State equal pay act gets first test in the courts

first_imgby Nat Rudarakanchana March 19, 2013 At a federal court hearing in Burlington on Tuesday, a state equal pay act passed in 2002 faced its first test in the courts.A former Hudson News employee sued the company when she discovered that she’ d been paid thousands of dollars less than her male replacement.Plaintiff Wendi Dreves, a former general manager for Hudson Group Retail, which owns the Hudson News kiosk in Burlington International Airport, filed suit in November 2011. It’ s the first such lawsuit filed under the Vermont Equal Pay Act.The state act mandating equal pay for equal work provides stronger protections than its federal counterpart of 1963.Women’ s rights advocate Cary Brown, who leads the state’ s Vermont Commission on Women, said the lack of lawsuits doesn’ t mean there haven’ t been instances of unequal pay for equal work in the last decade.Brown said she’ s fielded plenty of complaints on the topic. She added that a reluctance to publicly battle employers in court, or unawareness of the act among potential plaintiffs, could also account for the lack of legal action.Plaintiff’ s attorney John Franco says Wendi Dreves should receive over $180,000 in backpay, after a Burlington court hearing on Tuesday. Photo by Nat RudarakanchanaDreves’ counsel John Franco argued that Hudson News paid Dreves’ replacement, Jarrod Dixon, about $16,100 annually more than Dreves for the same work, despite Dreves’ seniority and depth of experience.Dreves earned $34,356 when she first started work in September 2000. She earned $48,230 when she was fired from the job in September 2010 amid substantiated claims that she’ d performed poorly and systematically abused her subordinates.Around that time Hudson News offered Dixon, already an employee and next in line for promotion, $52,500 to move from Manchester, N.H., for the same position, according to oral arguments in court. Dixon was later accused of sexual harassing his subordinates, according to an amicus brief filed for the plaintiff.Before presiding Judge William Sessions III, Hudson’ s counsel Joseph Kernen countered that Dixon’ s unique qualifications and experience, along with the requested move from New Hampshire, justified the extra pay, which he put at about $4,000 by comparing Dreves’ final salary with Dixon’ s first salary.The 2002 state act permits different wages based on the seniority or merit of the two employees, based on ‘ any factor other than sex,’ or in other words, for a legitimate, business-related reason for a difference in pay.Kernen argued that the firm offered Dixon a higher salary for defensible and bona fide business reasons, and not on arbitrary grounds as an excuse for unequal pay. He pointed to Dixon’ s record at the time as an excellent employee, repeating that the extra money was reasonable and necessary to ‘ induce’ Dixon to his new position.Franco argued that the defendant’ s case too closely resembled the debunked classic argument that vague ‘ market forces’ meant businesses simply had to offer higher salaries to men. The courts have previously ruled this ‘ market forces’ justification as an unconvincing legal excuse.‘ We have a patriarchal society that pays men more than women, and statistics bear that out,’ said Franco at the hearing, linking his case to a history of discrimination. He said that if courts too readily accepted the exception of ‘ business-related reasons,’ the state equal pay statute loses its teeth, and may as well not exist.But Kernen said that the factors explaining Dixon’ s higher salary were ‘ real, legitimate, and certainly business-related.’ He added that ruling in his favor wouldn’ t come close to defanging state statute or undermining legislative intent. He also raised the fact that seven women testified in affidavits that they were abused by Dreves, and that Dreves had withdrawn a past claim of wrongful termination.Sessions grilled each attorney thoroughly, questioning whether Kernen understood the law’ s intent to provide equal pay for equal work, regardless of the qualifications of job candidates. He asked Franco, in turn, if employers could be held strictly liable, regardless of whether they intend to discriminate, given the broadness of the ‘ business related’ exemption.Questioning Kernen, Sessions said: ‘ You look to the job and what the job is worth. ‘¦ His [Dixon’ s] qualifications frankly become less significant.’ Sessions also pondered whether he should rule on subtle differences between the state and federal equal pay acts in his eventual decision.After the hearing, Vermont Law School professor Cheryl Hanna said that greater education, experience, or job responsibility could justify different wages, under the state act. She noted that the state’ s law provides greater protection than federal law because it covers employees of small businesses (the federal act doesn’ t do so) and because it allows plaintiffs to request more money for restitution.Vermont Law School professor Cheryl Hanna discusses the importance of the court case, the first filed under the state’ s Equal Pay Act, in front a Burlington courthouse on Tuesday. Photo by Nat RudarakanchanaHanna authored an amicus brief for the plaintiff, joining state lawmakers, the Vermont Commission on Women, Vermont Legal Aid, and several other national women’ s rights groups in support of the lawsuit.She called today’ s hearing ‘ historic’ because ‘ it’ s the first time a federal judge has interpreted what Vermont’ s equal pay statute means, and how courts going forward should interpret it ‘¦ It’ s the first time a court is going to decide what the Vermont Legislature intended when it passed the law.’She hoped the case would illuminate the problem of unequal pay and encourage other women to come forward to discuss or litigate the issue.The Vermont Commission on Women’ s Cary Brown added: ‘ A lifetime of limited earnings [for women] really has ripple effects. Women are more economically insecure than men are; they have a higher unemployment rate; they have lower rates of savings.’She cited U.S. Census data which shows that women in Vermont only earn 84 cents per dollar earned by men. Women here earn more than their counterparts in other states, however, with women nationally earning 77 cents on average per dollar earned by men.Dreves is seeking about $230,000 in total relief. This includes about $93,000 in allegedly owed backpay, doubled under Vermont statute to restitution of $186,000, along with $40,000 in interest and attorney’ s fees of over $100,000.The civil case also includes allegations that Dufry, the Swiss multinational which now owns Hudson News, did not justly compensate Dreves for overtime and that they discriminated against Dreves based on age.In the political arena, lawmakers will consider expanding equal pay legislation on the House floor this week, with a bill requiring employers to formally consider requests for flexible work schedules, or face civil fines and investigations.The legislation has been questioned by the business community, which views it as unnecessary and potentially burdensome, but backed by House Speaker Shap Smith at a press conference on Monday.A similar case, in which a state corrections worker sued the state for allegedly paying a male counterpart $10,000 more for the same work, is in discovery phase of litigation, according to former Human Rights Commission director Rob Appel.Hanna is hesitant to predict outcomes in the Dreves case. A decision could come as early as this summer, though there’ s no mandated timeframe.But Hanna’ s considered view is that the law clearly favors Dreves, because the burden of proof lies squarely on an employer to show that they didn’ t dole out unequal pay for equal work, and because the United States 2nd Circuit, under which Vermont’ s court falls, has often ruled in favor of unequal pay for plaintiffs in the past, adopting stringent legal standards for employers.[Note: The case originated in January 2011 as an age and sex discrimination action, but later came to include a count of equal pay violation, by November 2011, after Dreves’ attorney discovered how much Dixon earned.]COMPLAINTlast_img read more

