Aviation Tech Center Is an Investment in Vermont’s Future Workforce

Plane in sky
Aviation Tech Center Is an Investment in Vermont’s Future Workforce
Plane in sky
  • The State of Vermont Aerospace and Aviation

Vermont is home to a $2 billion aerospace manufacturing and civil aviation industry. According to the U.S. Economic Impact of Civil Aviation by State Report done in November 2020 by the Federal Aviation Administration, the economic impact of civil aviation alone for the state of Vermont includes:

  • $1.195 billion in economic output
  • $304 million in earnings
  • $644 million in value added
  • 8,917 jobs

Civil aviation represents 2% of Vermont’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Vermont is also home to industry leaders including Beta Technologies, Collins Aerospace, A Raytheon Technologies Company, GE Aviation, General Dynamics, G.S. Precision, and an established, world-class supplier base of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

  • Pandemic Impact

Paradigm shifts brought about by the pandemic impacted aerospace manufacturing for commercial aviation, as well as global supply chains, moving suppliers to pivot to defense contracting and OEMs and Primes to adapt and innovate. Integrated supply chains are becoming more focused on digitization, cybersecurity compliance, diversification, artificial intelligence, sustainability, and the growing importance of regional supply chains.

At present, we have a severe workforce labor shortage and skills gap in manufacturing, which is being worsened by the “Great Reshuffle, Resignation, and Retirement.” When commercial aviation rebounds in 2023 and 2024, we will need a skilled and trained workforce in aerospace and aviation, including engineers, maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) technicians, assembly and fabrication, cabin crew, and, importantly, pilots. 

  • Manufacturing Our Future Workforce

In support of Governor Phil Scott’s Comprehensive Blueprint for Economic Growth and Make Vermont a Supply Chain Hub and Strengthen Our Relationship with Québec (page 17), we have an opportunity to really put Vermont on the map with the Aerospace Trade Corridor and transform the State into an Aerospace & Aviation Supply Chain Hub by:

  1. Training the next generation workforce, including maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) technicians, manufacturing and assembly, and pilots for both traditional fixed-wing and rotator and electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) and vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft.
  2. Growing, marketing, and promoting Vermont’s maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) cluster, an important part of Vermont’s $2 billion aerospace manufacturing and civil aviation industry and leverage the 6% aviation sales tax exemption as an economic development recruitment tool for MRO on parts, equipment, and machinery for commercial charter and private aircraft.
  • According to Aviation Week, “over the next ten years, 53,987 aircraft will be delivered, 32,196 aircraft will retire, and the total MRO spend is anticipated to be over $2 trillion.
  1. With the above in place, recruit new aerospace manufacturers to the State just like New York did with Norsk Titanium to the former Plattsburg U.S. Air Force base.
  • How We Get There

To help accomplish this, and, along with other important efforts, the Vermont Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the The Burlington Technical Center to submit a $10 million federal earmark for an Aviation Tech Center filed with U.S. Senator Patrick Senator Leahy.

The Burlington Technical center is an FAA Part 147 approved Aircraft Maintenance Technician School which educates and trains the next generation of aviation technicians in airframe and powerplant, avionics, maintenance, repair, and overhaul.

If secured, and, with this project, Vermont will be able to retain and propel Vermont’s combined $2 billion aerospace and aviation industry forward with graduates ready to apply their relevant, current skills and capabilities with an array of employers, including aircraft manufacturers, such as Beta Technologies, Tier 1,2, and 3 aerospace suppliers, such as G.S. Precision (Tier-1), airlines (major, national, regional, and scheduled), cargo companies, charter operators, such as Boutique Air, flight schools, government agencies (FAA), MRO manufacturers, FAA Part 145 Repair Stations, Vermont Air National Guard, and the Vermont Army National Guard.   

Educating and training the next generation of aviation technicians in airframe and powerplant, avionics, and MRO is an investment in our future workforce and will help address Vermont’s workforce labor shortage and skills gap in civil and commercial aviation and aerospace manufacturing. Graduates will be able to enter careers in commercial, military, government, and private aviation. Graduates will also be able to work in Vermont airport facilities and replace a generation that is on the verge of retirement across the state.    

To learn more, please contact Chris Carrigan at ccarrigan@vtchamber.com.

