Hub Happenings

VBSR networking event

Red Wagon Plants will host a Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR) networking event on Thursday, June 23 at 5:30 p.m. The event is open to the public and is free for VBSR members and state officials, $10 for nonmembers. Red Wagon Plants will provide hors d’oeuvres and new VBSR member Stonecutter Spirits will operate a cash bar. Pre-registration is requested via

Bearings company reveals new logo, branding

BSC Industries, a regional, national and international distributor of bearings, power transmission, stepper and servo motors, electrical products and integrated control systems introduced the company’s new corporate brand and logo. The rebranding reflects the continuing growth and evolution of the company’s product and service offering as well as its vision for the future, the company, which has a location in Williston, Vt., said in a release. “We started out as a small storefront operation just after the first world war,” says James Fitzpatrick, President of BSC Industries. “By the 60s, we were 20 people. In the last five years, we’ve grown to over 60 people operating from seven locations. We’re supplying not only physical products,m but a range of engineering, clean room and manufacturing services that are really exceptional in our industry.”

Peter Fitzpatrick, Treasurer of BSC Industries, said in the release, “We wanted to establish new branding for the company that really reflected our product and service offerings and also conveyed that this company is a growing, dynamic part of product design, development and manufacturing not only in the northeast but also on a national and international basis.”

Spherion Staffing owner honored

Spherion Staffing Services, a local recruiting, staffing and workforce solutions provider backed by the resources of a $2 billion global company, recently honored South Burlington’s franchise owner Williston-based Ken Ballard with the company’s 2016 Professional Sales Growth Award. The annual award recognizes the Spherion leader who achieves the greatest year-over-year sales growth in the professional skills sector. Under Ballard and senior recruiter Jana Venable, the Vermont team added several new members last year to further overall growth. The expanded team’s service approach garnered significant improvement in professional skills project revenue in 2015 and connected a wider range of area businesses and job seekers. “Many of the successes Ken, Jana and their team have enjoyed come from their commitment to understanding the trends and events shaping their market,” said Sandy Mazur, division president of Spherion. “The Vermont team’s drive, dedication and ability to lead by example have created new opportunities to assist aspiring workers and businesses specializing in professional fields. We are thrilled to celebrate their accomplishments and proven history of serving our clients and candidates.”

GlobalFoundries expands China presence

GlobalFoundries announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding on May 31 to drive its next phase of growth in China. Through a joint venture with the government of Chongqing, the company plans to expand its global manufacturing footprint by establishing a 300mm fab in China, while also investing expanding design support capabilities to better serve customers across that country. “China is the fastest growing semiconductor market, with more than half of the world’s semiconductor consumption and a growing ecosystem of fabless companies competing on a global scale,” said CEO Sanjay Jha. “We are pleased to partner with the Chongqing leadership to expand our investment in support of our growing Chinese customer base.”

The proposed joint venture will provide immediate access to a state-of-the-art facility, accelerating time-to-market with production planned for 2017. GlobalFoundries is the world’s first full-service semiconductor foundry with a global footprint. Launched in March 2009, the company is one of the largest foundries in the world, with operations in Singapore, Germany and the United States.

Construction firm wins state award

PC Construction Company was named the winner of the Deane C. Davis Outstanding Business of the Year Award on May 26. Presented by Governor Shumlin at the opening ceremonies of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce Business and Industry EXPO, the annual award honors local companies with an outstanding history of sustained growth and acute awareness of what makes Vermont unique. The award, named for the former governor of Vermont, was created 26 years ago by Vermont Business Magazine and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce to recognize and honor the state’s best companies. “They truly are deserving of this honor and join 25 other Vermont companies to be recognized over the years as one of the best in Vermont,” said John Boutin, publisher of Vermont Business Magazine. PC Construction’s success over the past 57 years is due to its employees’ dedication to excellent work, a customer service approach that exceeds expectations and a safety program that has led to millions of zero-accident hours, according to a release. Founded by the Pizzagalli family in 1958 with a modest $25,000 in sales the first year, PC Construction has grown into a $500 million business and has become an employee-owned enterprise run by 1,100 employee-owners. This year’s finalists also included Black River Produce and Vermont Mutual Insurance Group.

Vt. Brewers Association adds six members

The Vermont Brewers Association welcomes six breweries and businesses to its membership this month: Brocklebank Craft Brewing in Tunbridge, Foam Brewers and House of Fermentology in Burlington, River Roost Brewery in White River Junction, Trout River Brewing Company in Springfield and Saint J Brewery in Saint Johnsbury. Ben Linehan of Brocklebank has been brewing since 2009 and opened Brocklebank in 2015. Among Linehan’s brews are his two IPAs: Freedom & Unity and Timber Rattler. Foam Brewers opened in April under owners Todd Haire, Robert Grim, Dani Casey, Sam Keane and Jon Farmer, all industry professionals with many years of combined Vermont brewing experience. Foam creates artisanal small-batch beers and the space will host music, art shows and other special events.

River Roost Brewery, owned by Mark Babson in White River Junction, sells growlers and intends to be an accessible stop for travelers and locals alike to find craft beer in the eastern part of the state. Kelen Beardsley, Gabriel Streeter and Trevor Billings of Vermont Beer Shapers, LTD bought Trout River Brewing Company after Dan Gates stepped down in 2014. They opened the new location in Springfield in March. Saint J Brewery’s Scott Salmonsen opened his brewery and pub in February and offers a selection of the Saint J beers on draft and in growlers. Among the beers are an American Blond ale, A Belgian Strong Dark and the Smokin’ J IPA. With the acceptance of these six businesses, the VBA membership now includes 48 brewery members.

Walking initiative
touches 2,500 workers

In its ongoing effort to promote physical activity and improve health, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont says the annual National Walk@Lunch Day was a resounding success. Held in April, the Walk@Lunch Day is a national day focused on physical fitness and wellness in the workplace. This year, businesses, nonprofits and schools statewide were sites of Walk@Lunch Days in which participants took time at midday to get outside and walk, especially with partners or in groups. More than 48,000 students, teachers and staff at Vermont schools enjoyed an outdoor walk, while more than 2,500 employees and civic officials did the same. In Burlington, Rutland, St. Johnsbury and Montpelier, BCBSVT staff supported more than 300 participants at companies and organizations such as the University of Vermont, UVM Medical Center, Rutland Regional Medical Center and the Vermont General Assembly. “Here in Vermont, the day has become a popular way for workers to get away from their desks and get some fresh air while they exercise with coworkers,” said Megan Peek, BCBSVT community relations and health education manager.

Steve Forbes endorses Bruce Lisman

Business leader and publishing heavyweight Steve Forbes endorsed Bruce Lisman, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, on Friday, June 17, according to reports and a release by the candidate. Forbes, twice a presidential hopeful and editor-in-chief of Forbes Magazine, spoke at fundraiser luncheon at the Burlington Country Club.

UVM on target in ‘Real Food Challenge’

The University of Vermont is on track to surpass its current goal of purchasing 20 percent local, sustainable, fair and humane food, the university said in a press release. In the 2015-2016 school year, 19 percent of the food purchased by UVM Dining qualified as “real” according to the Real Food Challenge, a nonprofit organization, indicating that the institution is likely to exceed its goal of supplying 20 percent “real food” by 2020. The Real Food Challenge is a student-led movement aimed at shifting 20 percent of existing university food budgets across the nation from conventional agricultural products to local, ecologically sound, fair and humane products by 2020. “Growing numbers of students across the country are concerned about how their food is produced — and how it affects farmers, fishers and workers — and the Real Food Challenge is a response to that concern,” said Anim Steel, executive director of the Real Food Challenge. UVM signed the commitment in 2012 after it was approached by students and pledged to buy 20 percent real food by 2020. UVM was the fifth institution to do so and 32 campuses have signed since. Student interns work with UVM Dining to audit purchases and submit the data to the Real Food Calculator, an online tool that calculates a university’s percentage. Those associated with the effort at UVM expressed excitement that the changes made over the past four years have brought UVM so close to the 20 percent target so quickly. To qualify as real, products must meet specific criteria in the categories of local, ecologically sound, fair or humane. Local products must be sourced from within 250 miles of campus.

Vermont Precision Tools announces operator training program

Applications for a free education program to participate in apprenticeship training by Vermont Precision Tools for the role of machine operators are now being accepted. The Swanton-based company, a manufacturer of high-quality precision medical bur blanks for the OEM medical industry, has spots for 12 positions and applications are due by Aug. 7. The program is a partnership between Vermont Precision Tools and Vermont HITEC. The program provides free education and one year of on-site mentoring through an apprenticeship at the VPT Swanton location. It is designed for unemployed and underemployed Vermont residents. Successful completion of the program will lead directly to full-time employment as a machine operator at Vermont Precision Tools. Up to 12 individuals will be selected for the eight-week program. Upon hiring after the program, all positions will receive full wages and benefits. The pay scale for graduates of the VPT Machine Operator ITAR Program will start at $14 per hour. Apprentices will have the potential to earn $15 or more per hour after six months and $16 or more per hour upon the completion of a one-year apprenticeship and is based on performance. Apply at


NEFCU announces STEM scholarship winners

New England Federal Credit Union (NEFCU) announced the winners of its annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Scholarships. Three scholarships of $3,000 each were awarded to Vermonters: Miranda Orcutt of Swanton, attending the University of Vermont, studying neuroscience; Brielle McDonald of Milton, attending Trinity College studying neuroscience; Vivian Huang of South Burlington, attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), studying electrical engineering and computer science.

Vt. Retail & Grocerss Ass’n. Scholarship winners

The Vermont Retail & Grocers Association awarded $15,000 in scholarships to 10 graduating high school seniors, with each student receiving $1,500 to help in tuition expenses for the 2016-2017 academic year. For over 25 years, the VRGA Scholarship Fund has provided financial assistance for college to members’ employees and/or their children. The 2016 Scholarship Recipients and their affiliated stores/companies include: Elizabeth Fitzpatrick of Brownsville, employed by Woodstock Farmers’ Market, attending University of San Francisco; Dylan McAllister of Greensboro, employed by Willey’s Store, attending Ithaca College; Kameron Campbell of Colchester, employed by Hannaford in Burlington, attending Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University; Meredith Holbrook of Milton, employed by Shaws in Burlington, attending University of Central Florida; Breanna Sheehan of Putney, employed by Leader Distribution Systems, attending Dartmouth College; Grant Headrick of Burlington, employed by Hannaford in South Burlington, attending Cornell University – College of Engineering; Isabelle Kingsley of Pittsford, employed by RL Vallee Maplefields/Pittsford, attending St. Joseph’s University; Bethany Martin of Brattleboro employed by AR Sandri, Greenfield, MA attending Franklin Pierce University; Derek Gagnon of South Burlington, employed by Mill Market & Deli, attending Rochester Institute of Technology; Shannon MacGregor of Pittsford; employed by Keith’s Country Store, attending Seton Hall University.