New Business Conditions Survey results show continued slow economic recovery

first_imgToday Lisa Ventriss, President of Vermont Business Roundtable (VBR) and Jeffrey Carr, President, Economic & Policy Resources (EPR), announced the inaugural results of their new joint initiative, the VBR-EPR Business Conditions Survey.  The survey, which will be conducted quarterly, is the next generation of the Roundtable’s economic outlook surveys that began in 2004, and will result in a more meaningful and predictive index going forward. The new economic indicator, constructed as a Diffusion Index, is designed to follow economic sentiments of Roundtable members over time, and serve as a tool for analyzing and presenting insight into the Vermont economic outlook; as a leading economic indicator. This inaugural survey, which achieved a response rate of 74 percent overall, included a strong level of response from every industry sector within the membership.  The survey asked eight questions about the economic outlook, demand, capital spending, and employment. This quarter’s survey also included a topical question about the F-35s. Results of this third quarter survey show that:·         Roundtable members corresponded strongly to the economic reality of a slow recovery from the recent recession, which lasted from December 2007 to June 2009; most responses were mildly positive or neutral;·         VBR responses also aligned closely with the lukewarm results from the recent National Business Roundtable (BRT) survey for capital spending and employment for the coming three months; and·         VBR responses concerning employment the last three months align closely with Vermont Department of Labor data on employment. Employment growth in most sectors is positive or neutral, according to both member responses and Department of Labor data.The survey also asked CEOs a topical question related to the current discussion around the basing of the F-35s at the Vermont Air National Guard (VTANG). ·         Over 80 percent (80.8% percent) of respondents believed that ‘the continued mission of the Air National Guard including the F-35 jets’ would have a positive effect on Vermont’s economy (3 percent replied negative; 16 percent replied neutral)This graph shows the composite of the diffusion index points, which were generated from the percentages of ‘positive’, ‘negative’, and ‘neutral’ replies to the capital spending and employment questions. Diffusion index points measure the level of confidence respondents have about different aspects of the economy, and can range 100 (where 100% of respondents answered ‘strong positive’) to -100 (where 100% of respondents answered ‘strong negative’).  The diffusion index points, graphed over time, can show the relative amounts of optimism and pessimism that the respondents have about the economic climate.  The orange line marks the start of the new data, which uses new methodology; specifically, the new methodology takes into account the ‘intensity’ of replies, and differentiates between ‘mild’ and ‘strong’ answers.  The new methodology also weights VBR’s employment by sector to Vermont’s employment by sector, for greater representativeness to the Vermont economy.  Although the new points seem less optimistic than the years before, they are lowered because of the new methodology, and present a more accurate view of the current economic climate and future economic expectations; a slow recovery, and slightly less optimism for the three months ahead compared to the last three months.  The old points are included to show that the diffusion index is successful at illustrating the economic reality; the diffusion index points calculated from the previous surveys corresponded to the recession and gradual recovery.  The next survey will be conducted in early November, 2013. The Vermont Business Roundtable (VBR) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of chief executive officers of Vermont’s leading private and nonprofit employers, representing geographic diversity and all major sectors of the Vermont economy. The Roundtable is committed to sustaining a sound economy and preserving Vermont’s unique quality of life by studying and making recommendations on statewide public policy issues.  www.vtroundtable.org(link is external). Economic & Policy Resources, Inc. (EPR) has been providing private and public sector clients throughout the U.S. and Canada with problem-solving economic research and analysis services for more than 25 years. Our professionals bring a broad spectrum and a deep reservoir of problem-solving knowledge and experience in applied economics to each assignment. We put our capabilities and experience to work for our clients so that they have the insight and understanding necessary to move forward with confidence. EPR has successfully completed assignments throughout the United States and in eastern Canada. www.epreconomics.com(link is external) .VBR 8.14.2013last_img read more

Vermont National Guard announces Valorous Unit Award recognition ceremony

first_imgThe 3rd Battalion 172nd Infantry (Mountain) will be presented the Valorous Unit Award (VUA) and VUA streamer for its extraordinary heroism against an armed enemy while serving in Afghanistan in 2010.In addition, Combat Medic SGT Michael Mulcahy will be awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Valor.’ The ceremony will take place on 12 January 2014 at 9 am at the Shapiro Field House, Norwich University Northfield, VT.‘last_img

State officials monitor forest fire in Bolton

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Employees from the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation are working with the Bolton Fire Department to contain a small forest fire on Robbins Mountain. The Department said in a statement today that the fire was first spotted on Thursday, October 7. Over the last week, the Bolton Town Forest Fire Warden and volunteer firefighters from the towns of Bolton, Huntington, Hinesburg and Richmond along with state forestry staff have been working to control this deep burning fire, situated along a steep ridge visible from US Route 2 and Interstate 89.A portable water tank has been set up at the end of Happy Hollow Road in Huntington and water is being pumped uphill over one‐quarter mile to the scene of the fire.“This is a typical ground fire, extremely slow moving, but hard to extinguish” says Lars Lund, Forest Fire Supervisor with the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation. “We’ve been busy putting down water and trying to break up the dense duff and root layer to get to the fire smoldering under the surface. It’s a lot of tough digging, made even more difficult due to the steep terrain and standing trees with burned out roots”. The fire, approximately 2 acres in size, is believed to have ignited naturally, most likely by lightning. “At this point the fire does not appear to pose a significant threat to lives, structures or valuable sawtimber.” says Lund. The fire has been contained but is not fully extinguished.“To completely extinguish the fire will require continued investment in staff time and exposure of staff and volunteers to hazards associated with fire control. We still may not be successful in extinguishing the fire. These investments and risks are not worth it when the fire does not appear to pose a significant threat.” said Steve Sinclair, the Director of Forests. The Bolton Fire Chief and Town Forest Fire Warden Michael Gervia and Lund agree that over the weekend the objective should be to monitor the fire and to ensure the fire poses minimal risk. Smoke will continue to be visible from surrounding areas during the weekend. A meeting is planned with Bolton Fire Chief/Fire Warden Gervia and FPR fire staff on Monday to assess the situation.Source: Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation 10.14.2016last_img read more

