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.

Cows munching on feed
John Dillon / VPR

The region's largest dairy cooperative will impose a new pricing system in January in an effort to curb excess milk production.

A common vocabulary can be an essential ingredient to creating the kind of respect, diversity and inclusiveness that many employers say they aspire to create. Here are some steps that advocates, therapists and human resources experts say can help you be a good colleague.

A drone hovers over a lake with a forest in the background.
Aaron Burden / Unsplash

Unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, are already in Vermont's skies. They collect data, snap photos and can provide helpful views of buildings and other structures. They're also increasingly being used to respond to disasters and other emergencies. We're talking about drones with the director of UVM's Spatial Analysis Lab, and how the lab is helping federal aviation officials craft rules for using drones during emergencies.

Students sit outside on a grassy quad.
Tony Talbot / Associated Press File

For the past year, Goddard College, in Plainfield, has been operating under accreditation probation for not meeting financial standards and other problems. In that time, Goddard has brought on a new president, cut staff and focused on fundraising.

Lamoille County Conservation District fall foliage sign
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Vermont has a lot of visitors this time of year, and it's not uncommon to see cars pulled off the road, flanked by people taking pictures of mountain vistas and tree-lined fields. That prompted Silene DeCiuces to leave subtle reminders in some hay fields of who made that perfect photo possible.

David Van Deusen
Henry Epp / VPR

In September, the Vermont AFL-CIO elected a new slate of leaders who are promising to take the coalition of labor unions in a more left-leaning direction. Among those new leaders is David Van Deusen, the organization’s new president.

The exterior of Stowe Arena in Stowe, Vermont.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

Over Labor Day weekend the North American Hockey Academy, or NAHA, held a tournament that brought junior girls hockey players to rinks around northern Vermont – including the school's home rink, Stowe Arena. 

But the event was bittersweet in Stowe: It came just weeks after NAHA founder Bill Driscoll told the town he's selling the school, and the program is moving to Massachusetts.

coins falling into a wallet illustration
cnythzl / iStock

Vermont's minimum wage will increase by 18 cents next year. The Department of Labor announced Monday that starting on Jan. 1, 2020, the state's minimum hourly wage will be $10.96.

people look at fall foliage scenery from bridge overlooking Quechee Gorge.
Nina Keck / VPR

If you’ve gotten caught behind a lot of slow moving traffic lately, you're not alone. And yup, it can be incredibly frustrating. But remember: all those leaf peepers will add millions to the state coffers.

The site of the CityPlace mall redevelopment in Burlington.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

The city of Burlington says developers of the much-delayed downtown mall are not following their agreement with the city, and the mayor is demanding they get the stalled project on track this month.

Map of a ski mountain.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR File

Last week, Vail Resorts significantly expanded its reach into the ski industry in the Northeast and Midwest, by closing on a purchase of Peak Resorts. The deal also benefited members of the Sackler family, owners of Purdue Pharma which makes OxyContin.

three people at a table signing papers
Henry Epp / VPR

Business advocates in Vermont, Quebec and Connecticut have signed an agreement aimed at boosting trade in the aerospace industry.

Hands all put in.
Andrey Popov / iStock

Two Vermonters have started a group for professionals of color across the state to connect, mentor and recognize one another. And they're holding their second-ever event on Thursday, Sept. 26 in Burlington.

Trevor Allard stands in the sawmill’s observation deck at Allard Lumber with his sales manager, looking down on a dusty expanse of grinding saw blades and conveyor belts.

Allard’s father co-founded the company, in Brattleboro, Vermont, nearly 50 years ago. It’s located where Trevor’s grandfather once farmed the land.

“Way back, before the highway,” Allard says.

Vermont's first two F-35s arrived at Burlington International Airport last week. A total of 20 will be based here and all should be in place by next summer.
Elodie Reed / VPR

On Thursday, two F-35 fighters landed at Burlington International Airport. Eighteen more will join them by next summer. And thus, the Vermont Air National Guard becomes the first Guard unit to house these jets. We'll take a look at the various aspects of the F-35s in Vermont.

An artist rendition of a dome over a city.
John Anderson, Courtesy

They seemed so brilliant at the time. Or maybe they didn't. Vermonters have hatched quite a few wild schemes that somehow never got past the idea stage. So we listen back to Vermont Edition's failed ideas show. Six years after originally airing, these planned projects are still fun to think about.

Two F-35A jets flying over California.
Ben Margot / Associated Press File

The first two of 20 F-35 fighter jets slated to be based in Vermont are expected to arrive at Burlington International Airport on Thursday.

People sit in a meeting room in front of a screen.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Town officials from across southern Vermont are considering a communications union district to bring broadband into underserved parts of the region.

Joe Buley dumps stock materials into a composting bin.
Emily Corwin / VPR

A decade ago, Vermont lawmakers found themselves scrambling to respond to dropping milk prices. They wanted a more proactive way to strengthen Vermont's food and farm economy, and settled on a law they called the Farm-to-Plate Investment Program. The initial goal was to double the percentage of dollars spent on local food. Now 10 years later, we ask: did it work?

An illustration of a woman lifting a weight with money on one end and a clock on the other.
sorbetto / iStock

Economists are starting to warn that the United States may slide into recession sometime in 2020 or 2021. Few got through the 2008 recession unscathed — so as politicians and economists start to ramp up speculation about what the next recession might look like, where's the line between smart planning and panic?

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