Message from the vtTA
Legislative Session Ends; Talent Development Program with Amazon

The legislature adjourned on May 21, after coming to agreement on a $7.35 billion state budget.

Before that conclusion, the Cloud Tax, which the VTTA opposes, had been in play. Following approval by the Vermont House, the Senate Finance Committee reviewed S. 53, which included the addition of the sales tax to all cloud services, and changes in the corporate income tax. The VTTA expressed its concern with moving ahead with this tax, including this letter. With the deadline to adjournment approaching, the committee concluded it did not have enough time to take up the bill this year, given the major proposed tax changes. The tax resurrected itself briefly in the final days in conference discussions as a recommendation from the House Ways & Means committee as a way to help pay teachers’ pension and benefits; however, that proposal was ultimately rejected. All of which means the tax will likely be back for consideration and debate next session. As before, the VTTA will be prepared to address it if it does, since it will affect a wide array of Vermont businesses, not just those in the tech sector.

On a positive note, a number of initiatives supported by the VTTA passed, helped by the federal American Rescue Plan Act, which is providing more than $1 billion to the state to respond to the pandemic and fund infrastructure projects. Among them are:  
  • $150 million for broadband expansion,
  • $52 million to update state information technology infrastructure. 
  • $1 million to the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) for the remote and relocating worker program, offering grants of $5,000 to those who move to Vermont for a job, or $7,500 to those who move areas of the state with higher unemployment rates.
  • $800,000 to the ACCD for technology-related grants.
  • $900,000 to ACCD to fund the Entrepreneurs’ Seed Capital Fund

We thank those VTTA member businesses who have stepped up to provide financial support to enable us to use the services of Leonine Public Affairs as our representative to help us keep track of and respond to issues during the session and beyond. We welcome others support as well.

The Vermont Technology Alliance is part of a collaboration with Amazon and the Vermont Department of Labor to provide cloud computing training and education to thousands of learners statewide by 2024.

Through this initiative, the state of Vermont will work with the AWS Academy program to provide public high schools, colleges, and universities in Vermont with no-cost, ready-to-teach, cloud computing curriculum that prepares students for industry-recognized AWS Certifications. Educators at participating institutions will receive instructor training taught by AWS experts and access to AWS Certification exams at no cost. Students can also access self-paced online training courses and labs from AWS.

Amazon is looking to connect with Vermont-based companies who have a need for cloud-skilled talent. This could include networking, software development, programming, IT Service Management, Project Management, Data Analytics, and more.

The Amazon team would like to (1) understand the types of roles businesses are looking to fill and competencies they’re looking to hire for; (2) get their feedback on how AWS curriculum and certifications map to those roles and competencies; and (3) discuss opportunities to connect with the talent pipeline they are building in Vermont at various stages of their development. 

If your business is interested, please contact me at

Thank you to all our members who support our work. We welcome individuals and businesses of all sizes to become a member of the Vermont Technology Alliance.

Jeff Couture
Executive Director
Vermont Technology Alliance

Upcoming Events
Let’s Tech Together Webinar: Leveraging Facebook Advertising to Boost ROI
(May 25, 2021)
Join this interactive, lively, free webinar presented by Julia Scott of VTTA Member J. Scott Marketing, and learn how to leverage Facebook advertising. Get set up for success in the Business Manager ad platform, learn how to create targeted audiences, and learn the elements of a successful ad.
Find more information and register here.

Summit on the Future of Vermont
(May 26-27, 2021)
The Vermont Council on Rural Development hosts The Summit on the Future of Vermont. The session will bring Vermonters together to consider the Vermont Proposition ‒ a framework of ideas for the future of the state, drawn from the input of thousands of Vermonters, that lays out a set of bold opportunities for our economy, communities, and environment by mid-century.

Find more information and register here.
Crossing the Generational Divide with Jason Dorsey
(June 25, 2021)
Jason Dorsey, Leading speaker on Gen Z and Millennials topics and an industry leader Adweek calls a “research guru,” will give a virtual presentation on Crossing the Generational Divide: Unlocking the Potential of Every Generation. The session is presented by the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC).
Find more and register here.
Featured Member – Burlington Code Academy
Founded by Benny Boas and Alex Horner, Burlington Code Academy (BCA) was born out of a shared vision: to create an accessible technology school that always gives students a return on their investment. By providing grants, scholarships, and Income Share Agreements where students pay only after they land a job, BCA has been able to offer affordable, online training programs that help adults enter a new career in the tech industry. 

