Immigration and Artificial Intelligence Highlighted at the 2024 Vermont Economic Conference

The Vermont Chamber of Commerce’s annual Vermont Economic Conference convened more than 200 business and policy leaders for a day of insightful presentations, engaging discussions, and valuable networking opportunities. The agenda provided attendees with an in-depth look at national and state perspectives on the economy as well as the latest economic indicators shaping Vermont’s business landscape.

“We are proud to build on our record of convening Vermont businesses to provide resources that help the community navigate a rapidly evolving landscape,” said Vermont Chamber President Betsy Bishop. “In addition to economic outlook presentations by top economists, it was important to us that the agenda featured two of the leading issues for the year ahead. Artificial intelligence is reshaping industries and redefining the way we do business, while the immigration-to-workforce pipeline is a crucial opportunity for our state.”

A panel discussion entitled “Leveraging Vermont’s Immigration Experience to Solve Workforce Needs,” included Leslie Holman of Holman Immigration Law, Tracy Dolan of the State of Vermont Refugee Office, Julia Birnn Fields of Birnn Chocolates of Vermont, and was moderated by Adam Grinold of the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation. The expert stakeholders provided insight into the economic contributions of immigrants to Vermont, the importance of workforce development and diversity, and the impact of immigration policies on local businesses and communities.

The event also featured Alec Newcomb, the Founder of ScaledOn, who delved into the theory of artificial intelligence and shared practical applications for businesses looking to harness its potential. The interactive presentation gave attendees the resources necessary to understand the theory of the technology and practical applications for businesses looking to harness its potential.

TD Bank Senior Economist Leslie Preston presented valuable insights into the broader U.S. economic landscape, with a presentation on national trends and their impact on the future. This was complemented in the agenda by Mat Barewicz, Economic & Labor Market Information Chief for the Vermont Department of Labor who presented on the state economic outlook.

The event opened with the presentation of the 2023 Outstanding Business of the Year Award to Bourne’s Energy. The award was presented by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and VermontBiz and accepted by Peter Bourne on behalf of the business.