Darn Tough Vermont sees double-digit growth In 2016

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Darn Tough Vermont, the Northfield-based maker of performance outdoor and lifestyle socks, said it saw double-digit growth in 2016. After a slow first and second quarter due to last year’s mild winter, the Vermont sock company rebounded in Q3 and Q4 to post an increase of 22 percent year-over-year.Ric Cabot interacts with a customer at the November 2016 sock sale in Northfield. VBM photos.Said Ric Cabot, Darn Tough Vermont and Cabot Hosiery Mills president and CEO, “Our strong and sustained annual growth is an indicator that we’re moving in the right direction. As Darn Tough grows and continues to acquire market share, we look to our heritage to ensure we stay true to the brand’s 13-year history. We were the first sock company to offer a lifetime guarantee and we continue to source only premium materials, develop the best talent and perfect our knitting process to make the world’s most comfortable, most durable and best fitting sock.”Darn Tough reported strong sales across its men’s, women’s and junior collections in all categories including hike/trek, running and vertical (ski/ride). Men’s lifestyle was a particular standout, growing 110 percent while Women’s Lifestyle finished strong at 29 percent.Source: Darn Tough Jan 24.2017last_img read more

Weekly unemployment claims climbing

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Weekly unemployment claims rose again last week and faster. Claims had been falling steadily since early July until early October. Claims are still lower than they were the same time last year, which has been the case for most weeks in 2017. This trend should reverse itself when holiday hiring begins shortly. For the week of November 4, 2017, there were 677 claims, 195 more than than they were last week and 56 fewer than they were a year ago. Altogether 3,230 new and continuing claims were filed, an increase of 346 from a week ago, but 560 fewer than a year ago.Claims during the summer usually hold at a relatively low level because of vacation hiring, until the next transition, which typically happens in September when school resumes. But claims this year did not experience that fluctuation, as hiring remained tight and the weather remained unseasonably warm. October was the warmest month on record in Vermont.The state saves a lot of money in not having to pay out unemployment insurance claims. Businesses have seen their rates drop slightly as the Vermont Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund remains flush.On July 1, 2017, the state reduced taxable rates for individual employers according to their experience rating. The rate reduction cut the highest UI tax rate from 8.4 percent to 7.7 percent, and the lowest rate from 1.3 percent to 1.1 percent. Additionally, July 1 marked the sunset of a provision that required claimants to wait one week between the time they were determined eligible for benefits to when they could collect those benefits.For UI claims last week, as usual, by industry Services accounted for the most claims (53 percent of the total), while Manufacturing claims saw a big jump statewide from 34 to 115 claims.The Department processed 0 First Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08).Vermont’s unemployment rate for September was 2.9 percent. This reflects a one-tenth drop from the revised August rate (3.0 percent), as all the major indicators improved. SEE STORY.The Unemployment Weekly Report can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/(link is external). Previously released Unemployment Weekly Reports and other UI reports can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/lmipub.htm#uc(link is external)NOTE: Employment (nonfarm payroll) – A count of all persons who worked full- or part-time or received pay from a nonagricultural employer for any part of the pay period which included the 12th of the month. Because this count comes from a survey of employers, persons who work for two different companies would be counted twice. Therefore, nonfarm payroll employment is really a count of the number of jobs, rather than the number of persons employed. Persons may receive pay from a job if they are temporarily absent due to illness, bad weather, vacation, or labor-management dispute. This count is based on where the jobs are located, regardless of where the workers reside, and is therefore sometimes referred to as employment “by place of work.” Nonfarm payroll employment data are collected and compiled based on the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, conducted by the Vermont Department of Labor. This count was formerly referred to as nonagricultural wage and salary employment.last_img read more

Vermont gets a ‘D’ from Champlain for high school financial literacy

first_imgVermont Final Grade-D Graduation RequirementsIs a high school course with personal finance concepts required to be taken as a graduation requirement? No, taking a course with personal finance concepts is not a graduation requirement. Local districts may offer a personal finance course, either on a stand-alone basis or embedded into another course offering. High school graduation requirements are determined by the local school districts. See: Vermont School Quality and Education Quality Standards(link is external) (scroll to 2120.5 and then to 2120.7).  CaveatIt is not clear how Vermont measures student achievement in financial literacy or how the state monitors local school district implementation of the financial literacy education requirement.  Education StandardsIn 2014, Vermont adopted Vermont Education Quality Standards(link is external) (EQS) that require local school districts to deliver curriculum aligned to Vermont Proficiency-Based Graduation Requirements(link is external) (PBGRs) approved by the State Board of Education. Students are required to demonstrate proficiency in global citizenship (including the concepts of civics, economics, geography, world language, cultural studies and history). See: Vermont Global Citizenship Standards(link is external). Although global citizenship includes economics, it does not include financial literacy. In addition to the EQS and PBGRs, educational standards have been approved by the state’s Board of Education that include some financial literacy topics. Modest but substantive personal finance and personal economics educational standards are included in the fall of 2000 Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities. Most of the framework has been replaced by other curriculum content standards. Although modest portions of the framework are still applicable, these standards, including personal finance standards, have not been on Vermont’s Content Areas website since December 2016. On August 30, 2017, the Vermont Board of Education(link is external) authorized the Agency of Education to research and propose financial literacy standards. It is not clear if these financial literacy standards, when they are proposed and assuming Board of Education approval, will continue to be mandatory. If mandatory, Vermont’s grade will increase to a grade C, and if voluntary, Vermont’s grade will decline to a grade F.center_img Champlain College,Vermont Business Magazine States are making modest improvements in personal finance education standards, but they still have a long way to go, including Vermont which earned a “D,” according to the third report card on state efforts to improve financial literacy in American high schools. John Pelletier, director of the Center for Financial Literacy at Champlain College, which produced the report card, says American high schools have improved incrementally, in part because previous report cards have energized debates and legislation in many states.Pelletier notes that research(link is external) from Next Gen Personal Finance indicates that students from wealthy communities are much more likely to have access to personal finance education in high school than students in poor communities. “The poor should have equal access to personal finance education in high school—it shouldn’t be for just the rich,” he says. “But access is only possible if a state policy requires it.”The report card gives grades to all 50 states and the District of Columbia. You can see all states and their grades in the 2017 report card(link is external).“Americans need to know how to use credit, save for retirement, invest wisely, and understand the many complicated financial decisions made in the average person’s lifetime,” says Pelletier. “It’s gratifying to see that financial literacy is slowly becoming more of a priority in the states and in our nation’s capitol. We know that financial illiteracy was one of the causes of the Great Recession. Clearly, personal finance should be right up there with reading, writing and arithmetic as a critical subject.”Pelletier also notes that studies demonstrate that financial literacy educational interventions in high school appear to have a positive impact on knowledge and measurable financial behaviors.Illinois, Texas, Virginia, Washington state and West Virginia have enhanced financial literacy education of high school students since the 2015 report card. Arkansas, Delaware, Nevada and Vermont are in the process of making changes that could improve their overall grade once the proposed changes take effect.Unfortunately, Louisiana abandoned its mandatory personal finance education requirement, and Idaho reduced the number of class hours required for the subject.Only Utah earned an A+, while Alabama, Missouri, Tennessee and Virginia earned A grades. These states require students to take a standalone course.Only six states earning a grade B clearly require 15 hours or more in personal finance instruction prior to high school graduation: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Texas and West Virginia (the other 13 grade B states require fewer than 15 hours of instruction or hours of instruction cannot be estimated). Only 11 states require high school students to receive 15 or more hours of financial instruction before entering the workforce or going to college.Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Wisconsin received an F grade. Louisiana, Montana, Vermont and Wyoming received a D grade. The Champlain College Center’s report card is based on research and personal interviews with state officials on their assessment policies, graduation requirements and educational standards. Here are the 2013(link is external) and 2015(link is external) report cards, as well as a 2016(link is external) adult report card.Pelletier notes readers of the report card in a particular state could be miffed by a C, D or F grade when their particular school offers a personal finance course. He says there are many wonderful pockets of financial literacy excellence in every state, usually due to the efforts of principals, teachers, parents and others in the community, not the result of a state-wide required educational policy.Source: BURLINGTON, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE(link is external))–Center for Financial Literacy at Champlain College 12.12.2017last_img read more

