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.
Contract negotiations are scheduled for this weekend between the Chittenden County Transportation Authority management and the driver’s union. The drivers plan to strike on Monday if the two sides don’t reach agreement.
At an auditorium in Burlington City Hall Thursday night, over 150 supporters of CCTA drivers gathered to support Teamsters Local 597, the drivers union.
Unfair hours and working conditions were key issues that could lead to a stop work action. Last month, the union voted 53-4 to reject CCTA's most recent contract offer.
For some of us, spring can’t come too soon. But this cold winter has created the ideal conditions for making a sweet dessert beverage. It’s called ice cider and it’s fermenting right now in a a cellar in Newport.
Economic Development was on the Town Meeting agenda in a number of southeastern Vermont towns. Ten towns said ‘yes’ to funding requests from a multi-town effort known as the Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies, or SeVEDS.
The requests ranged from $36,000 in Brattleboro to just under $700 in Weston. Only one town, Newfane voted not to fund the effort this year.
SeVEDS grew out of a realization that the region was losing population, especially among young professionals and families.
Unofficial results indicate most communities that took up a non-binding resolution calling on the legislature to establish a public bank approved it. Fifteen approved the non-binding resolution.
It appears it was voted down in four towns.
The legislature is considering a bill that would make the Vermont Economic Development Authority a state bank. The idea is to begin by depositing 10 percent of the state’s money now in large global banks into VEDA where it could be used to help finance loans for public projects.
A proposal to charge a 10 cent fee for plastic and paper bags distributed to shoppers is on a path to be drastically scaled back.
The Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee heard from retailers and grocers Friday on the hardship the proposal would cause for smaller retailers that face challenges from online competitors and bordering states.
Committee members appeared Friday to be embracing a House proposal by Burlington Democratic Rep. Curt McCormack that would cut the fee in half.
This isn’t the first time Vermonters have considered establishing a state bank. In the late 1780’s they were caught in a national depression stemming from the closing of the British West Indies to American trade and the resulting loss of British specie – that’s a technical term for hard cash, as opposed to paper notes.
Gov. Peter Shumlin said he received word from IBM officials that layoffs occurred Thursday at the company's Essex Junction plant.
Shumlin said in a statement that he was told the number of jobs eliminated is "about one-third" the number in the last round of layoffs at the facility, which would indicate about 140 employees are being let go.
Gov. Peter Shumlin says officials at the IBM plant in Essex Junction have told him that workers there are being laid off today.
Shumlin says IBM has not given him an exact number, but the number of jobs being cut is "about one-third" the number eliminated in the last round of layoffs at the facility. 419 jobs were cut last July.
"This is difficult news for the affected workers and their families, as well as for the communities that also suffer the impacts of job reductions," Shumlin said in a statement. "I pledge to work with my team to help in every way we can."
Most Town Meeting resolutions concern issues or questions that are fairly easy to explain. Not so with the concept of a public bank. Yet, at least 20 communities will take up a Town Meeting resolution asking voters to support the creation of one.
The debate boils down to opportunity vs. risk.
There’s a lot packed into the arguments made by both sides, but before debating them many people at town meeting will want to know what a public bank is.
It doesn’t have individual accounts or ATMs or a Christmas Club. It’s where the state puts its cash.
Lee Conrad, Alliance@IBM National Coordinator, says he is now hearing that layoffs planned for IBM's Essex Junction facility will take place on Thursday.
Earlier this week Conrad said sources had indicated layoffs would come on Wednesday.
State officials say they haven't been informed yet of any layoffs, but by law the company does not have to notify the state until after they occur. The law requires notification if 25 or more employees are terminated.