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Highlights From Manufacturing Summit

Highlights From 2021 Manufacturing Summit
At the Vermont Chamber Virtual Manufacturing Summit last month, we hosted 250 B2B participants, 25 OEMs, Primes, and Government Agencies, hosted 400 B2B meetings (representing 100 hours of quality meeting time for buyers, suppliers, and partners), facilitated workforce development with University of Vermont and Vermont Technical College students for jobs and internships, expanded the Aerospace Trade Corridor to Ontario, welcomed international trade delegations from Québec, Ontario, and Canada, and much more
 
Please find additional highlights and results from the Summit below:
  • Expansion of Aerospace Trade Corridor to Ontario

In support of our work to inter-cluster our aerospace and defense industries and provide our participants with access to new markets, contacts, shared best practices, and supply chain innovation and transformation, the Vermont Chamber, in partnership with the Ontario Aerospace Council, signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the recent 2021 Manufacturing Summit and officially expanded the Aerospace Trade Corridor to Ontario’s $6 billion aerospace and defense sector. The MOU will provide the additional framework going forward for collaboration and partnership, which will foster the development of new, cross-border contacts and business opportunities as we reconnect and rebuild our supply chains.

  • Gov. Scott & Sen. Leahy at Vermont Chamber Manufacturing Summit

Governor Phil Scott and Senator Patrick Leahy were featured speakers at our 2021 Manufacturing Summit. Governor Scott discussed challenges presented by the pandemic, how the Vermont Chamber’s Manufacturing Summit benefits participants, and the economic importance of Vermont’s manufacturing industry. Senator Leahy noted the unique and important opportunity that attendees of the Manufacturing Summit had to learn from industry experts, convene, and build their networks.

  • Watch Governor Scott here.
  • Watch Senator Leahy here.
  • Workforce Development with UVM and Vermont Technical College

At our 2021 Manufacturing Summit, we provided important workforce development through partnerships with the University of Vermont College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS) and Vermont Technical College. The Vermont Chamber facilitated 20 interviews for students and soon-to-be graduates in STEM and advanced manufacturing with employer participants for jobs and internship opportunities.

  • Sponsor 2022 Manufacturing Summit

Our Annual 2022 Manufacturing Supply Chain Summit will be in held in September with a confirmed date to soon follow. To join us as a sponsor, please contact Chris Carrigan, (802) 223-0904, ccarrigan@vtchamber.com

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Spotlighting HEB Manufacturing

Spotlighting HEB Manufacturing

This month, we are spotlighting Vermont Chamber member HEB Manufacturing.

They specialize in custom Fourslide Wireforms, Press Stamping Components, and Services. Incorporated in 1957 and employing 35 people, they are small enough to maintain a personal relationship with their customers but provide the flexibility of a small business, as well as the equipment, experience, and ability of larger corporations in meeting their customers’ individual requirements.

They have a modern plant of 35,000 square feet and have an ISO 9001 quality certification as well as WBENC certification.

Visit HEB Manufacturing’s website to learn more!

 

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Legislature Adjourns After Passing Several Vermont Chamber Priorities

Legislature Adjourns After Passing Several Vermont Chamber Priorities

The Legislature adjourned Friday until October or January after passing bills that address several legislative priorities the Vermont Chamber worked to support over the past five months. A bill with a tranche of economic development proposals, including investments in tourism marketing, foreign trade, technology-based economic development, workforce development, and BIPOC business support was just one result of the session.

Other legislation that made it over the finish line includes additional economic recovery grants, the largest investment in broadband buildout in Vermont history, investments in child care, health care cost savings for businesses, and additional incentives to recruit workers to Vermont. While these actions will benefit the business community, regrettably the Legislature did not meaningfully respond to the reality of overwhelming unmet financial need in the business community as a result of the pandemic. Lawmakers advanced only $30 million in relief grants, despite the Agency of Commerce and Community Development identifying over $500 million in existing known unmet need. The Vermont Chamber’s lobbying team recognizes the challenges the business community has faced over the last 14 months and worked extensively to understand members’ individual policy needs and advocate for legislative outcomes with the goal of ensuring economic recovery and supporting Vermont’s economic future.

