Public Assets Institute Vermont’s private employers are making up for lost time. In the wake of the Covid pandemic, they’ve added jobs at a pace not seen since the 1990s. According to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Vermont employers created more than 29,000 jobs from March 2022 to March 2023. That came on the heels of over 32,000 jobs added from March 2021 to March 2022. Jobs increased by about that number each year in the 1990s. But the pace lagged in the 21st century: From 2001 through 2020, the private sector added an average of about 23,000 jobs annually.
Vermont Business Magazine Today, Friday, November 17, Lyndon State College—now Vermont State University (VTSU) Lyndon—alum Shelly Holt Allen, will enjoy her final day behind the camera as assistant chief news photographer at WCAX. Shelly will retire from a trail-blazing career that includes induction into the Vermont Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2021. A pioneer in this male-dominated profession, Shelly was the first female videographer and only the second female photographer at the Burlington-based station. Joe Carroll, Chief News Photographer at WCAX, a colleague of Shelly’s for 38 years, and himself a Lyndon alum, believes she’s enjoyed the longest career of a female news photographer in the country.
Vermont Business Magazine The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a direct award of $8.8 million through President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda to Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) and a nationwide network of partner air agencies, including in Alaska, Washington, and Idaho. Data collected will help create a ranked listing of appliance performance for certified wood heater models available at retail stores in the United States. This ranking will help consumers and air agencies make decisions about changing out old dirty woodstoves for cleaner models or switching to other heating options. “Studies estimate that residential wood smoke emissions account for 10,000 – 40,000 premature deaths annually in the United States.”
by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine Today, the Vermont Department of Labor reported that the statewide unemployment rate for October was 2.0 percent, up one-tenth. The jobless rate had been at or near the historic low of 1.8 percent for several months, before rising the last two months. While the Labor Force increased by 1,061 and the number of Employed was up 525, the number of Unemployed increased by 536. Vermont has the third lowest jobless rate in the nation. Maryland is lowest at 1.7 percent and Nevada is highest at 5.4 percent. The comparable United States rate in October was 3.9 percent, an increase of one-tenth of one percentage point from the revised September estimate. The Vermont civilian labor force participation rate was 64.2 percent in October, an increase of one-tenth of one percentage point from the prior month’s revised estimate. Weekly unemployment claims in Vermont remain low.
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott today announced his appointment of five Vermont Superior Court Judges: Benjamin Battles of Waterbury, Susan McManus of Manchester Center, Rachel Malone of South Burlington, Alexander Burke of Arlington, and Navah Spero of Richmond. “As I have often said, selecting judges is one of the most important responsibilities for any governor,” said Governor Scott. “When appointing a judge, you’re literally putting justice, and people’s lives and livelihoods, into someone’s hands. It’s critical to identify appointees who are fair, impartial, and committed to the calling of public service and safety. I’m confident that these new judges will meet the responsibilities and high level of trust Vermonters put in them.”
Vermont Business Magazine Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) on Thursday released the following statement on Israel, Palestine, and the growing humanitarian disaster in Gaza: Since October 7th, there has not been a day that goes by that I am not deeply saddened and distressed by the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. To see innocent young people slaughtered at a music festival, children and elderly people kidnapped, and then, thousands of civilians killed, including entire families being wiped out and thousands of children dead, torments me and millions of others who are watching this conflict unfold. But we cannot look away.
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) has announced $7,500,000 available through the Agricultural Clean Water Initiative Program (Ag-CWIP) grant funding opportunity for local and regional partners to provide services for Vermont farms to support the improvement of water quality and climate change mitigation across the state. Local and regional partners play a vital role in the education, outreach, and implementation of conservation practices that will achieve reductions in nutrient runoff from agricultural operations.
Manchester Merriment kicks off in just over a week. Local businesses and organizations will host seasonal events from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, bringing the community and visitors together spreading holiday cheer. There is something for everyone and for every age, including train rides, concerts, craft markets, inn tours, lighted tractor parades, and tree and menorah lighting ceremonies. Festivities begin with the lighting of the Manchester Community Tree at Factory Point Green. Along with a special visit from Santa, students from Red Fox Community School and Maple Street School will sing carols during the tree lighting ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 25. Additionally, Santa can be seen in the vicinity on Dec. 2 at the Holiday Lighted Tractor Parade, Dec. 3, at the Equinox Golf Resort & Spa, and Dec. 16 and 17 at the Santa Express train ride (formerly known as the Elf Express).
Vermont Business Magazine GlobalFoundries (Nasdaq: GFS) (GF) announced today that it is launching a new student loan repayment program to help current employees and new recruits pay down student loan debt. The new benefit program is part of the company’s multi-million-dollar investment to strengthen the semiconductor talent workforce by helping to ease the financial burden of higher education and training of our present and future employees. GF has a major Vermont plant in Essex Junction. Under GF’s new benefit program, set to begin in early 2024, U.S.-based employees and new hires that meet eligibility guidelines will be able to receive a tax-free, lifetime total of $28,500 toward their student debt, enabling employees to pay off their loans faster and at lower out of pocket expenses.
Vermont Business Magazine Average Vermont gasoline prices in Vermont are $3.50 per gallon, down 4 cents per gallon from last week, down 19 cents from last month and down 46 cents from the same time last year. The lowest price in the state is $2.99/g in Brattleboro while the highest is $3.69/g in Bondville and Westminster. The national average price of gasoline has fallen 9 cents per gallon in the last week, averaging $3.30/g today.
Vermont Business Magazine Fall and winter are the seasons when respiratory viruses spread more easily, and that means now is the best time to protect yourself and loved ones from serious illness and hospitalization. The Health Department is urging everyone 6 months and older to get this year’s COVID-19 and flu vaccines. People can also talk to their doctor about new RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) immunization options for babies, people who are pregnant, and adults ages 60 and older. With the end of the pandemic emergency, people will get their COVID-19 vaccinations in the same locations where they receive their other routine vaccinations, such as for the flu. It’s also OK for people to get flu and COVID-19 vaccinations at the same time. These vaccines take up to two weeks to be fully effective.
Vermont State Police On November 15, 2023, the Vermont Drug Task Force, with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Vermont State Police Field Force Division, and the Bennington County Sheriff’s Department, arrested Bryan J. Kenyon, Jill M. Lebert, and Richard L. Bump in Bennington. The arrests stemmed from a two-month drug investigation into Bryan Kenyon’s distribution of cocaine and fentanyl in the town of Bennington. The investigation into Kenyon’s drug distribution involved the use of a confidential informant who purchased cocaine base and fentanyl from Kenyon. At the time of the investigation, Kenyon was on probation for previous charges of Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer and Fentanyl Trafficking. Kenyon was wearing an electronic monitoring device as part of his probation sentence.