Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Vermont Joins National Workplace Fitness Effort

first_imgBlue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont Joins National Workplace Fitness Effort.Employees Will Join Thousands of Americans forNational Walk @ Lunch DaySM on April 18, 2007Berlin, Vermont – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont and its 350+ employees will join Blue plans across the country in hosting the first annual National Walk @ Lunch DaySM on April 18, 2007. Walk @ Lunch Day is a workplace walking program, which encourages people to take time during their lunch breaks to start walking toward better health and is nationally sponsored by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont will hold special events in Burlington, Montpelier and Rutland; BCBSVT representatives expect thousands of Vermonters to participate. In addition to the more than 350 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont employees, for example, employees from the following BCBSVT groups will also participate:”The Vermont Education Health Initiative (VEHI), Vermont’s teachers and other school employees”Rutland Regional Medical Center”City of BurlingtonThe U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that the cost to treat illness and chronic disease caused by inactive lifestyles is nearly $1,000 for every family in America, every year. Simply getting 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, such as a brisk walk, at least five times a week, has significant health benefits, such as lowering the risk of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes and improving the health of muscles, bones and joints. [Source: Physical Activity and Health, A Report of the Surgeon General, 1996]The National Walk @ Lunch Day event will take place at workplaces throughout Vermont and across the country. Most American’s schedules are built around their workdays, so National Walk @ Lunch Day is designed to fit into, not compete with, the average daily routine. Many employers are supporting National Walk @ Lunch Day by encouraging their workforces to participate.”National Walk @ Lunch Day is designed to educate millions of consumers about how their daily decisions can have an impact on their health and well-being. It also creates an opportunity for employers to engage their employees in physical activity that promotes a healthier workplace environment,” said Scott Serota, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. “Better informed and more physically active consumers also can mean fewer serious health problems down the road which helps better control the rising cost of health care in our nation.”Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont joins companies and employees nationwide hosting lunchtime walks. Employers recognize the health benefits of incorporating walking into employee’s daily activities.”We want to encourage all Vermont employers, whether they’re our customers or not, to participate in this first Walk@Lunch(link sends e-mail) Day,” said William Milnes, president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont. “That’s why we’re holding several special events this year, in Burlington, Rutland and Montpelier. We will also have some modest incentives available for employers in all areas of the state to use in encouraging their employees to take this fun and important step toward better fitness.Employers who want information about special programs related to Walk@Lunch(link sends e-mail) Day here in Vermont should contact the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont sales and service staff at 800.255.4550 or visit the organization’s web site at www.bcbsvt.com/walkatlunch(link is external).Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is the state’s oldest and largest private health insurer, providing coverage for about 180,000 Vermonters. It employs over 350 Vermonters at its headquarters in Berlin and its full-service field office in Williston, and has offered group and individual health plans to Vermonters for more than 60 years.Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is an independent corporation operating under a license with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.last_img read more

VMEC Expands to Meet Needs of Vermont Manufacturers

first_imgRANDOLPH CENTER, VT — The Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center (VMEC) has recently expanded its statewide field staff with the hiring of Brian Werneke as a Professional Manufacturing Advisor. Werneke will be concentrating on delivering VMEC assistance and services to manufacturers located in the northwest region of Vermont.Brian Werneke joined the 16-member, not-for-profit VMEC team in August 2007. He has more than 13 years of experience in the manufacturing, financial services, professional services and healthcare sectors. Prior to joining VMEC, Brian was a Project Manager for BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont and an Independent Quality Consultant for Whitetail Manufacturing, Inc. in Williston, VT.Brian brings additional expertise to the VMEC team through his extensive experiences as a Strategic Business Analyst and a Strategy and Integration Manager. Brian received a Master of Business Administration from Clemson University in 2001 and is a 1994 graduate of the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics. He will be working from VMECs northwest-based office in Burlington. ###About VMECVMEC’s primary mission is “To improve manufacturing in Vermont and strengthen the global competitiveness of the state’s smaller manufacturers.” This is done through professional consulting, one-on-one coaching and public/onsite workshops to help Vermont’s approximately 2,000 small and medium sized manufacturers increase their productivity, modernize their manufacturing and business processes, adopt advanced technologies, reduce costs, and improve their competitiveness. Visit www.vmec.org(link is external) for more information.last_img read more

