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PC Construction earns awards for UVM STEM complex

Thu, 08/06/2020 - 3:11pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine PC Construction announced today that it was named the winner of the 2020 ENR New England Best Projects Award in the Best Higher Education/Research category for its work on The University of Vermont’s new science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) Complex, which was completed in August 2019. Only 17 projects were selected from all of New England as winners within 11 categories. This is the second high-profile award PC has received this year for the UVM project; it was also honored with a national Build America Award from the Associated General Contractors (AGC) back in March.

Can Vermont’s forests help save the planet?

Thu, 08/06/2020 - 3:09pm -- tim

by Christine McGowan, Vermont Forest Industry Network Long valued for timber, recreation, wildlife habitat, and solace, Vermont’s forests are being recognized for providing another, more global, benefit: carbon storage. Situated within the largest remaining intact temperate broadleaf forest on the planet, Vermont forests are part of a critical natural resource in the fight against climate change. Biologically adept at both drawing carbon out of the atmosphere through photosynthesis, and storing carbon within their roots, trunks, and leaves, trees have an important role to play in the global effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions and ensure a healthy planet for future generations. And, thanks to a combination of growing carbon markets and some innovative thinking by Vermont’s forest industry, landowners stand to benefit from managing their forests for carbon storage.

Remote work for state employees extended through end of year

Thu, 08/06/2020 - 2:44pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Agency of Administration today announced that state employees who can telework should expect to do so at least through December 31, 2020. The majority of state employees surveyed informally by several agencies and departments about their remote work experience report that they can complete 100% of their work from home and telework provided the flexibility needed to balance childcare, work schedules and other challenges presented by the pandemic in their daily lives.

Swedish firm acquires GW Plastics for $240 million

Thu, 08/06/2020 - 1:52pm -- tim

by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine Nolato has signed an agreement to acquire Bethel-based GW Plastics. The company, which was founded in 1955, has annual sales of approximately $216 million (1.8 billion Swedish Krona) and an EBITA margin of around 7 percent. The acquisition price, including contingent consideration, is estimated at approximately $240 million (SEK 2 billion). GW Plastics ranked 18th on Vermont Business Magazine's Vermont 100 and was the third largest manufacturer with $183 million in 2019. 

Ocean State Job Lot distributes PPE across Northeast

Thu, 08/06/2020 - 12:18pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation has leveraged its supply chain to provide hundreds of thousands of pieces of personal protective equipment to healthcare organizations and municipalities, more than one million pounds of food to vulnerable populations, as well as thousands of cooked meals to frontline workers. Now, the Foundation is in the process of distributing more than $1.5 million worth of PPE to police and fire departments in the 142 communities where Ocean State Job Lot stores are currently, or soon-to-be, located across the Northeast. They operate two stores in Vermont, in St Johnsbury and Rutland.

Sanders introduces tax on billionaire wealth gains to provide health care for all

Thu, 08/06/2020 - 11:57am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Today, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) introduced a 60-percent tax on the windfall wealth increases of billionaires during this pandemic in order to pay for all out-of-pocket medical expenses for every person in America for a year. The Make Billionaires Pay Act would tax the $731 billion in wealth accumulated by 467 billionaires—the richest 0.001% of America—a from March 18th until August 5th, a period in which 5.4 million Americans recently lost their health insurance and 50 million applied for unemployment insurance. The funds from this emergency tax would be used to cover all necessary healthcare expenses of the uninsured and under-insured, including prescription drugs, for one year.

RNG investment in Quebec to benefit Vermont Gas parent

Thu, 08/06/2020 - 11:48am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Quebec-based Énergir welcomes the granting of $70 million in financial assistance to support renewable natural gas (RNG) production in Québec announced by the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Jonatan Julien. Of this amount, $45 million will be used to develop eight RNG production projects that Énergir can then distribute through its gas network. A growing proportion of Énergir's customers want to green their energy consumption, and RNG consumption contributes directly to this goal. These eight projects will add value to organic materials from the agricultural, industrial and engineered landfill sectors in several regions of Quebec.  Énergir is the leading electricity distributor (Green Mountain Power) and the sole natural gas distributor (Vermont Gas Systems) in Vermont.

Dairies offer cooler bags and meal equipment to help feed students, families

Thu, 08/06/2020 - 3:23am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine As school districts across the New England region worked around-the-clock to feed their students with either grab-n-go or home delivered meals, local dairy farmers stepped up to support those efforts. New England dairy farmers, along with other generous partners, have provided school meal programs nearly $255 thousand in total grants and equipment to date.  Dairy farm families have made possible the purchase of roughly 1,670 cooler bags for schools across the region so far. That equipment continues to aid schools now during summer feeding programs and will support meal efforts for years to come.

Norwich designates the Patton Peace and War Center

Wed, 08/05/2020 - 5:08pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Norwich University Peace and War Center has been named the John and Mary Frances Patton Peace and War Center in appreciation of a generous gift of $1.7 million to the university from the estate of Maj. General John S Patton, USAF (Ret) and his wife, Professor Mary Frances M Patton, $385,000 of which will go toward creating an endowment for the center. General Patton’s service as an intelligence officer during World War II inspired his and his wife’s interest in promoting the scholarly understanding of peace and war, the Patton estate said.

Sanders announces $3 million in federal funds for affordable housing in Vermont

Wed, 08/05/2020 - 4:23pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) announced Wednesday that Vermont will receive $3 million from the National Housing Trust Fund to build, preserve and rehabilitate affordable rental housing for extremely low-income families. This is the fifth year in a row that Vermont will receive a $3 million allocation from the trust fund, which Sanders helped create. Sanders first introduced legislation to create the National Housing Trust Fund in 2001, based on the success of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Trust Fund. Administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and funded through a small assessment on the government-sponsored housing agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the trust fund is the first new federal housing resource in more than a generation. It is also the first program exclusively targeted to help build housing that is affordable to people with the lowest incomes.

VDH COVID-19 Update: Five new cases, colleges prepare for students

Wed, 08/05/2020 - 4:11pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Among the more complicated undertakings for pandemic response, are the efforts by Vermont’s universities and colleges – large and small – to prepare for welcoming back their students and staff. Health Department and other state agencies have been working closely with these secondary education institutions, providing guidance and information to assist in their planning. Also, the Vermont Department of Health today reported five new cases of COVID-19 for a statewide total of 1,436, with one person hospitalized and deaths holding at 57. Vermont has the fewest number of cases in the US.