VBR & EPR Release 4Q18 Business Conditions Survey & Index [11.29.18]

Today, Lisa Ventriss, President of Vermont Business Roundtable (VBR) and Jeffrey Carr, President, Economic & Policy Resources (EPR), announced the Q4 of 2018 outlook results of their joint initiative, the VBR/EPR Business Conditions Survey and Index.

Overall Finding

The latest survey, which was conducted during October and November of 2018, achieved a response rate of 65 percent overall.  Survey results show that:

  • More than 80 percent of respondents shared negative outlooks specifically with ease of hiring for available positions (83%); an increase from the previous survey (77%);

Continue reading “VBR & EPR Release 4Q18 Business Conditions Survey & Index [11.29.18]”

VBR & EPR Release 3Q18 Business Conditions Survey and Index [8.28.18]

Results Show Continuing Neutral Outlook

Today, Lisa Ventriss, President of Vermont Business Roundtable (VBR) and Jeffrey Carr, President, Economic & Policy Resources (EPR), announced the Q3 of 2018 outlook results of their joint initiative, the VBR/EPR Business Conditions Survey and Index.

Overall Finding
The latest survey, which was conducted during July and August of 2018, achieved a response rate of 61 percent overall, down from previous levels due to summer schedules.  Survey results show that: Continue reading “VBR & EPR Release 3Q18 Business Conditions Survey and Index [8.28.18]”

Ventriss VPR Commentary on World Economies [8.15.18]

Map Courtesy: AEI.org
This commentary originally aired on Vermont Public Radio on August 15, 2018
Click Here to Hear Audio Version

It’s well accepted that a picture is worth a thousand words, as any visual learner or marketer will attest. But, how does one visualize something as enormous as the U.S. economy – the largest in the world at $19 trillion – and how do we view Vermont’s economy in comparison?

Recently, I’ve been fascinated with a comparison of each state’s GDP from 2017, with that of equivalent countries. California, Texas, and New York are the top three state economies, which align closely with the GDPs of the U.K., Canada, and South Korea, respectively.

Yes, Texas’s GDP is larger than that of our neighbor to the north. Continue reading “Ventriss VPR Commentary on World Economies [8.15.18]”

The Roundtable Welcomes New Members [6.27.18]

(South Burlington, Vt.)  At its 31st Summer Membership Meeting held at Sugarbush Resort, the Vermont Business Roundtable elected five new members to the organization including: Dan Bennett, CEO of Gifford Health Care; Phelan Fretz, Executive Director of ECHO Leahy Center; Sarah Morris, Fifth Generation Host at Basin Harbor Resort & Boat Club; Premila Peters, President and CEO of Data Innovations; and Dawn Terrill, President of Jani-Tech. Also at the meeting, the members installed Pennie Beach, Founding Director of Vermont Business Roundtable and Fourth Generation Host of Basin Harbor Resort & Boat Club, as Honorary Member.

The Roundtable also welcomes newly installed CEOs of existing member companies including: Joanne M. Conroy, MD, President and CEO of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center; Jay Fayette, CEO of PC Construction; Scott Finn, President and CEO of Vermont Public Radio; Peter Kunin, Managing Partner of Downs Rachlin Martin; Ralphine O’Rourke, Shareholder of Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer P.C., and Associate Members, Jody Cole, Regional Manager of Commercial Banking at People’s United Bank; Sandy Mayotte, COA and Senior Vice President of A.N. Deringer, Inc.; Cassie Polhemus, Chief Operating Officer of the Vermont Economic Development Authority; Gregory Woodworth, SVP and General Counsel of National Life Group.

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Ventriss: Employers Leading the Way to Close the Skills Gap

Please Visit VermontTPM.org for more information on the Vermont Talent Pipeline

by Lisa Ventriss, President
Exclusive for Vermont Business Magazine

While disappointing, the recent announcement that Revision Military had decided to move its official US headquarters to Portsmouth, New Hampshire was not shocking. As a worldwide leader in the manufacture of protective military and law enforcement gear, Revision’s demand for its products means it needs access to a larger talent pool. So proximity to Boston and Pease AFB’s cluster of military tech businesses made great business sense. And there are other examples of companies that have found they cannot expand in Vermont for lack of human capital, and are considering expanding into other regional markets.