Champlain Housing Trust Receives Grant from TD Charitable Foundation

first_imgChamplain Housing Trust Receives Grant from TD Charitable FoundationOctober 29, 2008 – Burlington, VT – On the opening day of the Champlain Housing Trust’s annual Community Campaign, the organization and the TD Charitable Foundation announced a $15,000 grant award. Now in its third year, the “Housing for Everyone” grant competition made a total of $1.5 million in donations to 48 affordable housing groups from Maine to Florida, including three grants in Vermont.”We are thrilled to make this contribution to the Champlain Housing Trust,” said Phil Daniels, President, TD Banknorth in Vermont. “They are an invaluable asset to the communities of northwestern Vermont, and provide programs and services that are as needed now as ever.”The gift comes at the outset of the Housing Trust’s Community Campaign, in which volunteers make 6,000 phone calls to households in the region to build membership, raise awareness, and seek donations in support of affordable housing production and stewardship in Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle Counties. The Campaign’s goal is $50,000.”TD Banknorth’s leadership is greatly appreciated,” added Brenda Torpy, CEO of the Champlain Housing Trust. “This gift is a real inspiration to our efforts to engage the community in our work.”To join in the Campaign, people may contact Julia Curry (660-3710 x23) to volunteer or may make a donation online at: https://www.champlainhousingtrust.org/donate(link is external).The Champlain Housing Trust is a community land trust that supports strong, vital communities in northwest Vermont through the development and stewardship of permanently affordable homes and community assets. Over 2,100 families and individuals live in Housing Trust homes.About the TD Charitable FoundationThe TD Charitable Foundation is the charitable giving arm of TD Bank N.A., which operates under the trade names TD Banknorth and Commerce Bank and is one of the 20 largest commercial banking organizations in the United States. The Foundation’s mission is to serve the individuals, families and businesses in all the communities where TD Banknorth and Commerce Bank operate, having made nearly $38 million in charitable donations since its inception in 2002. The efforts of the Foundation are coordinated locally through TD Banknorth’s and Commerce Bank’s community relations departments and are focused on the areas of economic empowerment, youth development and community support. More information on the TD Charitable Foundation including an online grant application is available at www.TDBanknorth.com(link is external) or at www.commerceonline.com(link is external).###last_img read more

Report estimates visitors spent $1.6 billion in Vermont in 2007

first_imgVisitors to the Green Mountain State spent more than $1.61 billion for goods and services in 2007, according to a recent study that measures the impact of visitor spending on the Vermont economy.The study, prepared by Economic and Policy Resources (EPR) of Williston, shows that visitors made an estimated 14.3 million trips to Vermont in 2007, an increase of 7 percent from 2005. Vermont s travel and tourism industry continues to experience steady growth, said Gov. Jim Douglas.  Vermont has outstanding brand recognition and is fortunate to have more than 80 million people living within a day s drive.Visitor spending in Vermont supported approximately 37,490 jobs for Vermont workers and business owners. There are nearly 60,000 jobs in the Vermont hospitality sector, many of which are supported locally.Vermont s merchants get a greater proportion of revenues from visitor spending than nearly any other state, with retail, restaurant and other services being two or three times more dependent on visitor spending than the national average.  In addition, visitor spending contributed $206.9 million in tax and fee revenues to state coffers in the General, Education and Transportation Funds. The hospitality industry is one of the main drivers of the Vermont economy, said Vermont Tourism and Marketing Commissioner Bruce Hyde. Many entry-level positions exist that often become high paying professional jobs for Vermonters. In fact, the Vermont tourism employee who is the primary wage earner in their household had total earnings income of $42,350 per year, an income 15 percent above the average income of $36,949 for all employed individuals in Vermont, Hyde said.The study also looks at many other aspects of the industry, including average visitor spending, visitor expenditures by category, seasonal occupancy rates for Vermont lodging properties and a comparison of lodging establishments by size.The state s methodology focuses on direct visitor spending, which is the standard used at the national level by organizations such as the U.S. Travel Association.The complete report is available online on the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing s industry website at www.VermontPartners.org(link is external).last_img read more

