Vermont Business Magazine Imaging Technologists at UVM Medical Center today announced that after months of organizing and bargaining, they ratified a negotiated agreement enabling them to be covered under the existing Technical Professional contract, with additional protections and improvements specific to their work. In March, technologists voted overwhelmingly to join the other 2,400 UVM Medical Center nurses and technicians who are members of Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals - AFT Vermont, the largest and fastest growing health care union in the state.
by Christine McGowan, Vermont Forest Industry Network There is just one road up the backside of Mt Holly in Okemo State Forest. Originally built in the 1980’s for forest management, the road now also supports snow machines and skiers in the winter, hikers and mountain bikers in the warmer months, and the occasional horseback rider. For decades, recreation in the area was fairly light—mostly locals who knew the road was there. And then came COVID-19. Tim Morton, state lands stewardship forester for Windsor and Windham counties, estimates the area saw a fivefold increase in recreational use during the pandemic.
Vermont Business Magazine Vermont electric utilities are reminding their customers that help is still available for those struggling to pay bills. Vermonters financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for funding to pay past-due utility balances. The funding is available on a first come, first served basis. The application deadline is October 24, or sooner if the money runs out before then.
Vermont Business Magazine Lise Veronneau, of Burlington, has been named the new Honorary Consul of France to Vermont. The official conveyance was celebrated in a ceremony at Burlington City Hall on Wednesday, followed by a reception hosted by outgoing Honorary Consul of France to Vermont from 2008-2020, Ernie Pomerleau. Mayor Miro Weinberger along with French dignitaries were in attendance to honor both individuals.
Vermont Business Magazine iSun, Inc (NASDAQ:ISUN) announced Wednesday that it has secured a $30 million commitment from Fusion Renewable (“Fusion”) for development and professional services. Williston-based iSun is a leading solar energy and clean mobility infrastructure company with 50 years of construction experience in solar, electrical and data services. iSun will perform development and professional services on projects acquired by Fusion at various pre-construction phases. Upon completion of the development and professional services, iSun will retain the rights for all construction services. The newly announced $30 million commitment includes approximately $8.25 million in previously executed contracts. The $30 million in new revenue stream is expected to be recognized over the next 12 months.
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott today issued the following statement regarding the Biden Administration’s plan to invest billions to expand rapid at-home COVID-19 tests for Americans: “Increasing access to rapid at-home testing will be important as we continue moving forward and I applaud the President’s focus on this important tool."
Vermont Business Magazine Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, Wednesday held a press conference at the Senate Radio and T.V. Studio Gallery on the budget reconciliation bill and Senator Joe Manchin's (D-WVa) comments about the legislation. “Senator Manchin talks about not wanting to see our country become ‘an entitlement society.’ Well, I’m not exactly sure what that means. Does that mean that we end the $300 direct payments for working class parents which have cut childhood poverty in half in America? Is protecting working families and cutting childhood poverty an ‘entitlement’?"
Vermont Business Magazine On Wednesday, the Vermont Department of Health reported 129 COVID-19 cases (up 38 from Tuesday) for a pandemic total of 34,632. There were four new deaths for 327 deaths. The state’s percent positive seven-day average is 2.5%. There were 34 people hospitalized with 11 in the ICU. While COVID-19 deaths have remained relatively high in Vermont, Vermont officials maintain that hospitalizations and fatalities are a lagging result and they point out that cases are falling. They are generally falling across the US and across the region. Still, September was the second worst month for COVID-related deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, with 42. December 2020 was the worst with 71 and April 2020 was third worst with 35.
Vermont Business Magazine Vermont State Auditor Doug Hoffer has released a new investigative report analyzing the performance of the Vermont Department of Labor’s primary job training programs. These Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Title I and Title III programs receive about $7 million from the federal government.The report finds the following: Across all categories of eligible Vermonters, WIOA funds serve a relatively small percentage of potential participants. While some groups experienced increased employment and earnings, across all programs a significant portion of participants had lower earnings, lost employment, or remained unemployed when compared to preprogram status. Participants who received training services had higher quarterly earnings than those who only received general job-seeking assistance. Compared to other states, Vermont’s performance falls in the bottom half for most measures.
Vermont Research News Windham and Bennington counties rank among the 10 least religiously affiliated counties in America, according to a 2020 census conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI). Researchers found 45% of Windham and 44% of Bennington county residents identify as “religiously unaffiliated.” The two highest non-religious counties in America are San Juan County, Washington (49%) and Multnomah County, Oregon (48%). Rural areas (17%) have less non-religious residents than urban areas (39%).
Vermont Business Magazine The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Johny Bixby, 35, of Addison, Vermont, was charged by criminal complaint in United States District Court in Burlington, Vermont, with one count of obstruction of commerce by robbery and one count of using a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. Bixby, who is currently detained, will make his initial appearance to answer the complaint in federal court on October 7, 2021.
Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Lieutenant Governor Molly Gray announces the hiring of incoming Chief of Staff, Andrew Gillespie. He takes over from Hazel Brewster. Most recently, Gillespie worked as a legislative and regulatory analyst covering all 50 states and focused on policy issues ranging from cybersecurity to school nutrition. Gillespie is a graduate of the University of Vermont with a degree in Political Science. Gillespie currently resides in Burlington and in his free time enjoys riding his bike.