BCA’s upcoming Software Development Bootcamp is a 12-week, online course that equips adults with the skills they need to start a career as a software developer. Students learn from expert instructors, work 1-on-1 with a professional career coach, and build software for real clients. According to their 2020 Outcomes Report, 91% of career seeking graduates find employment, earning an average of 39% more income than in their previous career.
Burlington Code Academy staff are excited to help you start your career journey and get the education you deserve. Summer courses are starting June 7th - To learn more, reach out to:
Vermont Technology News
Investments Spur Tech Manufacturing at GlobalFoundries and Beta Technologies
(May 24, 2021 – VTDigger)

Developments announced by a pair of Chittenden County businesses have strengthened the case for the region’s future as a hub of innovation — particularly in wireless technology and electric aircraft.  

Beta Technologies, a South Burlington-based electric aviation start-up, secured $368 million in private capital this week, bringing the company’s valuation up to $1.4 billion. The company also announced plans to build a production facility for electric aircraft at Burlington International Airport. 

GlobalFoundries, a New York-based microchip manufacturer and one of Vermont’s largest private employers, announced it will partner with Raytheon Technologies to develop and commercialize a special semiconductor component, or microchip, for the next generation of wireless infrastructure. GlobalFoundries will manufacture the chips at its plant in Essex Junction. 

Read more here.
Vermont's GlobalFoundries Plant Gets Raytheon 5G Chip Deal
(May 19, 2021 – GlobalFoundries)

Raytheon Technologies and GlobalFoundries will collaborate to develop and commercialize a new gallium nitride on silicon (GaN-on-Si) semiconductor technology that will enable improved radio frequency performance for 5G and 6G mobile and wireless infrastructure applications.

Under the agreement, Raytheon Technologies will license its proprietary gallium nitride on silicon technology and technical expertise to GF, which will develop the new semiconductor technology at its Fab 9 facility in Essex, Vermont. Gallium nitride is a unique material used to build high-performance semiconductors that can handle significant heat and power levels. This makes it ideal to handle 5G and 6G wireless signals, which require higher performance levels than legacy wireless systems.

Read more here.
Beta Technologies Aircraft to be Built in New Facility at Burlington Airport
(May 19, 2021 – Burlington Free Press)

BETA Technologies, the Burlington-based company that has created an electric aircraft capable of carrying cargo and people, is planning a production facility for Burlington International Airport expected to create 500 jobs.

Kyle Clark, founder and chief executive officer of BETA, said in a conference call on May 18 that the facility will produce between 250 and 400 aircraft per year, and when fully operational could employ as many as 800 people. Clark hopes to break ground on the facility located off of Valley Road as soon as September.

BETA, founded in 2017, has lately exploded onto the scene with its zero-emissions ALIA aircraft, attracting the attention of Amazon, UPS and the U.S. Air Force. The company closed a private round of funding this month that raised $368 million, and was joined by Amazon's Climate Pledge Fund. 

Clark said that BETA's funding adds up to "something just under a billion dollars," taking into account investments and customer commitments.

Read more here.

House and Senate Reach Deal on $150 Million Broadband Package
(May 20, 2021 – VTDigger)

Vermont lawmakers have agreed on a broadband bill, which will use $150 million to expand internet access throughout the state.
The legislation, H.360, which relies on federal money from the recently enacted American Rescue Plan, emerged from a conference committee of Senate and House legislators.
The bill would make communications union districts a centerpiece of the state’s efforts to extend fiber networks to rural areas that lack adequate internet service. Communications union districts are community-owned fiber-optic networks that serve multiple towns. The legislation would also give small private internet providers access to funds so they, too, can expand broadband to addresses that aren’t served.

Read more here.
Vermonters pay more to stay connected - cable and internet bills the third-highest in U.S.
(May 20, 2021)

Vermonters' cable and internet bills are among the highest in the country.

The state is third highest with a monthly bill averaging $141, for an annual cost of $1,689 according to doxoINSIGHTS' report. The parent company, Doxo, is a bill pay managing service which frequently measures what Americans are paying for their bills.

The only two states outpaying Vermonters for cable and internet were Alaska at $148 per month and New Hampshire at $147 per month. By comparison, the least expensive state was South Dakota where consumers pay $92 per month on average. 

