Vermont Business Magazine Weekly unemployment claims fell again last week to under 500, which is more typical of a summer-time level. There could be volatility in the coming weeks after school lets out. Claims during the summer hold at a relatively low level because of vacation hiring, until the next transition when school resumes in September. Claims spiked to over 1,100 three weeks ago. Claims are lower than they were the same time last year, which has been the usual case for most weeks in 2017.
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Legislature wrapped up business Thursday night and advanced the budget, tax bills, and economic development bill to the governor today. Adjournment was delayed nearly two weeks over the issue of whether to institute a statewide teacher health insurance plan. Governor Phil Scott introduced the idea in April and the Legislature scrambled and then failed to find an alternative or compromise. Lawmakers might not be done yet, however, as a gubernatorial veto could be forthcoming.
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont jobless rate went up last month for the first time since the high point of the Great Recession in May 2009, when it went up one-tenth to 7.0 percent. It fell the next month to 6.9 percent. The Vermont Department of Labor announced today that the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for April was 3.1 percent, an increase of one-tenth of one percentage point from the revised March rate. All three major metrics were off slightly: the labor force and number of employed fell, while the number of unemployed rose. The national rate in April was 4.4 percent, down one-tenth from March.
Vermont Business Magazine The University of Vermont will celebrate its 216th commencement exercises on Saturday, May 20, and Sunday, May 21. President Tom Sullivan will confer degrees on an estimated 3,228 graduates, including 2,620 bachelors, 386 masters, 106 doctoral and 116 medical degree recipients. Among expected degree recipients are students from 40 states and 97 international students from 21 countries. Approximately 1,116 graduates are from Vermont. The graduating class includes an expected 343 students of color.
Vermont Business Magazine The City of Burlington will be funding a new Early Learning Initiative (ELI) focused on Burlington children from birth to age 3. Beginning in Fiscal Year 2018, the City will invest $500,000 annually in capacity grants to Burlington childcare programs that provide high-quality care to low income children and commit to increasing the number of slots available for children ages 0–3.
Vermont Business Magazine Attorney General Donovan joined 51 Attorneys General as a signatory on a letter The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) sent yesterday to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee chair and ranking member. The letter asks the Committee to introduce legislation that would allow the federal government to return prescription drug settlement money to the states.
by Paul Cillo Public Assets Institute Two years ago, I wrote an op-ed that opened: “The Legislature can work with local communities to improve education, or it can push them around.” This is the fundamental choice that the governor and lawmakers continue to wrestle with this session. In 2015, the debate was over school district consolidation. This year, the discussion hinges on savings from lower premiums for teachers’ health insurance, which have already been set for 2018. Both issues involve the state imposing control over local school management, and both have profound implications for communities.
Vermont Business Magazine Forest tent caterpillars have hatched, according to forest health specialists from the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation. The insect is expected to cause widespread defoliation this summer, mostly in forests across northeastern and central Vermont.
Vermont Business Magazine Barre native and national quality expert Anna T Noonan, BSN, MS, RN, has been appointed president and chief operating officer for Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin. Following a rigorous national search, a press released stated, she emerged as the successful candidate and will start in the role July 24. CVMC is part of The University of Vermont Health Network, along with Porter Hospital in Middlebury and three hospitals in New York State.
Vermont Business Magazine Northern Power Systems Corp (TSX: NPS) has announced financial results for its first quarter ended March 31, 2017. The report indicates that revenues are up and the quarterly loss is down, compared to the same period last year. Northern Power sold off part of the company to a Brazilian firm late last year. Based in Barre, Northern Power is a next generation renewable energy technology company best known for its mid-sized wind turbine systems designed for remote and off-grid locations. It employs 75.
by Jeffrey R Wakefield University of Vermont When it comes to invasive species, most Vermonters are familiar with the state's big three: the Asian longhorned beetle, the hemlock wooly adelgid and the emerald ash borer, all of which menace the state’s forests. But what about the countless other invasives gaining a foothold in Vermont – from starry stonewort to the sirex woodwasp to the Asian clam – that could also damage the state’s ecosystem and economy?
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is reminding anglers and the general public as a whole to avoid disturbing spawning sea lamprey that may currently be found in the Connecticut River and several of its tributaries. The invasive, non-native sea lamprey that plague Lake Champlain are a separate population of fish.