The Vermont Economy

VPR Steve Zind
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.

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Vermont economic development officials are hopeful that Congress will renew the operations of the Export-Import Bank later this month. The bank's authority expired this week, and the future of this program has set off a major debate in Washington.

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At any given time, more than 30,000 Vermonters are contending with a suspended driver’s license. But the suspension often relates to offenses that have nothing to do with a person’s road-worthiness. So Transportation Secretary Sue Minter says it’s time to get many of those drivers back on the highway.

VPR/Steve Zind

The long-time IBM microelectronics plant in Essex Junction officially belongs to GlobalFoundries.

One day after announcing it had received clearance from the federal government, GlobalFoundries says it has completed the acquisition of IBM's microelectronics manufacturing business, including the IBM facility in Essex Junction, which employs approximately 4,000.

"The deal strengthens the company's workforce, adding decades of experience and expertise," GlobalFoundries said in a statement issued Wednesday. "The addition of more than 16,000 patents and applications makes GlobalFoundries the holder of one of the largest semiconductor patent portfolios in the world."

Kathleen Masterson / VPR

So far this June is one of the wettest on record in Vermont. With over 7 inches of rainfall, it’s the fourth wettest June in Burlington since 1884.

For many farmers, waterlogged fields have prevented them from harvesting hay; and the standing water stunts the growth of corn and other grains.  

The Road Pitch business bikers will tour Vermont in August. Eight towns are awarded Community Development Block Grants. Festivals this weekend celebrate Abenaki heritage, Barre history and barbecue.

Angela Evancie / VPR

According to the Brewers Association, 1.5 new breweries open every day in the United States. This helps grow an industry that’s now valued at nearly $20 billion. With the highest number of craft breweries per capita, Vermont is certainly not exempt from this bustling market.

This week Gov. Peter Shumlin stood near a failed retaining wall in Brattleboro to announce the eight towns receiving a combined $2,854,000 in Community Development Block Grants. The grants award federal funds to local communities via the Vermont Agency of Commerce & Community Development.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Enid Letourneau has had a house on Ferrand Road since the 1970s.

In 2013, Vermont passed the country's first law against patent scamming, or the improper assertion of patent rights to obtain financial benefits. These entities, commonly known as "patent trolls," are now rebutting by suing the state.

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