by Timothy McQuiston, Vermont Business Magazine Regular weekly unemployment claims continue to grow to their highest levels this year and remain at a very high level, as claimants were required to refile based on their annual eligibility. The Vermont Department of Labor has also reverted to call-in only for new claims, as the online system has been barraged by large numbers of fraudulent filings. In addition, Commissioner Michael Harrington is urging the Legislature to change the law regarding how employers are charged to meet UI Trust Fund obligations. Employers didn't cause the pandemic and the Trust Fund is bouncing back on its own anyway without imposing higher UI rates. The law needs to change by next Friday to avoid that.
Vermont Business Magazine Castleton Center for Schools, the region's leader in professional development for educators, is offering a broad spectrum of graduate-level courses this summer to meet the needs of pre K-12 educators and administrators. Online registration is currently open for more than 75 summer courses offered by the Center for Schools, with classes starting now through Mid-August.
Vermont Business Magazine Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) visited five locations in Addison County and Rutland County on Wednesday: two federally qualified health centers, a parent child center, a high school, and a medical center.
Vermont Business Magazine As part of its ongoing commitment to help connect low-income families to the Internet so they can fully participate in educational opportunities and the digital economy, Comcast today announced it has equipped four nonprofit organizations in Vermont with WiFi-connected "Lift Zones". The free WiFi coverage provided by Comcast at these community centers is expected to help hundreds of low-income students get online and do their schoolwork.
Vermont Business Magazine Eight mobile clinics in Essex County and one in Caledonia County this weekend will also offer Johnson & Johnson vaccine. You can make an appointment for the events at healthvermont.gov/MyVaccine. They will also have some walk-in slots available. On Saturday, May 8, clinics will also be held at the Bear Ridge and Devils Bowl Speedways, with no appointment needed. The VDH is also reporting today 44 cases of COVID-19 and one more death for 249 statewide.
Will Bolster Vermont’s Substance Use Treatment And Prevention Response
Vermont Business Magazine At a State House press conference Thursday, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that Vermont will receive $12 million in COVID relief funds that will help communities strengthen their responses to substance use disorders and address new challenges brought on by the pandemic. Leahy was joined by Governor Phil Scott, Lieutenant Governor Molly Gray, and Vermont’s Health Commissioner, Dr Mark Levine, for the announcement.
Public Assets Institute The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), passed in March 2021, earmarked $76.6 million for Vermont’s local governments. In the second half of June, the federal treasury will distribute funds to towns that have completed the pre-award requirements. Towns can spend the federal funds through the end of 2024 to help pay for government services; direct assistance to households, small businesses, and non-profits for COVID-related costs; premium pay to essential workers; and infrastructure investments.
Vermont Business Magazine Vermont is offering special COVID-19 vaccination opportunities starting Friday, May 7, with a drive-through clinic at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This clinic will have the one dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. You can register through the Health Department website, or just “drive in,” no appointment necessary. On Saturday, May 8, clinics will also be held at the Bear Ridge and Devils Bowl Speedways, with no appointment needed. These walk-in only clinics, held in partnership with the speedways and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) teams, will also have Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of Labor will host a series of virtual information sessions focusing on the work search requirements for unemployment insurance claimants that will be reinstated on May 9, 2021. Claimants who are filing in regular UI and do not have a COVID qualifying reason, as well as claimants filing in PUA who are not categorized as self-employed or independent contractors, and who do not have a COVID qualifying reason, will be required to begin making three work contacts each week beginning the week of May 9 – May 15. Only legitimate work inquires will be considered valid.
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont State Colleges System today announced their second system-wide FREE virtual Job and Internship Fair is now live through May 30th, 2021. Students and community members will have access to employer and job information for more than 300 employers.
Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Federal Credit Union has announced that Neagley & Chase Construction Company will oversee the renovation of its new corporate campus and branch located at 275 Kennedy Drive in South Burlington. An extensive period of planning and review of community-based general contractors with strong portfolios was conducted to seek out and identify a partner to transform the current building to a new branch, member service center and corporate campus.
Vermont Business Magazine US Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) visited Sharon Elementary School Thursday to highlight new federal Farm to School legislation. The Farm to School Act, introduced by Leahy on April 22, seeks to reauthorize and expand the popular federal Farm to School program. Sharon Elementary School actively participates in Farm to School programing with a school garden, farm tours and an ongoing focus on health and wellness.