For those members who were unable to attend the Annual Meeting in Montpelier, highlights of the meeting included quality time with Governor Phil Scott who addressed the members and shared his priorities for the biennium. He will focus on:
- The “crisis of affordability” for Vermonters: housing, addressing barriers for the 25-45 year old working class;
- More productive partnerships between the government sector and business: TIFs, proper oversight of the EB5 program, recruiting younger people to VT;
- Building his team with individuals who possess: character, competence, commitment and chemistry with him.
Also in the room were Secretary Mike Schirling, Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) and Commissioner of Economic Development (DED) Joan Goldstein, who later spoke on workforce training efforts through the Talent Pipeline Management project with the Roundtable.
Roundtable leadership presented the 2017 Work Plan, which included the following elements:
- Convening of new College and Career Readiness Task Force, which will focus on two priorities, including improvement of VT’s PreK-16 education system and, alignment of Skills Development with Employers’ Needs
- Leadership of the Talent Pipeline Management Project (TPM); a US Chamber model that is distinguished by employer-led, employer-designed collaboratives with education and economic development providers, to improve the quality and quantity of workers for specific industry jobs. The TPM Steering Committee includes representatives from Agency of Education (AOE), ACCD, GBIC, State Workforce Development Board, VT Student Assistance Corporation, VT Chamber of Commerce, among others.
The Roundtable also presented New Medallion Award recipient Rachael Potts of Harwood Union High School with her prizes, which include $5,000 to advance the work of her Next Step Program, and a trophy. Following this presentation, members heard from successful case studies of business/school models that included: GW Plastics, “School of Tech” program; Husky Injection Molding, “Husky Summer Institute”; and, Harwood Union High School, “Next Step Program”.
The day ended with a presentation by colleagues at Hickok & Boardman HR Intelligence with highlights of 2016 Health Care Survey of Roundtable Members, which showed that:
- 18% of members made design changes to their health plans between 2014 (the previous survey period) and 2016 to offset increases
- The percentage of members who became self-insured increased from 31% in 2014 to 49% in 2016
- Members exhibited a declining degree of confidence in health care reforms particularly in the areas of cost control (negative); quality (negative); and, access (neutral).