Month: January 2021

  • Vermont’s Chroma, among Inc. Magazine winners

    first_imgInc. magazine and Winning Workplaces today announce the winners of the 2010 Top Small Company Workplaces competition the best small and mid-sized places to work in the country in Inc.’s June issue. The magazine features the 20 winners, which range from the New York Jets professional football team to A Yard and a Half landscaping company to Patagonia, the outdoor clothing designer and retailer. A list of the 20 finalists also is included.This is the eighth consecutive year that Winning Workplaces, the Evanston, IL-based nonprofit organization, has recognized those firms that attribute much of their business success to their commitment to exemplary people practices and outstanding workplace cultures.  The common characteristics of the Top Small Company Workplaces include a commitment to aligning their workforce with a clear vision, mission, and values; communicating with openness and trust; and investing in employees’ continuous learning and development. These practices were maintained or strengthened as a means to weather the recession. Further, many winners chose to share the pain rather than lay off colleagues. Salary reductions were taken across the organization, starting with the CEO.Winning Workplaces and Inc. received nearly 500 completed applications for the contest. A national panel of experts in leadership and small to mid-sized business judged the finalists based on specific metrics and qualitative assessments of their success in creating the kind of workplaces that engage employees and deliver successful results.”This year’s winners show that the quality of the workplace can be a competitive advantage. I’m amazed at how well they have come through the recession. Clearly, their commitment to their values and people practices are an important part of this success,” said Gaye van den Hombergh, President of Winning Workplaces.”People want employers who care for and challenge them. And they want those employers to be financially healthy so they can keep caring for and challenging them far into the future. The 2010 Top Small Company Workplaces do just that. Their stories, in the June issue of Inc. magazine, are models of smart management and enlightened leadership,” said Jane Berentson, Editor-in-Chief of Inc. magazine.The 2010 Top Small Company Workplaces winners include:A Yard & A Half Landscaping LLC – Waltham, MAAll4 Inc. – Kimberton, PAAlternate Solutions HomeCare – Kettering, OHBiomark Inc. – Boise, IDChroma Technology Corp – Bellows Falls, VTDaphne Utilities – Daphne, – Burlington, VTDixon Schwabl – Victor, NYGinger Bay Salon & Spa – Kirkwood, MOMAYA Design Inc. – Pittsburgh, PANY Jets – Florham Park, NJOptimax Systems Inc. – Ontario, NYPatagonia – Ventura, CAPortionPac Chemical Corporation – Chicago, ILRed Door Interactive Inc. – San Diego, CAReturn Path Inc. – New York, NYTarlton Corporation – St. Louis, MOTasty Catering – Elk Grove Village, ILThe Sky Factory LC – Fairfield, IAVan Meter Industrial – Cedar Rapids, IATo read the 2010 Top Small Company Workplaces report, please go to is external).About Inc. magazineFounded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures, Inc. magazine ( is external)) is the only major business magazine dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies that delivers real solutions for today’s innovative company builders. With a total paid circulation of 724,110, Inc. provides hands-on tools and market-tested strategies for managing people, finances, sales, marketing and technology.About Winning WorkplacesWinning Workplaces ( is external)) is an Evanston, IL-based not-for-profit, whose mission is to help the leaders of small and mid-sized organizations create great workplaces. Founded in 2001, Winning Workplaces serves as a clearinghouse of information on workplace best practices, provides seminars and workshops on workplace-related topics and inspires and awards top workplaces through its annual Top Small Company Workplaces initiative.Source: Inc. New York, NY, June 7, 2010last_img read more

  • Vermont one of few states to have increased mental health budget last three years