CEDO and partners celebrate National Community Development Week

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Mayor Miro Weinberger today issued a proclamation supporting the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program by recognizing National Community Development Week, April 2-9, 2018. Spearheaded by the National Community Development Association (NCDA), National Community Development Week serves as an opportunity for the City of Burlington to celebrate its significant successes in providing housing, economic resources, and community services to thousands of Burlingtonians under federal grant funding.This year marks the 44th anniversary of the national CDBG program. Now in its 27th year, the HOME program provides grants to over 600 local jurisdictions to create safe, sanitary, and affordable housing in communities nationwide. Both programs are administered nationally by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.“Over the past six years, the City of Burlington has used CDBG and HOME funds to support our most vulnerable Burlingtonians by providing access to housing and economic opportunity,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “I am proud to designate the week of April 2-9, 2018 as National Community Development Week in support of these two valuable programs, which have made tremendous contributions to the viability of the housing stock, infrastructure, public services, and economic vitality of our community.” “Our Community and Economic Development Office is proud to seek and administer these funds to serve Burlington’s low and moderate income communities, including seniors, those experiencing homelessness, and entrepreneurs,” said CEDO Director Noelle MacKay. “With the support of the Mayor, and our federal delegation, we look forward to continuing to use this vital funding to create economic and housing opportunities for our city’s diverse community members.”Events this year include:Monday, April 2 – At 5 PM on City Hall Steps, Assistant Director Marcy Esbjerg read a proclamation regarding April as Fair Housing Month.Tuesday, April 3 – At 11 AM, CEDO Director Noelle MacKay joined Governor Scott in his Ceremonial Office in the Statehouse to recognize former CEDO AmeriCorps member Princess Beth Awaitey as a recipient of the Governor’s Service Award for volunteerism and community serviceTuesday, April 3 –  At 12 PM, Mayor Weinberger, City Hall staff members and AmeriCorps members served lunch with area seniors at the O.N.E Community Center. As a celebration of the 6th annual National Service Recognition Day, participants from the Family Room, AALV, and multiple City Departments came together to create a multigenerational, multicultural and multidepartmental community development service event.Wednesday, April 4 – From 4:00 to 6:30 PM, CEDO will host an Open House and Community Celebration in Contois Auditorium in City Hall. In recognition of National Community Development Week, we are highlighting the work done by CEDO and valued community partners with Community Development Block Grant and HOME funds for our most vulnerable residents. Highlighted at 5:30PM, Mayor Weinberger will present three awards to honor and celebrate the exceptional professionals and volunteers who make our community great.CDBG Funding Supports Burlington’s Diverse Community MembersThe CDBG program assists local governments – rural, suburban, and urban alike – in providing decent housing, a suitable living environment, and economic opportunities for all community members. Burlington has leveraged CDBG funds to develop infrastructure, provide housing and health services, and spur economic opportunities for our city’s diverse community members, including youth, elderly, people experiencing homelessness, and entrepreneurs:In Burlington in 2016, over 550 homeless persons benefited from shelter assistance and services under CDBG funds. A CDBG-funded agency assisted over 1,069 people with tax assistance. Accessibility improvements were completed at a local senior facility.CDBG funds have been critical in advancing infrastructure and housing assistance initiatives. Home sharing, home-based senior services, and other housing retention assistance helped over 219 Burlington residents remain housed and living independently and ensured 64 affordable rental units were renovated and 40 new units constructed and leased in 2016.CDBG funds propel economic opportunity. In 2016, CEDO provided technical assistance to 33 current or potential entrepreneurs andthe Women’s Small Business Program facilitated entrepreneurial training for 29 women interested in starting businesses. These initiatives resulted in a combined 14 new businesses and 18 business expansions within Burlington in 2016.         CDBG has been cut by $1 billion since Fiscal Year 2010, yet the need for comprehensive community development initiatives in Burlington continues to grow. This coming year, President Trump is recommending the elimination of both of these important programs.We applaud the work of Vermont’s federal delegation, including Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Congressman Peter Welch, in supporting CDBG and its critical role in addressing current and emerging community development needs. We encourage residents to contact our legislators and thank them for their continued support of CDBG and HOME funding:The Honorable Senator Patrick Leahy199 Main St., 4th FloorBurlington, VT 05401tel (802) 863-2525 The Honorable Senator Bernie Sanders1 Church St., Suite 300Burlington, VT 05401tel (802) 862-0697 The Honorable Congressman Peter Welch128 Lakeside Ave., Suite 235Burlington, VT 05401tel (802) 652-2450Source: City of Burlington 4.4.2018last_img read more

Calvin Coolidge Holiday Open House – Dec 7

first_imgCreate a paper lantern made from an early Plymouth photo, hands-on history activities for all ages in the Museum & Education Center’s classroom.  Homemade chocolate demonstrations and sampling with The Chocolatorium.  Make your own chocolate snowman ($3 activity fee). Coolidge Homestead tours at 12:30p.m. and 2 p.m. Special holiday postal cancellation at the historic Plymouth post office – the newest design in the John Lutz series from 1p.m. – 4 p.m. Plymouth Cheese Factory offers samples of award-winning cheeses, traditional gifts, and fresh-baked sourdough baguettes from Wild Fern Café.   Lunch will be served at the Wilder House Restaurant by Tyson Ladies Aid.The Coolidge Holiday Open House is also the last chance to see the 2019 temporary exhibit, Presidential Menagerie: The Coolidges and Their Pets, which examines the important role animals played in the private life and public image of the Coolidge family. The pet exhibit was funded with generous support from the Alma Gibbs Donchian Foundation.  Also investigate the nationally award-winning permanent exhibition, “‘More Than Two Words: The Life and Legacy of Calvin Coolidge.”For further information, call (802) 672-3773, or visit www.HistoricSites.Vermont.gov(link is external)About the Division for Historic PreservationThe Vermont State Historic Sites are owned and operated by the Division for Historic Preservation, which is part of the Department of Housing and Community Development.  The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) works to support vibrant and resilient communities, promote safe and affordable housing for all, protect the state’s historic resources, and improve the quality of life for Vermonters.About the Agency of Commerce and Community DevelopmentThe mission of ACCD is to help Vermonters improve their quality of life and build strong communities. ACCD accomplishes this mission by providing grants, technical assistance, and advocacy through three divisions:  The Department of Economic Development, the Department of Tourism and Marketing, and the Department of Housing and Community Development. For more information on ACCD please visit: accd.vermont.gov(link is external). Source: PLYMOUTH NOTCH, VT — ACCDcenter_img Make elegant paper ornaments and paper-quilled snowflakes to take home for your tree. Vermont Business Magazine Step back in time and celebrate the traditions of the season when the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site hosts the “Coolidge Holiday Open House” on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  The open house has been selected as a 2019-2020 “Top 10 Winter Event” by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. Most of the historic village, including the Homestead where President Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as president of the United States, will be open. The Coolidge Birthplace will be decorated as it would have been in 1872, the year the future president was born. The event is free and features activities for the entire family.  Special guest is Willem Lange, who will present “Favor Johnson” and other stories at 11:00 a.m.  Lange is a commentator on Vermont Public Radio and received an Emmy as host of the award-winning “Windows to the Wild” on New Hampshire Public Television.  His story about Favor Johnson and the mysterious delivery of homemade fruit cakes on Christmas Eve is a Vermont classic.  Copies of Lange’s CDs and books will be available for purchase and signing. Also featured is Anne Collins, author of the acclaimed Vintage Pies.  A resident of Cornwall, Vermont, Collins has been collecting old recipes and baking pies since childhood.  At 1 p.m., she will share samples of some of her favorites, such as mincemeat, pumpkin, and Marlborough (apple custard) – a traditional holiday pie in America in the 1600s & 1700s. Steve Morse of Montpelier will perform holiday organ and piano music throughout the day and lead caroling in the village church at 1:45 p.m.   Other activities include:Sleigh or wagon rides (depending on weather). Stocking stuffers and more at the museum stores. Wreath-making and wreaths ready to go, with sales to benefit the Coolidge Site’s garden fund.last_img read more

Garmin completes Switzerland move

first_imgMoving its incorporation from the Cayman Islands to Switzerland – Garmin has today announced the completion of the change of place of incorporation of the ultimate parent company of the Garmin group.Pursuant to this ‘Redomestication’, each outstanding common share of Garmin Ltd, a Cayman Islands company (“Garmin Cayman”), was exchanged for one share of a newly-formed Swiss holding company, also named Garmin Ltd (“Garmin Switzerland”).The shares of Garmin Switzerland are listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the trading symbol “GRMN,” the same symbol under which the common shares of Garmin Cayman were listed.www.garmin.com Relatedlast_img read more