The Legislature passed a $7 billion budget that includes many unprecedented investments across state government, including in economic development. Some notable allocations are:

  • $20 million to the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) to fund additional economic recovery grants
  • $20 million to Vermont State Colleges for system transformation over the next four years
  • $11 million to ACCD to be used in the same manner as the Brownfield Remediation Fund
  • $800,000 to ACCD for technology-based economic development grants
  • $1.5 million for the Better Places Program
  • $2 million to the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing in additional funds, beyond the agency’s regular budget for marketing and regional stimulus
  • $650,000 for additional funds for new and remote worker programs
  • $100,000 for adult CTE scholarships
  • $300,000 for adult CTE program improvements
  • $150,000 to ACCD for outreach and technical support for BIPOC-owned businesses
  • $300,000 to support foreign trade with Canada
  • $900,000 to ACCD to fund the Entrepreneurs’ Seed Capital Fund

Funds for much of the budget rely heavily on resources provided to Vermont in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). This massive injection of federal money allowed legislative leaders and the Governor to advance bold proposals that may have otherwise not come to volition for many years.  Please contact Vermont Chamber Government Affairs Director Charles Martin with questions.

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Funding for Montreal Trade Office Advances

Funding for Montreal Trade Office Advances

As part of Governor Scott’s $210 million economic development and reinvestment plan, the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development’s proposal to establish a Business Attraction Investment Program has passed in both the Senate and House budgets. The proposed budget appropriation of $300,000 would be used to hire a Canadian foreign trade representative firm over a period of two years to generate foreign direct investment (FDI) leads and prospects for the State in the areas of aerospace, biotechnology, and renewable energy, and provide Vermont with statewide representation in Québec. The goal of this initiative is to increase FDI investment with Canada, Vermont’s largest trading partner, and promote cross-border trade and tourism when the border reopens.

In keeping with our record of working with Québec on cross-border trade and legislative issues and building the Vermont – Québec Aerospace Trade Corridor, the Vermont Chamber supports this initiative. It will help strengthen our ties with Québec, promote tourism as we come out of the pandemic, and will also help to attract and recruit Canadian companies interested in establishing a footprint in Vermont to access the North American market for contracting opportunities. Successful business recruitment, in turn, will create jobs for Vermonters and grow the state’s economy. To learn more, please contact Vermont Chamber Vice President of Business Development Chris Carrigan.

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2 Questions in 2 Minutes – Manufacturing Tax Exemption

2 Questions in 2 Minutes - Manufacturing Tax Exemption

Take two minutes to learn about the manufacturing tax exemption and how an expansion would help Vermont’s manufacturers. 

Connect with our Vice President of Business Development Chris Carrigan at ccarrigan@vtchamber.com.

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Bill Would Impose New Property Tax, Expand Manufacturing Credit and Exemption

Bill Would Impose New Property Tax, Expand Manufacturing Credit and Exemption

The House passed H.437 a revenue bill that would create a property transfer tax surcharge at the rate of one half of a percent on the value of property transferred over $1 million. The bill would also increase the annual amount available for the affordable housing tax credit, which would be dedicated to purchasing and restoring manufactured homes. Funds generated through the tax would support the expansion of the sales and use tax exemption for machinery, equipment, and ancillary processes deemed to be used as an integral or essential part of an integrated manufacturing operation.

This would be a move away from taxation at consumption theory and direct use standard to an integrated plan that proposes to make tax exempt the ancillary processes that occur throughout the manufacturing process, from raw materials in the beginning to the final product and packaging. To qualify for exemption these processes must protect the quality of the product and be part of the integrated production operation. Examples include air quality, cooling, heating, waste removal, and cleaning. Additional processes that occur after initial packaging, such as testing, inspection, quality control, and secondary packaging would also be exempt from the use tax under this proposal.

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Spotlighting Mobile Medical International Corporation

Spotlighting Mobile Medical International Corporation

This month, we are spotlighting Vermont Chamber member Mobile Medical International Corporation. MMIC provides temporary healthcare facilities which provide a full line of U.S. healthcare code compliant on-site solutions for hospitals. They strive to improve the health and well-being of people through creative design of temporary medical facilities and support systems that enable their customers to deliver the highest standard of care. They have a demonstrated history of bringing innovative products to market and introduced the world’s first Mobile Surgery Unit (MSU), a US healthcare code compliant temporary medical facility designed to provide an on-site solution for hospitals experiencing downtime.

Why MMIC? Because they never stop caring. From surgical to sterile processing to water quality, their solutions are backed by decades of unequaled performance.

Visit MMIC’s website to learn more!

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How Vermont Businesses Are Helping Our Communities

How Vermont Businesses Are Helping Our Communities

Vermont and the nation are experiencing an unprecedented public health emergency, coupled with an abrupt economic downturn. 

Our thousands of statewide businesses and their employees and families across all industries are facing hardships. Even in the face of significant challenges,  Vermont businesses have shown compassion, innovation, and care for their communities. 

Below are examples of Vermont businesses and organizations helping during the  pandemic:

  • Northfield Savings Bank donated $15,000 to Vermont Foodbank
  • Darn Tough donated 5,000 pairs of socks to the UVM Health Network and is knitting a sock that benefits the Vermont Foodbank
  • Vermont Evaporator Company is making and donating durable, washable cloth masks to Vermont public schools to help them reopen safely
  • O’Brien Brothers is donating $20,000 to two Vermont organizations to help Vermonters in need to get basic necessities this winter
  • GLOBALFOUNDRIES donated tools and equipment to Generator Inc., a local nonprofit makerspace and donated $20,000 to the University of Vermont Medical Center to help in the fight against COVID-19
  • TD Bank thanked their employees with $500 pandemic bonuses
  • Vermont Mutual Insurance Group is contributing $1 million in charitable donations to help with COVID-19 relief efforts in Vermont
  • RunVermont is holding a Get Out, Give Back virtual run/walk three-race series supporting Vermont non-profits
  • Gordon’s Window Decor is re-purposing cellular shade material to produce comfortable masks and donating 25 masks to non-profits in need for every 25 masks purchased
  • Vermont Housing Finance Agency is accepting applications for their Vermont COVID Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program
  • ECHO Leahy Center launched two programs to support Vermont families: ECHO Virtual STEM Academy and ECHO Care and Enrichment
  • Lake Champlain Chocolates donated chocolate hearts to teachers and support staff in Chittenden County and teamed up with Vermont Creamery for a sweet collaboration to raise money for the Vermont Foodbank
  • PieMatrix in Burlington is offering free CDC-based COVID-19 back-to-business and back-to-isolation plans for businesses to use when opening or closing operations 
  • Vermont Community Foundation announced $380,500 in grants in the fourth round of grantmaking from the VT COVID-19 Response Fund
  • Vermont Teddy Bear is sewing more than 3,000 face masks to donate to medical professionals and is spearheading an effort to  help make 125,000 masks available in Vermont
  • Teknor Apex is manufacturing TPE resin that is converted into the straps for the 95 facemasks, breather bags on ventilators, and face mask respirators
  • Hops for Hope, a 5k run and walk to benefit the American Cancer Society, goes virtual to continue supporting cancer treatment and research
  • Vermont State Colleges System partnered with Vermont Electric Power Company to offer free Wi-Fi to the general public on the campuses of Northern Vermont University, Castleton University, and Vermont Technical College
  • The Community Bank NA New England branches donated $15,000 to The DREAM Program
  • The MEND Fund was created to respond to the burden faced by downtown businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic; supporters include Union Mutual Insurance Company, Vermont Mutual, National Life, Northfield Savings Bank, and Noyle W Johnson
  • Farrell Distributing and The Foundry at Summit Pond are partnering with Yealands Wines and Palm Bay International to create a “Raise a Glass” program supporting local healthcare workers
  • The Skinny Pancake is feeding Vermonters in need with free meals through their new food response program, ShiftMeals
  • Tuttle Printing is producing face masks to help businesses comply with state guidance and regulations, available for order by email
  • Farrell Distributing helped develop a coalition of Vermont businesses  to serve communities with needed sanitizer
  • Birchgrove Baking is offering “Sweeten a Day” boxes; customers can purchase a box of pastries to donate to hospitals, health care workers, and first responders
  • Fat Hat Clothing Company is pitching in to make protective masks
  • Sugarsnap launched a delivery service to help workplaces and homes provide sustenance and care as well as social distance and safety
  • Vermont Glove is pivoting to produce protective gear
  • Burton is donating half a million KN95 masks to hospitals around Vermont, to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire, and to other areas where they are urgently needed; they have also donated over 1,000 Anon Optics goggles through Goggles for Docs
  • Dunkin’ is sending care packages to Central Vermont Medical Center, Grace Cottage Family Health and Hospital, and Gifford Medical Center health care workers
  • Bar Harbor Bank is donating to help adult education programs in Vermont
  • The Vermont Country Store is sharing advice on safely bridging the social distance and checking in on neighbors and loved ones
  • Green Mountain Power is temporarily suspending collections-related activities, including service disconnections through the end of April
  • Orvis answered Southwestern Vermont Health Care’s call for personal protective equipment
  • Awesome Graphics in Rutland is printing signs with COVID-19 etiquette reminders and thank-you’s to essential workers and health care workers
  • Distilleries around Vermont, including Green Mountain Distillers, SILO Distillery, Barr Hill by Caledonia Spirits, Mad River Distillers, and Smugglers’ Notch Distillery are producing hand sanitizer for those in need 
  • In a press conference on March 23, Governor Phil Scott made special note of the good work underway as communities respond to COVID-19 by Casella Waste Systems, Inc., Autumn Harp, General Dynamics, GlobalFoundries, Cold Hollow Cider Mill, and others
  • Two Brothers Tavern is serving deeply discounted wines 
  • Yoga Six in South Burlington offered free online yoga classes 
  • Spectrum Internet is offering two free months of internet and WiFi services for new Pre-K to 12, college student and teacher households who don’t have internet or WiFi service
  • Effective until further notice, Green Mountain Transit is operating bus service fare free
  • In response to the pandemic, the Vermont Housing Finance Agency awarded $120,000 in grants to meet housing needs and is providing help through a new Mortgage Assistance Program to Vermont homeowners who have fallen behind on payments 
  • ​NPI Technology Management is offering web content to help Vermont businesses make remote workplaces work and free consultation to provide technical advice
  • Arts and humanities organizations in Vermont can apply for emergency relief funding through a new partnership between the Vermont Arts Council and Vermont Humanities
  • Union Mutual is partnering with Montpelier businesses Langdon Street Tavern and Pinky’s Deli to sponsor meals each week for Montpelier and Central Vermont residents in need
  • Consolidated Communications is helping students learn from home, upgrading networks so doctors can focus on patients, and providing tools to help employees collaborate remotely
  • Leonine Public Affairs created a thorough COVID-19 resources page
  • SKIRACK in Burlington donated googles to health care workers through Goggles For Docs
  • Burlington maker space Generator started prototyping personal protective equipment for area hospitals in response to nationwide shortages
  • The National Life Group Foundation approved grants of $100,000 each to community foundations in Vermont and Texas
  • Chroma’s filter technologies are letting biotech firms develop tests for coronavirus
  • Little Morocco Café in Burlington is serving free hot soup and rice three times a week, and Stowe Street Café in Waterbury is also making and distributing free community meals
  • Trent’s Bread in Westford, Vermont, is donating loaves of bread to local food shelves
  • The Vermont Institute of Natural Science is offering at-home education resources 

