Current News

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Vermont Business Magazine Today, the Vermont House Committee on Human Services unanimously passed legislation (S.25) to ban per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS) and other toxic chemicals from personal care products and menstrual products, and to ban PFAS from apparel, cookware, artificial turf, and children’s products. An earlier version of the bill passed the Vermont Senate unanimously in 2023, and the bill is supported by Vermont small businesses, public health and children’s advocates, and environmental groups. It now heads to the full House for consideration.

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Vermont Business Magazine Owners of the Vermont Flannel Company, purveyors of the world’s coziest flannel shirts, pajama bottoms and accessories, announced Thursday that they have acquired the assets of Vermont Teddy Bear, the largest manufacturer of teddy bears in North America. Shelburne-based Vermont Teddy Bear has delighted customers of all ages with fun, timeless, high-quality teddy bears and other stuffed animals for decades, the majority of which are made on site in Shelburne. Simultaneously, the ownership group of Vermont Teddy Bear has also sold the assets of their apparel divisions: Pajamagram, Pajamajeans and the 1 for U to an affiliate of Lionel Capital.

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Vermont Business Magazine Each year the Vermont Bankers Association (VBA) holds a Women in Leadership Conference. Historically around 200 professionals working in the financial industry from around the state attend. During the conference, the prestigious Woman Of The Year Award is presented. This year the recipient of the award was Community National Bank’s CEO Kathryn (Kathy) Austin. The VBA’s Woman Of The Year Award is presented to an individual who has a long history of going above and beyond to support and lift employees up to their full potential. This support may come from mentoring, peer-to-peer exchange, and volunteerism. In her nomination, Kathy is described as an exceptional leader who leads by example. For more than 40 years, she has taken many women under her wing and encouraged growth and development. 

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Vermont Business Magazine Following the recent milestones in efficiency, stability, and scaleup, Verde Technologies has attracted investment from multiple venture funds and industry veterans. Most notably, the former CEO of GE Power, Steve Bolze, has joined Verde as an investor and advisor to support the company’s continued growth.  “Verde stood out to me because of the pace at which the team is able to make progress toward changing the solar paradigm. It is clear that solar energy will play a dominant role in the renewable energy transition, especially with the tailwinds of recent legislation such as the Inflation Reduction Act.” says Bolze. “Verde’s team and technology are poised to make solar manufacturing and deployment simpler, lower cost, and more accessible.” Recently, Verde won the $600k grand prize in the US Department of Energy’s Perovskite Startup Prize. The prestigious award was selected by an expert panel focused on scalable thin-film solar technologies. 

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Vermont Business Magazine The Made in Vermont Marketplace (Saturday and Sunday at the DoubleTree Hotel Burlington) is an extraordinary opportunity for Vermonters and visitors to enjoy local shopping and local companies to showcase their Made in Vermont products to an audience of thousands of prospective customers in one weekend. The trade show is dedicated to promoting the great variety of Vermont-made products . . . from furniture, specialty foods, clothing, spirits, wines and so much more! Only Vermont-based companies that make their products in Vermont are eligible to exhibit.

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Vermont Business Magazine Common Good Vermont has announced the Vermont launch of the 2024 Survey on Nonprofit Wages and Benefits. Survey results will inform the bi-annual Vermont Nonprofit Wages and Benefits report, which will be published in the fall of 2024, and is the only Vermont-specific resource for nonprofit organizations to use for objective salary information and insights into key sector staffing and compensation trends.  Vermont nonprofits employ about 69,000 people, or 1 in 7 workers, contributing about $5.7 billion per year to the economy.  

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Vermont Business Magazine Pippa Scott, a high school junior from Killington, Vermont (above), has won the grand prize at the University of Vermont’s (UVM) inaugural Vermont Pitch Challenge, the nation’s only university pitch competition that offers outstanding high school entrepreneurs worldwide a chance to secure a full-tuition scholarship for their innovative ventures. Scott captured the judges' attention at UVM with an inspiring business proposal for her already established nonprofit, Ride for Mental Health. This transformative program raises awareness about and provides support to kids and teens struggling with mental health through action sports. Announced last September, the Vermont Pitch Challenge attracted nearly 150 teams from seven countries and 27 states. Over 220 ambitious students took part, each eager to make a positive impact and tackle pressing challenges within their respective communities. After rigorous evaluation, five finalist teams were selected to present their business concepts in person to a panel of esteemed judges at UVM on April 4, culminating in Thursday’s announcement of the final rankings.

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Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Agency of Education announced today that nominations are now open for 2025 Teacher of the Year program. All Vermonters are invited and encouraged to fill out a short form to nominate a teacher to apply to be Vermont’s next Teacher of the Year. The mission of the Vermont Teacher of the Year Program is to promote the teaching profession and recognize educators who are modeling exemplary teaching practice in Vermont’s schools. The 2024 Teacher of the Year is Aziza Malik. The nomination link will be open through Sunday, April 14. Nominees can be either self-nominated or nominated by someone in their community. Nominated teachers can submit their application starting Monday, April 15 through Monday, May 13.

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Vermont State Police The Vermont State Police has obtained an arrest warrant for a Massachusetts man on a murder charge arising from a fatal stabbing Feb. 6, 2024, in Pownal. The suspect is identified as Elizah Coppedge, 18, of Chicopee. He is facing a charge of second-degree murder in the killing of Casey Gras, 36, of Bennington. A Vermont Superior Court judge in Bennington County signed the warrant this week and ordered that Coppedge be held without bail upon his arrest. Coppedge is described as Black man, 6 feet 2 inches tall, weighing 200 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair. A photo of him is attached to this release. His last known whereabouts were in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, on the night of Feb. 6. The police investigation indicates this was an isolated incident that arose from a drug-related dispute.

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Vermont Business Magazine The National Institute for Innovation and Technology—the nation's leader in semiconductor talent pipeline development and U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) national Intermediary responsible for establishing and expanding Registered Apprenticeships (RAs) throughout semiconductor and nanotechnology-related industry supply chains—on Thursday awarded two semiconductor industry giants, GlobalFoundries and Applied Materials, Inc. for their work in establishing semiconductor manufacturing RAs. Representatives from both companies were presented with the awards during "Texas Transistors: Building a Stronger Semiconductor Talent Pipeline," a live-panel event held in Austin, TX, with stakeholders in the semiconductor and advanced manufacturing industries. GlobalFoundries was awarded for instituting the nation's first semiconductor Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP), which graduated its first apprentices last year at the company's manufacturing facility in Malta, New York. The company also has a successful RAP at its Essex Junction, Vermont, manufacturing facility.

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by Busy Anderson, Community News Service The shoulders of Ferry Road are patched with gravel and uneven pavement. Parked cars overtake sections on either side. For pedestrians, though, those obstructed shoulders are the only option for navigating Charlotte’s West Village. Charlotte has debated the addition of sidewalks in its West Village for more than a decade. The quarter mile between Greenbush Road and state Route 7 contains Charlotte Town Hall, a U.S. post office, Charlotte Public Library, the Old Brick Store, Charlotte Children’s Center and Charlotte Senior Center. Now, the sidewalk topic is likely to resurface with two state and regional grants worth more than $85,000 allocated last year for Charlotte infrastructure improvements. The funds for the town’s Village Master Planning Project will determine land use regulations and promote “smart growth” development, under the guidance of community input. 

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Vermont Business Magazine Join Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility and their panel of experts on April 15 for this important discussion exploring proposed revenue strategies and their impact on Vermont. One of the critical questions emerging from Vermont’s 2024 legislative session is how to address our state budget. Vermont is once again experiencing budgetary constraints reminiscent of pre-COVID fiscal challenges as lawmakers work with a budget no longer infused with pandemic-era federal aid. VBSR and our allies continue to advocate for policy shifts that address the urgent and essential changes needed to support our people, planet, and prosperity. We also recognize that to meet this vision for Vermont additional revenue will need to be generated.