Vermont Business Magazine The Windham County Economic Development Program (WCEDP) has released the 2016 Request for Proposals for competitive grant funds. The WCEDP is meant to promote economic development in Windham County by providing funds to stimulate job creation through business start-up, expansion, or relocation, encourage entrepreneurial activity, and strengthen the economic development infrastructure to ensure a strong foundation for transformational economic activity.
Vermont Business Magazine The Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award winners have been selected. This year’s recipients include Global Foundries in Essex Junction (two awards), Lyndon Furniture in Lyndon, WallGoldfinger in Randolph, Addison County Solid Waste District, Boardman Hill Solar in West Rutland, the Stowe Farmer’s Market in Stowe, the Vermont Foodbank, the Vermont Energy Education Program, the St. Johnsbury Academy, and TRY for the Environment.
Vermont Business Magazine Champlain College Wednesday celebrated the one-year anniversary of the truED® alliance with the US Office of Personnel Management. The agreement provides Federal employees, spouses, and eligible adult dependents access to affordable online education in mission-critical and highly competitive fields. Leaders across government recognized this milestone during “Federal Workforce 2020: Turning Today’s Experience into Tomorrow’s Talent” by joining in support of the alliance, and shared plans to increase participation and enhance talent development efforts within the Federal workforce.
by Mike Faher/The Commons After more than a year of intense planning and contentious debate, the Vernon natural-gas plant project has come to an abrupt halt. Energy giant Kinder Morgan decided April 20 to pull the plug — at least for now — on its Northeast Energy Direct pipeline, and that means there will be no fuel supply for a proposed 600-megawatt gas-fired Vernon plant. Local officials noted that Kinder Morgan has “suspended” the pipeline project, meaning that work might resume at some point. But they are also prepared to move on to other projects that could help replace tax revenue and jobs lost due to the closing of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.
Vermont Business Magazine The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced the availability of $2 million to help farmers install edge-of-field stations that monitor water quality as it leaves their fields, providing data to evaluate the success of various conservation efforts. The funding is available to farmers located across key watersheds in nine states, including Vermont, and is part of USDA’s ongoing commitment to measure the effectiveness of a wide range of conservation initiatives. Applications are due by July 8, 2016.
by Amy Overstreet Lorenzo Whitcomb manages North Williston Cattle Company in the Lake Champlain Basin of Vermont with his brother and nephew. The 800-acre, 224-head cattle operation is a sixth-generation family farm that incorporates conservation stewardship with cutting edge technology, including solar energy and robotic milkers. Whitcomb is a firm believer in stewardship and is dedicated to ensuring that his farming activities have a minimal impact on water quality. Now, he’s taking soil and water conservation to the next level with a unique edge-of-field monitoring system. This enables water to be analyzed which helps determine the amount of nutrients and soil lost from agricultural fields during runoff events.
Vermont Business Magazine With some governors working to make it harder for citizens to vote, Governor Peter Shumlin today signed a law to make it easier. The bill (H458), signed into law at Montpelier City Hall, automatically registers eligible Vermonters to vote when they apply for a state driver’s license. President Obama has called for so-called automatic voter registration (AVR) laws to be adopted nationwide. Vermont is now the fourth state with such a law.
by Mike Faher/The Commons It isn’t cheap to maintain an insurance policy on a nuclear power plant. But, as of this month, Entergy Vermont Yankee is getting a big break on premiums: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the company can cut its onsite proper-damage insurance coverage from $1.06 billion to $50 million. Citing the fact that the Vernon plant has been shut down for more than 15 months, the federal agency says a much smaller insurance policy still will be adequate to cover cleanup and decontamination work resulting from any accident.
Vermont Business Magazine AllEarth Renewables, the award winning Vermont-based solar tracker manufacturer, has announced the company will donate a portion of every tracker sale in North Carolina to the repeal effort of HB 2, the state's new discriminatory law. HB 2 overturned protections for LGBT people and sanctioned discrimination across North Carolina. Until the discriminatory law is repealed, AllEarth will donate 1 percent of every sale in NC to Equality NC, an organization leading the HB 2 repeal effort.
Vermont Business Magazine Coming this fall is the Way to Go! Challenge, a two-week event encouraging everyone to travel smart, September 26 - October 7. Registration is open for individuals, businesses and schools to sign-up online at http://www.waytogovt.org. Top performing businesses, schools and individuals will be awarded with recognition and prizes. Designed to encourage a culture of shared mobility, Way to Go! seeks to get people moving, support cleaner air and reduce fossil fuel consumption.
Vermont Business Magazine Lisa Ventriss, President of Vermont Business Roundtable (VBR) and Jeffrey Carr, President, Economic & Policy Resources (EPR), have announced the Q2 2016 results of their joint initiative, the VBR-EPR Business Conditions Survey. For this reporting period, the diffusion index shows a decline in optimism from Q1 2016 to Q2 2016, indicating that Vermont CEOs continue to feel neutral to mildly pessimistic about the business climate for the coming three months. The survey, which is conducted quarterly, provides both a look back at the previous quarter and a predictive index going forward. The data for both the backward and forward-looking questions are weighted to the Vermont economy by sector employment and turned into “diffusion indices." These diffusion indices provide a tool for analyzing and presenting insight into the Vermont economy over time through the sentiments of the Roundtable members.