Stratton resort owner recommends helmets for all skiers

first_imgStratton Mountain Resort,Intrawest today announced that, beginning with the 2009-2010 winter season, the Company will increase awareness of the importance of helmet use at all of its wholly-owned ski resorts in North America. Intrawest will recommend that all skiers and snowboarders visiting its resorts wear helmets and there will be mandatory helmet requirements for all children and youth(1) participants in Ski and Snowboard School Programs as well as all students participating in freestyle terrain park programs, regardless of their age. The new helmet use guidelines underscore Intrawest’s commitment to guest safety and have the support of the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) and Canada West Ski Areas Association (CWSAA).A helmet will be included with all children/youth ski and snowboard rental packages from all of Intrawest’s equipment rental outlets. The new guidelines will be supported with enhanced employee education sessions and common language highlighting the importance of helmet use will appear on resort websites and in all trail maps. Going forward, Intrawest will place an increased focus on using website images and advertising visuals that feature skiers and snowboarders wearing helmets and Intrawest will introduce new graphic standards that require all of its ski resorts to feature helmets predominantly.In the past at some resorts, a parent/guardian has had the ability to opt-out of having their children wear a helmet in certain on-mountain programs and activities. Beginning this season, Intrawest will remove the parent/guardian “opt-out clause” from all children’s waivers for Ski and Snowboard School Programs and all freestyle terrain park student programs.Looking ahead to the 2010-2011 winter season, Intrawest will require employees to wear a helmet at all times while skiing or snowboarding on-duty in any freestyle terrain park at its resorts. Staff at Intrawest’s Ski and Snowboard Schools will also be required to wear a helmet if they serve as a guide or an instructor for any program that requires mandatory helmet use by a resort guest. Several Intrawest resorts will begin to implement these new employee helmet use guidelines this winter and the remaining resorts will be fully compliant by the beginning of the 2010-2011 winter season.”Intrawest is working in conjunction with the ski industry to establish important best practices on behalf of our resort guests and employees,” saidBill Jensen, chief executive officer at Intrawest. “Together, we have established a new baseline for helmet use at our resorts that has received strong support from the NSAA and CWSAA. We will continue to work with all of the ski industry associations in the United States and Canada to raise awareness of this important initiative and the obligation of everyone to ski and ride in a controlled and responsible manner.”The helmet usage guidelines will be phased in at the following Intrawest ski resorts: – Copper Mountain (Colorado) – Stratton Mountain (Vermont) – Mountain Creek (New Jersey) – Tremblant Resort (Quebec) – Panorama Mountain (British – Whistler Blackcomb (British Columbia) Columbia) – Snowshoe Mountain (West Virginia) – Winter Park Resort (Colorado) – Steamboat Ski Resort (Colorado) About IntrawestIntrawest is a leader in the development and management of experiential destination resorts. The Company has interests in a network of resorts at North America’s most popular mountain destinations including Whistler Blackcomb, a host venue for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and Canadian Mountain Holidays, the largest heli-skiing operation in the world. In addition, Intrawest markets and sells real estate at its resorts in North America and at other third-party locations around the world. Intrawest is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia and is a portfolio company owned primarily by private equity funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group LLC (NYSE: FIG). For more information, visit www.intrawest.com(link is external) (1) Required helmet use for children/youth program participants aged three to 12, 13, 14 or 17 at Intrawest’s wholly-owned ski resorts in North America (upper age limit will be determined by each resort and will include regional considerations).Source: VANCOUVER, Oct. 1, 2009 /PRNewswire/ –last_img read more

