Vermont Secretary of Administration Neale Lunderville yesterday made a counter offer to the state’s unionized workforce to reduce pay across the board by 5 percent for workers in the executive branch making $30,000 or more per year. He said it would save $8.1 million. Governor Douglas had originally suggested that the state would need to layoff at least 600 total state workers.
Lunderville's proposal also included increasing the share of the health plan premium from 20 percent to 30 percent. This would save the state almost $4 million.
Pan Am Railways (PAR) and Norfolk Southern Railway Company (NS) have received governmental approvals for their proposed Pan Am Southern joint venture, clearing the way for more than $87 million in rail infrastructure investment designed to significantly enhance the service capabilities and commercial offerings that NS and PAR provide in upstate New York and New England. The US Surface Transportation Board's approval of the joint venture will become effective as of 12:01 a.m. (EDT), April 9, 2009. Pan Am Southern is expected to commence operation on or about May 1, 2009.
Liz Lovely, Inc. received national exposure when company co-founders Liz and Dan Holtz were featured on “The Story,” a nationally syndicated program on National Public Radio, on Thursday, March 5th. The show was one in an on-going series called “What’s Working? Who’s Working?” that focuses on people and companies that are thriving despite the downturn in the economy.
Oklahoma leads the nation in the percentage of households with cell phones only, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than a quarter of households (26.2 percent) in Oklahoma had only wireless and no landline phones in 2007. On the other end of the spectrum, only 5.1 percent of households in Vermont were wireless-only in 2007.
Week Ending March 07, 2009. There were 1,633 new regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance last week, an increase of 90 from the week before. Altogether 18,277 new and continuing claims were filed, 22 more than a week ago and 7,250 more than a year earlier. The Department also processed 1,857 First Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08), 947 less than a week ago. In addition, there were 983 Second Tier claims for benefits processed under the EUC08 program which is an increase of 85 from the week before.
Vermont’s largest electric company has won the industry’s highest honor for storm recovery – for the second time.
CVPS President Bob Young today was presented the Edison Electric Institute’s 2008 Emergency Recovery Award for the company’s response to an historic ice storm in December. The company’s preemptive planning led to the restoration of service to more than 70 percent of affected customers after just one day, and complete restoration within a week. CVPS is the smallest company to ever receive the honor – which it won for the second straight year.
The Burlington Business Association (BBA) has announced this year’s winners for their prestigious awards that honor significant contributions to Burlington. Each year the BBA’s Board of Directors and its members nominate and select the winners.
The Vermont Department of Labor announced today that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January 2009 was 6.8 percent, up nine-tenths of a point from the revised December rate and up 2.5 points from a year ago. The unadjusted rate was 7.6 percent.
“The fourth quarter declines in Vermont’s job market continued into January,” said Patricia Moulton Powden, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Labor. “Though we are relatively better off than the US economy as a whole we continue to see significant increases in unemployment.”
Guide will connect taxpayers, businesses, non-profits and municipalities to funding opportunities and tax credits
WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Peter Welch released a guide to opportunities in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for Vermont taxpayers, businesses, non-profits and municipalities Tuesday.
Governor Douglas will present the town of Middlebury with a $200,000 Community Development Block Grant which will help bring more healthcare to low-income residents. The event will be held Wednesday, March 11, at 8:15 am at the future site of the Addison County Dental Center at 32 Merchants Row in Middlebury.
National Life Group today announced its financial results for 2008, highlighted by overall sales growth of 53 percent.
Mehran Assadi, president and chief executive officer, said that in 2008 annuity sales increased 41 percent, life sales were up 16 percent, and sales of mutual funds through Sentinel Investments jumped 115 percent.
“These are exceptional results,” said Assadi. “This is a remarkable endorsement of the value of our products, the success of our strategy and the power of the National Life story.”
Gifford Medical Center celebrated a ninth consecutive year of financial success and announced the winners of health grants and scholarships at the 103rd Annual Meeting of the Randolph hospital’s corporators Friday evening at Chandler.
The Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC) announces the finalists for the 2009 Business Plan Competition. From the 36 submissions received last week, the selection committee chose seven in the Existing Business category and six in the New Business category.
Lane Press in South Burlington and Omya in Proctor are the latest Vermont firms to lay off workers. Each stated that the recession has slowed business resulting in a need to reduce payroll.
Lane Press laid off 29 in March after laying off 10 in January. This leaves them with about 225 employees. In January, the printer also cut hours and reduced pay for most workers. The company prints high-end glossy magazines, such as college alumni magazines.
