The Vermont Economy

The home for VPR's coverage of economic issues affecting the state of Vermont as well as business and industry developments across the region.

VPR reporter Bob Kinzel covers economic issues from the Statehouse Bureau in Montpelier. In addition, All Things Considered Host/Reporter Henry Epp covers business from Colchester.

Follow Bob Kinzel and Henry Epp on Twitter for the latest Vermont Economy news. 

Explore our coverage by topic or chronologically by scrolling through the list below

Aging Well | Homelessness & Housing | Dairy Industry | EB-5

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Have an economy-related news tip that requires investigation?

Reach out to VPR's Investigations Desk.

The Green Mountain Byway, as established a decade ago, ran from Route 2 in Waterbury Village and up Route 100 through Stowe. Now the byway has been extended to include four more Lamoille County towns.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

As peak foliage colors spread across the Green Mountains, it’s not a bad time to go for a drive or a bike ride. One good route is the newly-expanded Green Mountain Byway.

A display case with CBD products at the Green State Gardener store in Burlington.
Jon Kalish / For VPR

As the harvest nears a close, 2018 is turning out to be a pivotal year for industrial hemp in Vermont. More people are growing it than ever before and millions of dollars are being invested in hemp farms and in the industrial labs needed to extract CBD from hemp.

Participants at the Lamoille Works Workforce Development Meetup broke up into small groups to learn more about their colleagues and the work they do.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Vermont’s low unemployment rate can make it hard for employers to find workers. But it can also open up doors for people who face employment barriers.

The exterior of a custom-built cabin at Chittenden Brook Campground in the woods.
Kyle Crichton, courtesy

Wanna get away? Backcountry enthusiasts will soon have more trailside accommodations in Vermont to choose from. One new heated cabin just opened for occupancy this week, while another will become available in December and construction of a third is set to begin next spring. 

A Keurig Dr. Pepper sign in Waterbury, Vermont.
Henry Epp / VPR

Over the last 20 years, the state of Vermont has authorized more than $10 million in payments to Keurig Green Mountain, Inc.

The company, known for its K-Cup pods, is just one of many Vermont businesses that have used state incentive programs aimed at creating jobs. But exactly how much money Keurig received and what the company did with it is shrouded in secrecy.

A welcome to Island Pond sign outside by a road.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Vermonters consistently rank jobs, the economy and cost of living as the biggest issues facing the state, which is why candidates running for political office right now spend so much time talking about them.

For people living in the most rural parts of Vermont, however, economic livelihood is even harder to come by

Tony James stands holding a drink cup in front of some James Oil Company trucks.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Vermont’s fuel dealers are having a hard time hiring drivers, and the Vermont Department of Labor is getting involved to get more people interested in driving the delivery trucks.

The bar at Smugglers' Notch Distillery with posters of products and bottles lining the counter.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Next week Smugglers’ Notch Distillery plans a ribbon cutting celebration for its new space in Jeffersonville. It’s a prime example of ongoing economic changes in Lamoille County, as the forestry industry is replaced with businesses fueled by tourism.

A man kneels on the ground outside of a tiny house in the woods of the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.
Jon Kalish / For VPR

Since 2012, a group of tiny house enthusiasts has gathered in the woods of the Northeast Kingdom to participate in hands-on building workshops. It's known as Tiny House Summer Camp.

Stock image of fiber-optic cables.
kynny / iStock

The Public Utility Commission is opening an investigation into service complaints toward Consolidated Communications.

Sign outside of Uber headquarters in San Francisco.
Eric Risberg / Associated Press File

Uber drivers in Vermont whose personal data was hacked in 2016 are in line to receive $100 payments from the state.

A row of occupied voting booths with curtains drawn in Norwich, Vt.
Angela Evancie / VPR File

The town of Norwich has been trying to get an affordable housing project off the ground for more than a decade, and there will be a special vote on Election Day to see if the town wants to keep trying to encourage the development.

The two toddlers currently enrolled at LouLou's Pre-K & Family Child Care have a lot of books and toys to choose from. Once the home day care is licensed by the state, up to ten children will be allowed to enroll.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

If you've ever looked for child care in Vermont, you know it can be tough to find openings. But it can also be a tough, and expensive, process for providers to open up and register with the state.

The organization Vermont Birth to Five is trying to help make it easier. 

The sign outside of the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

The University of Vermont Medical Center has reached a tentative contract agreement with the Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals after 10 months of bargaining.

Deb Snell with the nurses' union at UVM Medical Center addresses reporters ahead of the July work stoppage.
Henry Epp / VPR

After months of negotiations between the UVM Medical Center and the hospital's nurses' union yielded no new contract, UVMMC administrators have made what they call their "last, best and final offer." 

Vermont's combined aerospace manufacturing and civil aviation industry accounts for $2 billion a year in economic output.
Serts / iStock

It's out there, quietly accounting for $2 billion in economic output each year. It's Vermont's aerospace industry, creating 9,500 jobs in commercial aviation and around 3,600 manufacturing positions. Vermont Edition takes a closer look at this stealth industry.

A pile of bags and other personal belongings in a church basement.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

On some of the coldest nights of the year, a state-run program helps find emergency housing for people. The Vermont Department for Children and Families is now planning a revamp of the rules that govern this program, which has been around for more than 50 years.

AP/Toby Talbot

The state will expand a high-speed broadband network that could serve hundreds of customers in the Northeast Kingdom.

A streetview of downtown Wilmington, Vermont.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Selectboard member Ann Manwaring says the town of Wilmington is considering a proposal to ban plastic bags and will take up the issue at its next meeting.

Maple syrup in glass leaf-shaped bottles.
Toby Talbot / Associated Press File

After announcing earlier this summer that they would reconsider a proposed "added sugar" label on maple syrup and honey, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has officially decided to scrap that plan.

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