Retailers and grocers are making extraordinary changes to the way they do business in order to ensure the safety of their staff and customers. The Vermont Retail and Grocers Association is updating this list of what retailers and grocers throughout the state are doing to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Services range from delivery to curbside pickup and designated shopping hours for vulnerable populations.

To support the fight against COVID-19, the Vermont Chamber, partnering with state and federal government agencies, engaged manufacturers to quickly locate urgently needed medical supplies and to identify manufacturers who could retrofit and adapt their operations to manufacture essential personal protective equipment (PPE), medical devices, and life-saving medicines. Many Vermont manufacturers are stepping up to make medical protective gear.

Additionally, businesses looking to donate PPE (personal protective equipment) are advised:

  • You can drop PPE off at the Vermont Emergency Management building at the Waterbury State Complex between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily, at 45 State Drive, Waterbury, VT 05676.
  • If you can’t get to Waterbury, you can drop it off at the closest State Police Barracks with locations listed here.

The Vermont Chamber of Commerce is determined to continue ensuring the well-being of Vermont’s business community during these unique and trying times. Please contact us if you have any questions, and access our COVID-19 Resources page for the latest information and resources for businesses.​

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Spotlighting KAD Models and Prototypes

Spotlighting KAD Models and Prototypes

This month, we are spotlighting Vermont Chamber member KAD Models and Prototypes, Inc. KAD has been in the business of Advanced Adaptive Manufacturing, providing engineers and line of business with rapid turnaround machining of plastics, metals and hard to machine materials with high-end precision and quality since 2012.

As an OEM and Tier 1, 2, & 3 supplier to OEM’s and prime contractors, KAD serves clients leading in technology and consumer electronics, aerospace, automotive, industrial, marine, and medical industries. KAD manufactures products directly from 3-D models and inspects every order – ensuring consistently high quality for every part made. 

Visit KAD Models and Prototype’s website to learn more!

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