Two of the nation’s leading solar power installers announced today that they have entered into an agreement for groSolar of White River Junction, Vt., to acquire the residential solar division of Borrego Solar Systems of El Cajon, Calif. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Borrego Solar residential division operates in California as well as Massachusetts.
Thank you, President Finney and Champlain College, for hosting us at this timely conference today. We welcome this opportunity to offer Vermonters, Vermont businesses, and Vermont communities a chance to learn more about how they can take advantage of the recently passed federal economic recovery act. And the more rapidly and effectively that Vermont puts these resources to work, the better we will be able to keep Vermonters working today, and the better we will be able to lay the groundwork for growing our economy for the jobs of tomorrow.
Secretary of Administration Neale F. Lunderville today (March 6, 2009) released General Fund revenue results for the month of February, the eighth month of Fiscal Year 2009. General Fund revenues exceeded target for the month as compared to the consensus revenue target revised in mid-January. The General Fund revenues of $60.32 million for the month of February 2009 were +$2.91 million or +5.08% above the $57.41 million consensus revenue forecast for the month. Year-to-date, General Fund revenues of $735.23 million remain below the forecast by -$11.13 million or -1.49% for FY 2009.
At the request of President Barack Obama, Governor Jim Douglas will host one of five regional forums on health reform at the University of Vermont’s Davis Center on Tuesday, March 17. Governor Douglas will be joined by Governor Deval Partrick (D-MA), officials from the Obama Administration and other guests to discuss health care reform.
FairPoint Communications, Inc. (NYSE: FRP) ("FairPoint" or the "Company"), a leading provider of communications services to communities across the country, has announced its financial results for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2008. FairPoint completed its acquisition of Verizon Communication's wireline and related operations in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont (the "Northern New England business") on March 31, 2008.
Speaker Shap Smith and Senate President Peter Shumlin today announced their legislative priorities for the remainder of the 2009 session. Speaker Smith and Senator Shumlin made a commitment to passing at least seven pieces of legislation that will create good paying jobs for Vermonters, encourage the development of clean renewable energy, reduce the Governor’s proposed tax burden on businesses and grant equal marriage rights to all Vermonters.
Founded in 1959 as Baden’s House of Trophies the company’s primary focus was on bowling trophies. The company expanded into commercial engraving as Vermont Industrial Engravers and finally settled on Vermont Trophy & Engraving in 1973, since becoming the largest recognition manufacturer in the region. The company’s motto is “Recognition is Respect Made Visible”
Governor Jim Douglas will announce tomorrow the award of a $746,000 Community Development Block Grant to the City of Winooski. The ceremony will take place Friday, March 6, 2009 at 2:30 pm at Winooski City Hall, 27 West Allen Street, Winooski.
Almost $5.7 million was released to Vermont today for transit programs funded by the economic recovery bill, Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Representative Peter Welch announced.
The stimulus money for Vermont from the Federal Transit Administration was included in the bill that was designed to create some 8,000 jobs in Vermont to help jolt the economy out of recession.
Vermonters’ interest in the newly enacted economic stimulus bill is so high that registration requests for Friday’s workshops on the plan have quickly outstripped capacity. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who organized the sessions, says signup requests topped 700 just days after online registration opened last week. Leahy Thursday announced that a second conference will be held late this month in Brattleboro to help accommodate Vermonters unable to attend Friday’s session, with details to be announced later.
Leahy and Gov.
On Feb. 27, the gas savings program that has put more than $10 million back into the pockets of consumers throughout New England returns to participating Shaw’s Supermarkets, Dunkin’ Donuts locations and Irving Oil gas stations.
Participating Shaw’s Supermarkets will once again be offering powerful gas savings to their customers, which can then be redeemed at Irving locations throughout Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and in select areas in Vermont and Rhode Island.
Katie Adams, who founded Cat Country Radio sixteen years ago, is now creating another Rutland based enterprise. Adams has taken a closed wood pallet mill in Clarendon, and, as she did with country music, is filling a void in the market. She’s starting the first wood pellet plant in Vermont.
State Treasurer Jeb Spaulding announced today that Vermont successfully sold $50.5 million in general obligation bonds. Demand was so high that once the selling period was open, the bonds virtually sold out in less than three hours.
Thirty-six candidates have submitted entries for the first round of the Fourth Annual Business Plan Competition offered by the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC). Sixteen are in the New Business category and 20 in the Existing Business category.