. Bob also oversaw converting our Appliance Department’s paper documentation into an Excel database to track parts orders efficiently. Through these experiences, he successfully transitioned into a job as a service writer for a leasing company soon after graduation.


He particularly expressed gratitude to Danielle, our Everybody Works AmeriCorps Program Director, saying, “Danielle was extremely patient. I was allowed to make mistakes when I make them…She gave me a lot of encouragement.” For him, the ReSOURCE staff were and continue to be a fundamental part of his journey in transitioning professions.


Recently, Bob lost his job as a service writer after new management took over the company. Pam Laser, ReSOURCE’s Employment and Transition Coordinator, worked with him to ensure that he could find suitable employment.


Bob feels very supported, declaring “Pam opened up my eyes to things that I could do, that I didn’t think I would qualify for. She worked hard on me…I’d write up cover letters…and she will go over and help me figure out what I did right and what I did wrong.”


Pam’s assistance and Danielle’s training allowed Bob to be confident in his abilities and helped him on his path to finding new employment. As he summarized, “Apprentice Style has been awesome. It gave me opportunities to learn.”


Bob now works as a Parts Specialist in The Automaster, a car dealership in Shelburne, where he gets to use his knowledge in mechanics and computer skills to fulfill his tasks. It has been a transformative journey for Bob who is now settling into his new role and excited for what’s to come.


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What is Career Start?

Career Start is a program designed for high school students to gain hands-on experience and technical skills in various departments at ReSOURCE’s Burlington or Barre locations.

High school students enrolled in school are eligible to participate in the Career Start program.

The program provides hands-on experience in ReSOURCE departments, technical skills training, and monthly personal and professional development classes.

There is a fee of $1500, but tuition is waived for qualifying Vermonters.

Departments include Customer Service & Retail, Office Administration, Computers and Electronics, Overlook Cafe, and Large Appliances, among others.

Yes, students earn a monthly stipend

Training covers Health and Wellness, Goal Setting and Achievement, Leadership Development, Career Planning, and Financial Literacy.

Interested individuals should contact ReSOURCE’s Training and Development Manager, Susan Uthmann, for enrollment details.


Please contact:

Susan Uthmann
Training and Development Manager
[email protected]

Partner Agency List

Our partners help us to provide $125,000 worth of goods to over 2,000 individuals/families in Chittenden, Lamoille, and Washington Counties, and the greater Vermont area.

  • Addison Community Action/CVOEO
  • Age Well
  • Agency of Human Services- Field Services Burlington District
  • Burlington Community Justice Center
  • Burlington Housing Authority
  • Chittendent Community Action/CVOEO
  • Clarina Howard Nichols Center
  • Committee On Temporary Shelter
  • Essex Community Justice Center
  • Howard Center Community Support Program
  • Howard Center Developmental Services
  • Howard Center School Service Program
  • Lamoille Family Center
  • Milton Family Community Center
  • Pathways Vermont- Housing First Program
  • Pathways Vermont -services for veterans and families rapid rehousing program
  • Safe Harbor Clinic
  • Spectrum Youth and Family Services
  • Steps to End Domestic Violence
  • The Janet S. Munt Family Room
  • U.S. Committee for refugees and Immigrants
  • U.S. Committee for refugees and Immigrants
  • Vermont Cares
  • Vermont Catholic Charities
  • Vermont Foundation of Recovery


Become a Partner Agency

For interest in joining our program please email [email protected] to learn more about the next application cycle or any availability in become a new partner agency.

We make award decisions each December for the next calendar year and notify partners so our clients can request vouchers.

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