VBSR Member News Round Up – 11/29/23

King Arthur Baking Company: Champion Member King Arthur Baking Company has produced a new whole wheat flour using regenerative agriculture. Called Regeneratively-Grown Climate Blend, the flour is made up of a variety of wheat crops and offers a more sustainable flour that will perform nearly the same as conventional whole wheat flour in baking recipes, although it may not be as consistent each year – because the varieties used to create the whole wheat blend may change, based on yields that can be impacted by climate change. Learn more here.

Catamount Trail Association and Vermont Mountain Bike Association: A recently announced first round of grants from the Sustainable Vermont Trails program (an effort of Catamount Trail Association, a VBSR member) will distribute $180,000 to 10 projects across the state. The multi-year program will grant a total of $370,000 over time with the goal of making trails that are more durable, sustainable, and accessible. Fellow member the Vermont Mountain Bike Association is also involved in the form of matching grants. Learn more here.

Lake Champlain Chocolates and Cabot Creamery Cooperative: VBSR members are no strangers to the relationship between Vermont’s rapidly aging population and staffing challenges. A recent New York Times article sees Vermont as a preview of challenges the rest of the country has yet to face in the same way. Members like Lake Champlain Chocolates are Gold Member Cabot Creamery Cooperative are cited as companies that are finding ways to accommodate, attract, and retain workers through innovations in wages, scheduling, housing and even automation. Learn more here.

Vermont Works for Women: In collaboration with the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau and the Vermont Agency of Transportation, Vermont Works for Women hosted a September panel discussion on Equity In Infrastructure. The event highlighted their collective work building equity across infrastructure initiatives for the state of Vermont. Learn more here. In early October, close to 400 female and gender-expansive students from across the state of Vermont gathered for a fun day of trying new things at Women Can Do – an event that exposes students to careers non-traditional to their gender. Students explore STEM and trades careers through hands-on activities while getting to know Vermont professionals, employers, and organizations. Learn more here.

University of Vermont: The recent issue of Gold Member University of Vermont’s Magazine featured a Q&A with Elizabeth Palchak, director of the UVM Office of Sustainability. Having recently announced the university’s new comprehensive sustainability plan (CSP) – which contains a commitment to a carbon-neutral UVM by 2030 – there was plenty to talk about, including the rise of geothermal energy on campus, Ford F-150 Lightnings in the UVM truck fleet, and the collaborative process needed for strong planning. Learn more here.

VSJF and Efficiency Vermont: The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF), in collaboration with Efficiency Vermont and its Energy Excellence Network, is launching an advanced business assistance program for Vermont energy professionals. Starting in January 2024, a cohort of competitively selected energy services business owners and entrepreneurs will work directly with experienced business coaches to receive advanced business assistance in a new program. This “Tools of the Trade” program is an 18-month hybrid training course specifically designed to support the needs of home performance and weatherization contractors, builders who specialize in renewable energy and energy efficiency, electrician firms, and energy audit businesses. Learn more here.

Efficiency Vermont: While we’re talking about Efficiency Vermont, you may have started noticing various Button Up Vermont promotions as the temperatures drop. Yes, Button Up Vermont is back in its annual effort of reminding Vermonters of all the ways we can prepare our homes for winter. From low- and no-cost efficiency tips to comprehensive projects designed to reduce heating bills, it’s a great way to save money and stay comfortable all winter long. Learn more here.

Intervale Center: The July flood wiped out nearly all crops and much of the equipment at the Intervale Center. In fact, it was flooded up to about four or five feet of water – farmers went out on kayaks to survey the fields they had walked through just a day prior. Cleanup and reapproaching what remained of the growing season took time and, of course, a surge of community support. The fall harvest is looking really different than usually does – it feels like a spring harvest – but the fact that there’s a harvest at all is amazing. Learn more here.

BETA Technologies: BETA Technologies has been singled out by the Biden Administration for a $169 million loan to help finance the company’s new manufacturing facility on Williston Road at the Patrick Leahy Burlington International Airport. The 188,500-square-foot electric aircraft factory is expected to create hundreds of jobs, as Beta ramps up to full production for its customers in the cargo, medical, defense and passenger industries. Learn more here.