by Suresh V Garimella At a late October press conference, the University of Vermont announced some good news. For the 2021/22 academic year, UVM would freeze tuition and room and board and cut student fees, the third year in a row the university has held its tuition increase to zero. The announcement was noteworthy for two reasons. By setting the cost of attending UVM in 2021 at a rate lower than it was in 2020, it bucked national trends, making the university more—not less—accessible for students and families. It also demonstrated, in concrete terms, that the university is beginning to deliver on a series of ambitious commitments.
Vermont Business Magazine Ronald J Cioffi, RN, and CEO of the VNA & Hospice of the Southwest Region (VNAHSR), one of the state’s largest providers of skilled home health and hospice services, announced plans to retire in June of 2021. Cioffi, a registered nurse, and native Vermonter joined the VNA (then known as the Rutland Area Visiting Nurse Association) in 1980 as a dialysis nurse. In 1992 he was promoted to the Chief Executive Officer role and oversaw the agency through unprecedented financial growth and an expansion in areas served and breadth of services. Cioffi led the agency in establishing new services and partnerships including specialty clinical programs such as pediatric rehabilitation, pediatric high-tech services, wound care, hospice and palliative care, and telemonitoring.
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont State Senate Democratic Caucus has nominated Senator Becca Balint (D-Windham) to serve as Vermont Senate President Pro Tempore for the 2021-22 legislative session. She is the first woman and first openly gay person in Vermont history to receive this designation. Senator Balint will be joined in Senate leadership by Senator Alison Clarkson (D-Windsor), who has been elected Vermont Senate Majority Leader, and by Senator Cheryl Hooker (D-Rutland), who has been elected Vermont Senate Majority Whip. This also marks the first time in Vermont history that all three elected positions are to be held by women.
Vermont Business Magazine Stonecutter Spirits, the award-winning Vermont producer of gin and whiskey, has been acquired by Keith Berg and Matt Berg. The two brothers, who live in New England, intend to keep Stonecutter Spirits based in Vermont. Financial terms were not disclosed. Stonecutter ceased production and closed its restaurant nearly a year ago.
Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Senate Republicans will have a new leader in January. Senator Randy Brock (R/D-Franklin) will be taking the reigns when new members are sworn in on January 6, according to current Minority Leader Senator Joe Benning (R-Caledonia). Senator Brian Collamore (R-Rutland) will continue to serve as Assistant Minority Leader. The decision was reached in a unanimous vote of Republican Senators following a motion by Benning.
Vermont Business Magazine This year, due to limited funds, the Working Lands Enterprise Grants will solely support Supply Chain Impact grant projects. Grant descriptions must demonstrate how the project will positively impact multiple businesses or have supply chain impacts. Grant awards are $25,000-$50,000 and first round applications are due December 6th.
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Department of health is reporting 86 new cases of COVID-19 today. This is an increase of 170 since Friday with one more death in Rutland County. There have been four deaths in Rutland County the last two weeks. There are a total of 3,629 total cases of the novel coronavirus since the start of the pandemic last March.
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott updated his latest executive order Friday to clarify household gathering guidance. Individuals who live alone may gather with no more than one other household. Anyone in a dangerous, unhealthy or otherwise unsafe household may gather with another household. Finally, limited outdoor fitness activities involving no more than two individuals from different households are permitted, provided these activities can be enjoyed while adhering to physical distancing and mask requirements.
Vermont Business Magazine The University of Vermont Office of Engagement, partnering with the UVM Extension Office, awarded four COVID Outreach Rapid Response Research (RAPID) grants to Vermont organizations to relieve the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Office of Engagement was established earlier this year with funding from the Vermont State Legislature. This initiative is reinvesting that funding in Vermont communities by providing nearly $60,000 of support the projects.
Vermont Business Magazine The Lake Champlain Chamber has announced a new program moniker: TalentBTV. TalentBTV is the new name for LCC’s long-standing talent development work. Finding talent has always been a leading concern for LCC members and the organization has been able to address these concerns through programs and initiatives like relocation services, Burlington Young Professionals, professional mentoring and their resume resource program.
Vermont Business Magazine Peanuts fans old and new will have more ways to watch Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the gang on their holiday adventures as Apple and PBS team up for special, ad-free broadcasts this year. “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” will air on Vermont PBS and PBS KIDS on Sunday, November 22 at 7:30 pm and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” will air on Vermont PBS and PBS KIDS on Sunday, December 13 at 7:30 pm
Let’s Grow Kids announces latest round of grants to increase child care capacity in Vermont
Vermont Business Magazine Even before COVID-19, three out of five of Vermont’s youngest children didn’t have access to the child care they needed. And too many families couldn’t afford it. During the pandemic, Vermont has emerged as a national leader in stabilizing and supporting the child care industry.