VTrans to begin planning for additional ferry service in the wake of the Champlain Bridge closure

first_imgThe sudden and immediate closing of the Champlain Bridge connecting Chimney Point, Vermont, to Crown Point, New York, has prompted Governor Douglas to direct Transportation Secretary David Dill to begin immediate planning and preparation for extended additional ferry service.  Service will begin as soon as possible should the inspections now underway conclude that the bridge will need to remain closed indefinitely while repairs are being made.  The bridge carries about 3,400 vehicles a day, which will now have to travel north or south to cross the lake.“Detours are time consuming and costly.  This is not just about convenience; this is an economic burden as well as a safety issue,” said Governor Douglas.  “For some Vermonters, their economic wellbeing depends on being able to travel between Vermont and New York on a daily basis.  And many New Yorkers rely on hospital services in Vermont.  That is why I want to be sure that we are doing all we can to find a short-term solution for the thousands of Vermont and New York residences whose lives have been disrupted by this emergency situation.”While ensuring the safety of the bridge and preventing a potentially dangerous accident is paramount, having an alternative that is safe, efficient and affordable is also a top priority.  Secretary Dill is reaching out to Lake Champlain Transportation as well as the Ticonderoga Ferry which operates a smaller 18 car cable ferry between Shoreham, Vermont, and Fort Ticonderoga, New York, to coordinate efforts. The ferries charge a fee. The next common land crossing into New York is down in Fair Haven, about 35 miles.“I want to be sure that once the inspections are complete, should the bridge be deemed unsafe to reopen, that Vermont and New York are ready with short and long term plans for the quick implementation of a safe, affordable alternative crossing,” the Governor added.Depending on the extent of the damage, long-term planning which VTrans is hard at work on now could include a temporary bridge or possibly a federal earmark for emergency funds to repair or replace the existing bridge.  “Even though New York is the lead on this, we are going to do everything we can in Vermont to be sure that a solution is found,” Douglas concluded. Source: Governor’s office. 10.20.2009###last_img read more

Goodrich Vermont gets $31.5 million Army contract helicopter diagnostics unit

first_imgSenator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) says a new $31,497,430 US Army contract with Goodrich for additional units of the company’s groundbreaking helicopter maintenance diagnostic system, produced by the firm’s facility in Vergennes, will further extend the plant’s planning horizon and underscores again how firmly the advanced system has quickly taken its place as a key maintenance feature of US military helicopter programs.  Leahy just last month announced an extension of a Navy contract for the system.Goodrich’s Health and Usage Management Systems (HUMS) give mechanics feedback on a helicopter’s engine performance, structural performance, and rotor function and wear, allowing a helicopter to be serviced before major systems fail. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and of its Defense Subcommittee, Leahy was instrumental early on in promoting the concept and technology behind HUMS.  Through those efforts HUMS units have become standard equipment on U.S. military helicopters.Leahy announced that the modification to an existing Army contract will allow for the additional purchase of 135 new on-board HUMS, as well as 170 new ground support equipment modules for on-board HUMS.  These systems will be used in UH-60 “Black Hawk” and HH-60 “Pave Hawk” helicopters.Leahy said the contract extension has been hoped for and expected, and with it the new business will keep the HUMS production line going and protect Vermont jobs.  With each new HUMS contract extension, Vergennes attracts more investment by Goodrich and new product lines for design, development, and production, including the company’s new Guidance, Navigation, Control, and Targeting System and the expansion of HUMS into the civilian aircraft market.Leahy joined Goodrich employees twice this year to mark shipment of the 2000th helicopter system and other successes of the workforce at the Vergennes facility.Source: VERGENNES, Vt. (FRIDAY, Oct. 1, 2010) – Senator Patrick Leahylast_img read more