    first_imgRhode Island$6.3+7.4%3 STATEChange$ MillionsPercentChangeRank by% Change Kansas$18.9-16.4%7 South Carolina$40.5-22.7%3 tied Indiana$3.6-3.0%26 tied About NAMINAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. NAMI has over 1,100 state and local affiliates engaged in research, education, support and advocacy.  Wisconsin$107.1-22.4%4 STATEChangeMillionsPercentChangeRank by% Decrease Illinois$113.7-15.1%9 ARLINGTON, Va., March 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — New Mexico$0.9-2.0%30 D.C.$44.2-19.1%5 New Hampshire$8.8-8.5%19 California$587.4-16.3%8 New Jersey$5.3-0.7%31 Alabama$12.3+2.5%13 North Dakota$2.9+4.4%7 Wyoming$3.1-2.9%27 INCREASES FY 2009-2011 Colorado$10.2-6.7%21 Nevada$39.2-17.3%6 Washington$34.5-11.0%14 Connecticut$17.7+2.6%12 Alaska$47.9-35.0%2 Michigan$24.5-7.9%20 North Carolina$58.5+20.9%2 Two thirds of states have cut mental health care in the last three years’even though need has increased because of the nation’s economic distress and troops returning home from war, according to a report released today by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).Seventeen states managed to increase mental health budgets during the same three years. For 10 of them, the increases totaled four percent or less.”State mental health cuts are a national crisis,” said NAMI Executive Director Michael J. Fitzpatrick.  “Some states are trying to hold the line or make progress, but most are cutting deep. This stands in contrast to the intense national concern about the mental health care system following the Arizonatragedy two months ago.”State Lists and DataThe report can be downloaded at is external).  State-by-state tables appear in the appendices. A summary of decreases and increases appears below listing the total change in dollars, percentages and rank.In all states, the budget squeeze is getting worse in part because of the expiration of enhanced federal Medicaid support in June 2011. Oregon, for example, which increased mental health by $57.4 million over three years, will lose $156 million because of the expiration.The report focuses primarily on non-Medicaid mental health services, which are financed with state general funds and provided through state mental health agencies. It is the part of the mental health system that state legislatures have the most control over.”Cutting mental health means that costs only get shifted to emergency rooms, schools, police, local courts, jails and prisons,” Fitzpatrick said. “The taxpayer still pays the bill.”Mental health cuts mean that clinics, crisis centers and hospitals close. Admissions are frozen. Emergency room visits increase. Where services remain, staff is cut, wait times for appointments are stretched and when people finally are seen, it’s for shorter amounts of time.”Cuts mean people don’t get the right help in the right place at the right time. Communities suffer and families break under the strain. Some people end up living on the street or dead.”The report makes five priority recommendations:Protect state mental health funding and restore budget cuts, but tie funding to performance.Maintain adequate numbers of inpatient beds for psychiatric treatment.Invest in research on early detection and intervention in the treatment of serious mental illness in youth and adults.Implement mental health screening and assessment programs.Support programs designed to educate families, peers and the public about serious mental illness and how to respond to people living with mental illness.”Decisions need to be made carefully rather than simply cutting for cutting’s sake. If done right, the state budget crisis can still be turned into opportunity,” said Fitzpatrick.DECREASES FY 2009-2011 Pennsylvania$33.8-4.7%22 Georgia$2.0+0.5%16 Tennessee$16.8-10.1%15 Idaho$5.3-11.4%12 tied Utah$10.4-11.4%12 tied Louisiana$11.8-2.8%28 Minnesota$2.8+1.4%15 Oregon$71.0+23.2%1 Maryland$26.2-4.0%23 West Virginia$9.5+6.6%4 Oklahoma$4.8-2.3%29 Massachusetts$63.5-9.3%16 Ohio$57.7-11.3%13 Kentucky$193.7-47.5%1 Maine$10.4+5.2%6 Hawaii$27.2-12.1%11 New York$132.0-3.5%24 Iowa$15.2-8.9%18 Missouri$16.5+3.7%10 Montana$2.6+2.1%14 Nebraska$4.2+3.9%9 Arkansas$4.2+5.9%5 Virginia$38.5-9.1%17 Florida$1.2+0.2%17 Arizona$108.4-22.7%3 tied Mississippi$38.6-14.7%10 Vermont$4.5+3.0%11 South Dakota$1.8+4.0%8 Texas$27.6-3.0%26 tied Delaware$2.4-3.1%25last_img read more