This perspective is verified on a quarterly basis with the VBR/EPR Business Conditions Survey, in which “ease of hiring” is viewed negatively by over 70 percent of respondents in the latest survey, and which is the biggest contributor to a sustained “neutral outlook” on the state’s overall business climate over the last several years. Continue reading “Ventriss: Employers Leading the Way to Close the Skills Gap”

Ventriss VPR Commentary on Financial Literacy Training [5.21.18]

A few times a year I take the plunge and buy a handful of lottery tickets, especially when the prize money catches my attention.

I absolutely understand the statistical probability of my winning, but as the adman says, “You just never know!” And that’s enough to motivate my occasional purchase and fuel my imaginings for a posh retirement.

But we know that’s not the way to build a retirement nest egg, and in fact, doing it the right way requires knowledge and informed decision-making as early in life as possible. Continue reading “Ventriss VPR Commentary on Financial Literacy Training [5.21.18]”

VBR & EPR Release 1 & 2Q18 Business Conditions Survey and Index

Results Show Continuing Neutral Outlook

Today, Lisa Ventriss, President of Vermont Business Roundtable (VBR) and Jeffrey Carr, President, Economic & Policy Resources (EPR), announced the Q2 of 2018 outlook results of their joint initiative, the VBR/EPR Business Conditions Survey and Index.

Overall Finding
The latest survey, which was conducted during April of 2018, achieved a response rate of 68 percent overall and included a 50 percent or greater response rate from all represented sectors within the membership.  Survey results show that: Continue reading “VBR & EPR Release 1 & 2Q18 Business Conditions Survey and Index”

Vermont Talent Pipeline Management (VTPM) Program Launches Manufacturing Industry Collaborative [5.4.18]

Manufacturing joins Construction and Health Care as Economic Priority Sectors

Vermont Advanced Manufacturers connected in April on the campus of Vermont Technical College to form the VTPM Vermont Manufacturing Collaborative. This new collective impact collaborative is the third launched since April 2017. In concert with regional convening partners from around the state, 21 manufacturing employers met to join forces in the work of developing a pipeline of skilled talent. Continue reading “Vermont Talent Pipeline Management (VTPM) Program Launches Manufacturing Industry Collaborative [5.4.18]”

VBR Research & Education Foundation Awards $45,000 in Scholarships for 2018-19 [5.2.18]

(South Burlington, Vt.)  At a recent meeting of its Nordic Educational Trust Scholarship Committee, the Vermont Business Roundtable awarded eight Vermont high school and adult students with two-year college scholarships totaling $40,000; another $5,000 was awarded for a second year of support to existing Nordic scholars. The need-based awards ranged from $3,000 to $8,000.

This year’s Nordic scholars (four men and four women) will pursue degrees in automotive technology; business management and technology; civil engineering; diesel and heavy equipment technology; mechanical engineering; radiology technology; respiratory therapy; and veterinary sciences.

According to Roundtable President, Lisa Ventriss, “This year we received a record-number of applications from First Generation-college bound students eager to pursue a two-year post-secondary degree. They are driven Vermont students who understand very well how life-changing a college degree can be for them and their future life goals. The Roundtable is extremely pleased that we can walk that journey with them.” Continue reading “VBR Research & Education Foundation Awards $45,000 in Scholarships for 2018-19 [5.2.18]”

VBR & EPR Release 4Q17 and 1Q18 Business Conditions Survey and Index

Today, Lisa Ventriss, President of Vermont Business Roundtable (VBR) and Jeffrey Carr, President, Economic & Policy Resources (EPR), announced the Q4 2017 outlook results of their joint initiative, the VBR/EPR Business Conditions Survey and Index.

Overall Finding
The latest survey, which was conducted during January of 2018, achieved a response rate of 69 percent overall and included a 50 percent or greater response rate from 13 of 14 represented sectors within the membership.  Survey results show that:

  • A supermajority of respondents (69%) shared negative outlooks specifically with ease of hiring for available positions, a decline from the previous survey (63%);
  • Slightly more than 40 percent of responses to the question about the state’s overall business climate outlook were neutral (42%), an improvement from the previous survey (63%).  The remaining responses saw a doubling of positive responses this quarter compared to last (38% vs 19%), and also a slight uptick in negative responses (20% vs 18%).
  • The information sector again had the most optimistic outlook on the general business climate (100% optimistic), while the education sector again had the least optimistic, but improving outlook (50% pessimistic, 25% neutral, 25% optimistic).  This is the third quarter in a row that the information sector led in optimism about the general business climate.

Continue reading “VBR & EPR Release 4Q17 and 1Q18 Business Conditions Survey and Index”