Brattleboro’s GS Precision to expand in Mexico

first_imgGS Precision, Inc,Brattleboro, Vermont-based GS Precision will soon enlarge its manufacturing footprint in Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico. The company has signed an agreement with the Tucson, Arizona-based Offshore Group to expand the leased space at the Roca Fuerte Industrial Park from its current 17,000 to 36,000 square feet. The more than doubling of production space will eventually result in a proportional increase in the plant’s workforce.According to the company’s President, Norm Schneeberger, “This expansion reflects the confidence we have in the leadership and workforce in our Guaymas facility, as well as the Offshore Group’s Maquilas Tetakawi, S.A. de C.V. The increase in our manufacturing in Mexico capacity is part of G.S. Precision’s overall growth strategy, and will enable us to increase our ability to provide our customers with a lower cost option and expanded services, while continuing to leverage the experience and expertise of our team in Vermont.”GS Precision is a leader in the manufacturing of high-precision machined components and sub-assemblies for the aircraft engine, aerospace, medical, fiber-optic, automotive, specialty bearing, and other commercial industries. With an experienced team of more than 300 employees at domestic and international locations, the company is expert in machining a diversity of materials; from nickel-based aircraft alloys and titanium to stainless steels and aluminum.The Offshore Group is the largest provider of outsourced manufacturing support, or “shelter” services in Mexico. Currently 53 manufacturers are in production are at The Offshore Groups three industrial parks in Sonora and the city of Saltillo, Coahuila. Through its subsidiary firms, Vangtel and International Logistics Solutions, The Offshore Group also offers Mexico support services to companies occupying the call center, IT development and BPO markets, as well as third-party logistics services to companies shipping domestically and abroad.SOURCE The Offshore Group TUCSON, Ariz., Dec. 2, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — Website: http://www.offshoregroup.com(link is external)last_img read more

Darn Tough Vermont donates 2,000 pairs of socks to relief effort

first_imgDarn Tough Vermont,Touched by the devastation to many Vermont communities in the wake of Hurricane Irene, including its hometown of Northfield, Vermont, and inspired by the generosity of its neighbors, Darn Tough Vermont has pledged to make an initial donation of 2,000 pairs of socks to those in need across the state. The Vermont Foodbank will strategically distribute the men’s, women’s and children’s socks throughout the state to communities hit hardest by Irene’s flooding.   ‘Everyone is giving what they can during this challenging time for our state,’ said Ric Cabot, owner of Darn Tough Vermont. ‘While food and water take precedent, a new pair of socks can go a long way for a family who has lost many necessities, or for someone who is standing all day in damp, humid conditions trying to rebuild their community. I know it’s just socks, but it’s what we do.’Darn Tough Vermont and the Cabot Hosiery Mill have been making socks in Northfield, Vermont for over 30 years. The over 100 employees who work at the mill, including many from flood-ravaged Northfield, have all felt to affects of Irene in some way or another.Cabot added, ‘Our staff has pulled together to help each other out during this difficult time. We are offering financial assistance to our employees who were hardest hit and unable to return to work. Thankfully, most of our staff was able to come back to the mill quickly. Inspired by their dedication and the generosity we’ve been seeing across the state, we hope these 2,000 pairs of socks will make the recovery effort a little easier.’For more information on the Vermont Foodbank please visit www.vtfoodbank.org(link is external) or call (800) 585-2265. For more information on Darn Tough Vermont please visit www.darntough.com(link is external).Darn Tough Vermont is a manufacturer of premium, all weather outdoors socks, with headquarters in Northfield, Vermont. Darn Tough Vermont offers products in six active wear categories: ski/ride, hike/trek, run/bike, lifestyle, hunt and kid’s styles. The company’s product is distinguished from industry competitors by: 100% USA manufacturing; small needle knitting which results in more stitches per inch and exceptional durability and cushioning; an exclusive blend of either Coolmax® or ultra-fine merino wool for softness, fit, durability and moisture management; and a unique unlimited lifetime guarantee policy. For more information, visit: www.darntough.com(link is external).last_img read more