VPR In The Classroom: High Tech Companies Stay In Vermont

Oct 5, 2016

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Story Synopsis

High-tech companies that provide well-paying jobs are good for the local economy. Keeping those companies from moving out of state, as well as recruiting new companies, has been a focus of business leaders in Vermont.

Since Vermont Yankee nuclear plant closed in 2014, business leaders have worked to reduce the roadblocks to future development and retain companies with roots in Vermont. One company, employee-owned Chroma Technology, has decided to stay and expand in southern Vermont. Its optical filters are used in biomedical research, and this technology is used in a variety of industries across the globe. The expansion will help create jobs and provide continued investment in the local community.

Listen to hear more about the ways local leaders are focusing on business development:

For more ideas, read our Teaching Strategies for using Listenwise audio stories with your students.

Use with Grades 6-12, National Curriculum Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.2 Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.7.2 Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.8 Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author's claims.

Listening Comprehension Questions

  1. How are the optical filters made by Chroma Technology being used?
  2. What are some of the roadblocks mentioned in the story that may prevent local economic development?
  3. What were the concerns that affected Chroma’s decision to stay in Vermont?
  4. How are the needs of the business owners and the Vermont economic development leaders similar and different?

Discussion Themes

Use these questions to get your students thinking at the beginning of class. As they listen to the story, use these questions to have a rich discussion.

  1. If you were leading economic development, how would you you encourage businesses to come to Vermont?
  2. Do you think there should be more focus on recruitment or retention? Explain your answer.

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