  • Congressional delegation secures $1.3 million for VSAC

    first_imgVermont Student Assistance Corporation,The Vermont Student Assistance Corp. (VSAC) will receive up to $1.3 million in additional funds to continue helping students find grants, loans and scholarships, the Vermont congressional delegation announced today.    The delegation also helped nonprofit lenders like the Winooski, Vt.-based VSAC secure a higher rate from the U.S. Department of Education for servicing student loans. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who serves as a member of the Senate education committee, led the effort on behalf of VSAC, with strong support from Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.). ‘At a time of soaring college costs, I have supported President Obama’s move to increase the maximum Pell grant, which enables millions of low- and moderate-income students who go to college, by ending the billions in subsidies that big banks received to issue federally-guaranteed student loans,’ Sanders said. ‘At the same time, we in Vermont value the important work done by VSAC, and similar work done by nonprofits in other states.  Thousands of Vermonters have been able to go to college because of VSAC counseling, both in making higher education available to them and in helping students and their families manage the costs of college. We are very pleased that our ongoing efforts to protect VSAC’s critical role in our state have paid off. VSAC will be able to continue doing the excellent and important work it has done so well over the years,’ Sanders said.Leahy said, ‘No student should be denied the opportunities of a college education because of her or his family’s financial resources.  College costs make it difficult ‘ often, extremely difficult — for families to afford higher education.  I strongly support the Obama administration’s recently enacted expansion of student financial aid and I am pleased that Senator Sanders, Congressman Welch and I have succeeded in convincing the U.S. Department of Education to recognize VSAC’s importance as an instrumental partner in guiding Vermont students through the complexities of financing their college educations.  I continue to hear from students and adult learners across the state that VSAC’s outreach counselors gave them the support system they needed to graduate.  Vermonters have come to rely on the comprehensive programs and collaborative efforts among VSAC, our public schools and the higher education community.’Welch said, ‘This is great news for Vermont students and families. Today’s announcement will allow VSAC to continue doing what it does best, provide high-quality services to Vermonters and increase access to higher education. As college tuitions rise, the services provided by VSAC are integrally important in helping students and families navigate the path to higher education.’ The Department of Education last week announced the higher rate for the first 100,000 loans serviced by VSAC and other nonprofit state lending agencies. The department’s Federal Student Loan Agency has agreed to provide VSAC with $1 million in conversion fees and up to $300,000 to cover initial start-up expenses for implementing a structure to service these new loans, while it continues to provide outreach, support, and loan services to students. VSAC will also be eligible to compete for the assignment of additional loans in the future. VSAC and 15 similar nonprofits throughout the nation have entered into an agreement with the Education Department that begins the process of assigning the initial 100,000 loans. Source: Delegation. WASHINGTON, April 28, 2011last_img read more

  • Winooski River fishway has record salmon spawning run

    first_imgGreen Mountain Power Corp,A strong spawning run has brought large numbers of landlocked Atlantic salmon from Lake Champlain into the Winooski River this fall. During the eight week season that ended on November 10, 189 salmon were collected in the fish lift at the Winooski One hydro-electric facility.”This has been the best year we’ve had since the lift began operating in 1993,” says Nick Staats, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fishery biologist who is monitoring the salmon run in cooperation with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. “It’s a 44% increase over last year’s record 130 fish, and it’s a positive sign that sea lamprey control efforts on Lake Champlain are paying off.”Biologist Nick Staats with a salmon trapped at the Winooski One Hydro-electric dam. The largest salmon caught at the dam during the fall 2011 season was 28.5 inches long.The Winooski River fish lift is the main feature of a trap and truck fish passage built into the Winooski One hydro-electric facility at the falls above the Salmon Hole in Winooski. The project was designed to truck salmon and steelhead around dams to reach suitable spawning habitat and provide more fishing opportunities. Winooski One shares the cost of operating the fish lift with Green Mountain Power, owner of the next two dams upstream in South Burlington and Essex Junction.”Until this fish lift was built, the upstream salmon migration had been blocked since Ira and Ethan Allen built the first dam across the Winooski in the late 1700’s,” said John Warshow, owner of Winooski One Partnership that operates the hydro-electric station. “This kind of increase two years in a row is a hopeful sign that the fishery is being restored.”Brian Otley, VP of Operations at Green Mountain Power, said: “We’re proud to be part of this environmental success story of the return of Lake Champlain salmon. Collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Winooski One Hydro has shown that energy projects can have direct, positive and quantifiable impacts on the environment.” Under an agreement with Winooski Hydro One, Green Mountain Power provides two-thirds of the fishway’s annual operating budget of $10,000 to $20,000.The young salmon stocked in the river come from state and federal hatcheries in Vermont. According to biologist Nick Staats, all salmon caught in the fish lift at the Winooski One hydro-electric dam were measured, weighed, sexed, checked for lamprey wounds and tagged by State or Federal biologists.About Green Mountain PowerGreen Mountain Power generates, transmits, distributes and sells electricity in Vermont and is a leader in wind and solar generation. It serves more than 96,000 customers. is external)About Winooski OneWinooski One is a run-of-river hydro-electric generating station located on the Winooski River as it flows between Burlington and Winooski in Chittenden County, Vermont. The station consists of a refurbished spillway with a rubber dam abutting a historic timber crib dam. A fish trap, lift station and riverside park are constructed as part of the Facility. An average annual net output of 30 million kWh is delivered for sale to Vermont’s utilities through the Vermont Electric Power Producers, Inc. Hydro-electric power provides clean, safe electricity to Vermont epitomizing the use of renewable energy. is external)GMP 11.22.2011last_img read more