The Vermont Economy

VPR's Steve Zind

VPR senior reporter Steve Zind focuses on the Vermont economy and its impact on our lives. Follow Steve Zind on Twitter, post comments on the stories, and let Steve know what local economy stories you think VPR should cover.

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.

Newport on Lake Memphremagog
John Dillon / VPR

The small Northeast Kingdom city of Newport has its economic hopes pegged to a long-neglected asset: Lake Memphremagog.

Adam Silver stands looking out of a window in a Brattleboro apartment.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

As companies like Uber and Airbnb continue growing across Vermont, two new state laws to better regulate the "gig economy" are now in effect. 

Moats: Labor Today

Sep 3, 2018
Saklakova / iStock

Vermont’s labor history includes the farm work that took place in virtually every town — the farm families who labored every day to till rocky fields, bring in the crops and tend to their animals.

Officer Ryan Washburn, left, and Everyone's Books co-owner Nancy Braus stand in the Brattleboro bookstore.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

A bookstore owner in Brattleboro is donating books to the Police Department for individuals who have to spend the night locked up, waiting to be arraigned.

A three-panel picture with downtown scenes from Barre City, Montpelier in winter, and the roundabout in Winooski.
Left to right: Steve Zind, Kirk Carapezza, Angela Evancie / VPR

This week, the Vermont chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union sent letters to six cities and towns demanding they repeal local ordinances that ban panhandling. 

Martin Schreiner and Lucas Hough stand on the front porch of their new home in Rutland.
Green Mountain Power, Courtesy

A couple from New York City are the winners of Green Mountain Power’s "Innovation Home" giveaway contest in Rutland. 

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