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Smith: Debate on affordability; how tweeting could wreck your career

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 10:07am -- tim

by Mike Smith Two hot button issues last week highlighted questions of public confidence: a firing and a battle to lay claim to the affordability agenda. The executive editor of The Burlington Free Press, Denis Finley, was fired after posting on his personal Twitter account the following: “Awesome! That makes us one step closer to the apocalypse.” He was responding to a proposal to add a third gender option on driver’s licenses in this state. Now there are only two: male and female.

SIT to cut 30 staff positions in Brattleboro

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:24am -- tim

by Randolph T Holhut/The Commons The School for International Training in Brattleboro is about to undergo a major transition. SIT still will have its headquarters in Brattleboro, but according to its president, Dr Sophia Howlett, its educational programs will expand to the more than 30 countries where SIT has learning sites. Last week, SIT issued a news release saying it would no longer offer full-time graduate programs in Brattleboro. The emphasis will be shifted to developing a new, full-time, global master’s degree program that will instead use SIT’s overseas program centers.

Churchill Hindes elected chair of the Vermont State Colleges board

Sun, 01/14/2018 - 5:10am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine By unanimous vote, the Vermont State Colleges System Board of Trustees has elected J. Churchill Hindes as its chair. Hindes will lead the 15-member board, which provides governance and stewardship for the VSCS and its institutions—Castleton University, Community College of Vermont, Northern Vermont University and Vermont Technical College.

Localvore expansion to MA and ME is growth model for job creation in VT

Sat, 01/13/2018 - 9:08am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Conscious consumers are demanding products and services from environmentally and socially responsible companies in all industries. Burlington-based digital marketing provider, Localvore, is expanding operations outside of Vermont to connect conscious consumers with restaurants dedicated to local sourcing.

Burlington School District teachers’ contract signed

Sat, 01/13/2018 - 2:58am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The Burlington School District is pleased to announce that both the School Board and the Burlington Education Association have signed the teachers’ contract ratified this past September. With the signing, the contract becomes legal and binding, and teachers will soon begin receiving retroactive pay for raises granted by the contract. The contract also provides teachers with health insurance savings and will help the District support students whose needs are not easily met by traditional models.

Business Roundtable elects new leadership for 2018

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 7:03pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine At its 31st Annual Membership Meeting held at Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa, the Vermont Business Roundtable elected two new directors to their first three-year term: Mark Crow, Tenth Crow Creative and Don George, BCBSVT. Elected to their second three-year term were the following directors: Tom Dee, Southwestern Vermont Health Care; Mark Foley, Foley Services; Walter Frame, Trapp Family Lodge; Judy O’Connell, Champlain Investment Partners; and Mike Walsh, NFP.

LEAHY: The clock is ticking, and the people are watching

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 5:38pm --

By Senator Patrick Leahy Once again Congress finds itself lurching toward another manufactured made-in-Washington crisis.  We are four months into a new fiscal year, and our government is still operating under last year’s fixed funding levels with little flexibility to adapt to today’s world.  We have not reauthorized the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), putting the health care of 9 million children, including more than 4700 Vermont children, at risk.  And 800,000 DREAMers live under a cloud of uncertainty and fear of deportation.

PAI: A minimum wage increase will help, not hurt, Vermont

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 3:53pm -- tim

Public Assets Institute “The vast majority of the most rigorous modern research on the impact of higher minimum wages—including robust increases to $13 or more—shows that these policies boost worker earnings with little to no adverse impact on employment.” Testimony to the Minimum Wage Study Committee from Yannet Lathrop of the National Employment Law Project on November 21, 2017. In other words, there is no credible evidence that minimum wage increases cause significant job loss.

GMP prepared for ice storm, warns customers to focus on safety

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 3:32pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Weather forecasts for Friday evening through Sunday include freezing rain, sleet,  snow and wind across the state that could cause outages. Green Mountain Power has activated its workforce and brought in additional crews from around New England and Canada to ensure a strong response to whatever the storm brings.

Twinstate and FirstLight partner to expand services

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 3:08pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine As a benefit to customers all over the Northeast Region, Twinstate Technologies has partnered with FirstLight Fiber out of Albany, New York to broaden products and services. FirstLight, a leader in fiber-optic data, Internet, data center and voice services has become a tech giant throughout the Northeast for the past several years, stretching from Western New York to Vermont to Eastern Maine and as far North as Montreal to Southern New York State and New York City.

Hotels offer Canadians at-par lodging promotion with Porter Airlines

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 2:52pm -- tim

by Timothy McQuiston Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott today at Burlington International Airport announced the Vermont at-par lodging promotion for passengers who travel from Toronto to Burlington aboard Toronto-based Porter Airlines. In a promotion created by the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing, more than 20 lodging properties in Burlington, the Stowe area, Smugglers' Notch and the Mad River Valley are offering Porter Airlines’ passengers lodging packages at a rate equivalent to the value of the Canadian dollar. Details and rates will vary for each participating property.

Weekly unemployment claims fall by over 600

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 12:52pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Weekly unemployment claims began the new year on a down note, which is good. Hiring and then layoffs spike around the holidays as first retailers and mail order operations hire seasonal workers and then release them. Volatility is common this time of year.  For the week of January 6, 2018, there were 945 claims, 625 fewer than than they were the previous week and 5 more than they were a year ago. Altogether 6,917 new and continuing claims were filed, an increase of 783 from a week ago, but 848 fewer than a year ago. For most weeks of 2017, including the last several months, claims have registered below the year before, until recently when they've been similar.