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.

Rebecca Sananes / VPR

What happens to the Vermont dairy industry if migrant workers are deported? That was the question being answered at a community forum in Hardwick on Wednesday night.

Angela Evancie / VPR/file

Rep. Peter Welch is urging Vermonters to contact the Federal Communications Commission and show their support for Obama-era net neutrality rules. Welch says net neutrality is vital to the U.S. economy.

Steve Zind / VPR

An effort to preserve 22.5 acres of land just off the Randolph exit of Interstate 89 has just under a month to finish raising $1 million. 

We Americans have always headed into our workshops, spare rooms and garages, and made stuff. From smart eighteenth century New England farm boys who brought their inventions south to Worcester, MA, where there was power to rent, to Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak tinkering on the first personal computer prototypes, this is what we do. But as school districts tighten their belts by cutting all but academic basics, we sacrifice practice in fabrication, the training ground for innovation.

Nokian Tyres sign outside its Colchester headquarters with arrows pointing to corporate offices, customer service, and shipping and receiving.
Meg Malone / VPR

Nokian Tyres recently announced plans to build a plant in Tennessee, but Tommi Heinonen – head of Nokian Tyres North America – says there are no plans at the moment to move the company's North American headquarters out of Vermont.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

A push to drive down health care costs for public school employees has suddenly taken over the political debate in Montpelier, but efforts to control those expenses have actually been going on behind the scenes for two years now.

New England states are considering the idea of sticking with daylight saving time year 'round. Proposals to make the switch are being taken up by several legislatures, including Maine's.

Nina Keck / VPR

Have you tried to call a plumber or electrician lately? How about a carpenter? Nationwide, there’s a shortage of skilled tradespeople. 

Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

TV news viewers in Vermont are witnessing the end of an era in local programming. Last week, WCAX-TV announced it was being sold to Atlanta-based Grey Television, ending the run for a family-owned TV station that stretches back 63 years.

Facing skepticism from Democratic lawmakers over his controversial plan for teacher health care benefits, Gov . Phil Scott is trying to convince the Legislature — and the public — that the estimated $26 million in savings projections are realistic.

A municipally owned Central Vermont internet provider has marked a milestone by repaying the nearly 500 local investors who funded its start-up.

AlbertPego / iStock.com

Tax Increment Financing – also known as TIF – has been used to help pay for public infrastructure projects across Vermont, from the Burlington Waterfront to Newport’s industrial park. But how, exactly, does TIF work? And if it’s so successful, why does the state limit its use?

Angela Evancie / VPR file

Late Wednesday night, the Democratically controlled Vermont House of Representatives almost did the unthinkable by passing a proposal put forth by Republican Gov. Phil Scott that would drastically overhaul the collective bargaining process for public school teachers.

Mike Groll / Associated Press

The federal government's H-2B visa program allows temporary, non-agricultural workers from certain foreign countries to fill seasonal positions in the U.S. Vermont's resort, lodging, and restaurant industries rely on these workers. But a cap on the number of these visas could have a negative effect on the these employers.

WCAX-TV, Vermont’s CBS affiliate, has been sold for $29 million to a Georgia company by the family that founded the station in 1954, according a WCAX news report.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

A late-session budget proposal from Republican Gov. Phil Scott has Democratic lawmakers suddenly contemplating new ways to book savings in the public education system.

Manuel Balce Ceneta / Associated Press

Sen. Patrick Leahy says a new budget agreement in Congress will preserve funding for many important Vermont programs for the rest of the federal fiscal year.

A Vermont slaughterhouse received four United States Department of Agriculture violations in the past year, and an animal rights group is asking regulators to consider withdrawing the plant's federal inspection program.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

The Vermont House is expected to pass legislation this week that would create a statewide paid family and medical leave program. But the bill will face a number of hurdles to passage when the Senate takes up the proposal next year, and might see its progress hampered by a corresponding push to raise the minimum wage.

DenisTangneyJr / iStock.com

Officials say a late-January snapshot of the homeless population in Chittenden County counted 291 homeless people, a 12 percent decrease since January 2016. Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger says that shows progress toward ending homelessness, but some advocates say the data don’t show the whole story.

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