Read more here.
PCC helps Pediatricians Fix Stressful Patient Visits with Technology
(May 20, 2021- PCC)

Physician’s Computer Company (PCC), the Electronic Health Records (EHR) vendor based in Winooski, is pleased to announce their partnership with web-based screening and questionnaire solution CHADIS, or the Comprehensive Health and Decision Information System.

Now the independent pediatricians PCC serves, as well as patient families, have a low-stress way to access screenings. This helps providers offer focused visits for areas of concern like asthma, ADHD, depression, and even parenting. The integration is available for all PCC users who already use CHADIS, as well as new users.

Read more here.
Lawmakers Vote to Extend Program to Reimburse Workers Who Move to Vermont
(May 21, 2021- VTDigger)
Vermont will continue to offer reimbursement to those who move to the state for a job.

Lawmakers voted to approve $630,000 to continue a program created to attract workers to the state — though the measure also calls for a study of the program to determine whether it actually works.

The bill, S.62, offers a grant of up to $5,000 to those who relocate to the state for a job. New residents who come to areas with higher unemployment rates or lower wages could receive up to $7,500 in grants. If signed into law, it would be available on a first come, first served basis starting July 1. 

It’s the latest iteration of an incentive program that has received widespread recognition and also has been criticized as an ineffective and wasteful marketing ploy.

Read more here.
The Tech Tribune Lists the Best Tech Startups in Vermont
(May 2021 – The Tech Tribune)

The online publication, the Tech Tribune, lists their selection for the top 10 tech startups in Vermont. The list includes VTTA members such as Faraday, ThinkMD, Mamava and Burlington Code Academy.

Read more here.
Comcast Launches WiFi-Connected "Lift Zones" Across Vermont
(May 6, 2021 – Comcast)

As part of its ongoing commitment to help connect low-income families to the Internet so they can fully participate in educational opportunities and the digital economy, Comcast announced it has equipped four nonprofit organizations in Vermont with WiFi-connected "Lift Zones". The free WiFi coverage provided by Comcast at these community centers is expected to help hundreds of low-income students get online and do their schoolwork. 

Current Comcast Lift Zones in Vermont include:
  • Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro
  • Boys & Girls Club of Burlington
  • Dodge House in Rutland
  • Spectrum Youth & Family Services in St. Albans

Lift Zone sites complement Comcast's Internet Essentials program, which, since 2011, has now connected a cumulative total of more than 10 million people in America to broadband Internet at home, including approximately 6,900 households in Vermont.

Read more here.

Vermont Technology Alliance Membership Update

The Vermont Technology Alliance works on behalf of its members and is able to carry out its mission through the support of its membership.

New members: New members include Cross Benefit Solutions as a Partner Member/Sponsor. We appreciate the annual support from our Member/Sponsors. Also joining are individuals Matt Kolb (Paycom) and Sean Scurlock.
Renewing members: Renewing members include Desai Management Consulting, Dunkiel Saunders Elliott Raubvogel & Hand, PLLC, Empower Mobility, J Scott Marketing, and individuals Maureen McElaney (IBM), Sara Munro (Bay Haven Consulting).

Not a vtTA member yet? Then why not join now? Find more information here, or sign up at our new member registration page here. You can also contact us at
Useful Information & Links
Work from Home Survey

Have you come to enjoy working from home and expect to continue to do more of it? Has your employer made it easier to work from home? The Center for Research on Vermont is collecting work from home information. Responses are confidential.

You can take the survey here. Previous research can be seen here.
Applications Invited for BTV Ignite STEM and Technical Skill Grants

Applications for the BTV Ignite STEM and Technical Skill Grant Fund are open through July 23, 2021.

The STEM & Technical Skill Fund, provided by Burlington Telecom, is a competitive process open to Burlington-based non-profit or entrepreneurial support organizations well-positioned to support teaching technical skills, STEM education, and workforce development for the Burlington youth and workforce, principally those for whom this would create new economic opportunities. 

Applicants may apply for grants ranging in value from $5,000 to $50,000 per year of grant award.

The application and additional information can be found here.
vtTA Career Center
Vermont Technology Alliance member companies are hiring, and when you visit the Career Center on the Vermont Technology Alliance website you can browse and search for these job openings and subscribe to updates. The Career Center has 100+ tech and non-tech jobs with Vermont Technology Alliance member businesses and organizations. Jobs available from vtTA members are listed at no charge in the Career Center as a member benefit.
For more, visit the Career Center.
The vtTA Thanks Its Member/Sponsors
Leadership Sponsors:

Partner Sponsors: