Vermont Chamber Hosts “The Wellspring Forum” Featuring Becca Balint and Mike Pieciak
Kenneth McAvey, VP and GM, Fab 9, GlobalFoundries poses a question to Becca Balint.

On September 7th, the Vermont Chamber of Commerce hosted a new event, entitled The Wellspring Forum, to capitalize on the historic election cycle and further our commitment to growing the business community and the Vermont economy.

The event title was inspired by Governor James H. Douglas’ quote; “I am often reminded that the wellspring of Vermont liberty flows from Main Street, not State Street.”

US House Candidate Becca Balint and State Treasurer Candidate Mike Pieciak spoke directly to the Vermont Chamber Board of Directors and other leaders of the Vermont business community in a series of bilateral conversations moderated by Vermont Chamber President, Betsy Bishop.

“The Vermont Chamber is proud to facilitate a forum that allows Vermont business leaders the opportunity to hear directly from future decision makers on the issues impacting them the most,” stated Bishop. “While the economy is the top issue for Vermonters, we rarely see Vermont candidates speak directly on business and economic issues while on the campaign trail, and we’re grateful that both Becca Balint and Mike Pieciak took the time to engage with the business community in this way.”

Becca Balint and Vermont Chamber President Betsy Bishop.
Mike Pieciak connects with Kevin Chu, Executive Director of the Vermont Futures Project.
Mike Pieciak and Vermont Chamber President Betsy Bishop.

The candidates spoke about several economic issues of top concerns for the business community, including workforce recruitment, housing, immigration, inflation, and diversity initiatives.

“When it comes to the Vermont economy, it’s clear that the lack of housing and childcare are holding back our state’s full fiscal potential. Increasing access to housing in downtown and village centers goes hand in hand with measures to strengthen our climate resiliency and physical infrastructure,” stated Mike Pieciak. “We also need to ensure revenue is flowing into Vermont, and acknowledge that other New England states market their strategic advantages. When it comes to workforce recruitment, our strategic advantage is quality of life. We need to make sure all people feel welcome here and are encouraged to call Vermont home.”

“I look forward to the opportunity at the federal level to work with colleagues to address the intersection of so many issues such as workforce development, housing, climate, and childcare,” shared Becca Balint. “This is a moment where people are reimagining work, and I believe we have an opportunity, and an obligation, to bring more manufacturing back to Vermont. When you have people building things in your community, it’s an economic benefit and it also fosters pride of place.”

Fifty business leaders from several industries and sectors, including tourism, manufacturing, health care, retail, and technology, were in attendance. The event was hosted at the office of OnLogic in South Burlington. 

Mike Pieciak meets with members of the OnLogic team.
Becca Balint tours OnLogic with Executive Chair Roland Groeneveld.

This Wellspring Forum was made possible by the support of the following sponsors: