Message from the vtTA
Ranking Vermont’s Tech Economy and Opportunity for Growth

As Vermonter’s we like to point to the various lists and rankings that often put the Green Mountain State in the top 10 from various attributes. And we have a lot to be proud of. This year the state made the ten best lists for public schools, health care, and being pro-women, among others.

However, recent technology rankings from two think tanks put Vermont only in the middle of the pack among the 50 states (see the article in the news section below). Not necessarily bad, but from the perspective of a technology business association, not where we want to be either, leaving room for improvement. (To be fair, Vermont received higher in rankings in innovation and other tech categories in other reports.)

Vermont is ranked 28 among all states in the 2020 Milken Institute State Technology and Science Index, a biennial assessment of each state’s science and technology capabilities relative to opportunities for job growth and wealth creation. And the state ranked 24th in the 2020 State New Economy Index from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), which measures the degree to which state economies are knowledge-based, global, entrepreneurial, IT-driven, and innovation-based. Neighboring New England state Massachusetts took the top spot in both indexes.

On the positive side, Vermont holds higher rankings in some of the sub-categories. In the ITIF report Vermont is No. 2 for online agriculture, No. 3 for immigration of knowledge workers, No. 7 for workforce education and No. 9 for the number of managerial, professional and technical jobs. In the Miliken report, Vermont’s highest ranking, at 19, was for “Technology Concentration and Dynamism,” a measure of the proportion of tech establishments, employment, and payrolls.

That means there are some strengths for Vermont to continue to build on and areas where we can and should make up ground. As the authors of the New Economy Index note, technology-based economic development often is assumed to be available only to those states that are recognizably tech heavy, but that all states have opportunities to expand their competitive positions by building their innovation and digital economies.

A news segment from NPR highlights why Vermont ranked high in “immigration of knowledge workers” (see the news item below). The report notes that over the last few years, Burlington, in particular, has “become home to an invisible economy of people who work remotely for the world's most cutting-edge technology businesses — and the pandemic has only increased the number decamping to this bucolic enclave.”

As discussed in last month’s message, the remote tech workforce is here now and a growth opportunity for the state, particularly during this pandemic period. Of those who participated in the state’s Remote Worker Incentive program, 20%, work in IT. We see it in many of our vtTA individual members, in our 1800 member LinkedIn group, and in inquiries the vtTA receives from tech professionals exploring Vermont as work-from-home base.

Attracting a combination of both Vermont-based tech workers and tech businesses is a path for growing and strengthening Vermont’s economy, and the Vermont Technology Alliance is committed to being a leading voice and advocate for making that happen.

As always, we welcome individuals and businesses of all sizes to support our efforts by joining as a member of the Vermont Technology Alliance. Also, if your business is planning your marketing and sponsorship efforts for the coming year, keep the Vermont Technology Alliance in mind. Contact to discuss.

Jeff Couture
Executive Director
Vermont Technology Alliance

Upcoming Events

REV2020 Conference: Moving Forward
(December 2, 2020)
The virtual Renewable Energy Vermont Conference continues with a focus on electrification in transportation, investigating the steps required to reduce fossil fuel pollution produced by this sector and make clean transportation available to everyone.
Find more here.
Social Media Marketing for Business in 2020
(December 2, 2020)
This webinar features Sophie Rabe, Founder of Olive and Milo Social Studio, who will share insights on social media trends, provide strategies for businesses to optimize their presence on social media, and give advice on using social media as a vehicle for change.
Find more here.
Burlington Code Academy Software Development Demo Day
(December 3, 2020)
The Burlington Code Academy hosts it's fifth Demo Day. BCA's fall 2020 cohort is wrapping up their 12-weeks as software development students, and are now full-stack software developers ready to start a new career in the tech industry. During Demo Day the students will showcase their capstone projects.
Find more here.
UVM Computer Science Fair
(December 4, 2020)
The CS Fair is a UVM event where Computer Science students (majors, minors or just taking a class) submit and showcase their computer projects. The purpose of the CS Fair is to give students a chance to present their work to their peers and professionals in an open and exciting environment. A panel of judges critique the student work where the prize amounts are up to $300 with many opportunities to win.
Read more here.
Actuator Launch at Black River Innovation Campus
(December 4, 2020)
The Black River Innovation Campus in Springfield formally launches Actuator by BRIC, a free digital entrepreneurship program. The Actuator by BRIC program empowers early-stage tech startup participants to live, learn, and grow – all within the heart of Vermont’s historic Precision Valley.
Read more here.
SAFe 5.0 Certified Scrum Master (Remote) Class
(December 7-9, 2020)
This SAFe® Certified Scrum Master Certification training course includes 13 hours of instructor-led training presented by a certified SAFe Program Consultant. During the course, participants will acquire the specific skills, behaviors and the mindset necessary to become a successful Certified Scrum Master and servant-leader.
Read more here.
Leading SAFe (5.0) Course
(December 12-14, 2020)
Attendees of this course will gain the knowledge necessary to lead a Lean-Agile enterprise by leveraging the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) and its underlying principles derived from Lean, systems thinking, Agile development, product development flow, and DevOps (Development Operations).
Read more here.
VCET Lunch & Learn: Unearth your Personal Brand
(December 16, 2020)
In today’s landscape, the brands that break through are those that bring together a clear sense of their purpose with a compelling value proposition. This is true for brands of companies and organizations as well as for individuals, who can benefit from defining the distinct combination of convictions, knowledge, and personality that can help tell the world who you are and what you stand for.
Read more here.
Featured Member - Graybar
Graybar, a Fortune 500 company, specializes in supply chain management services, and is a leading North American distributor of high-quality components, equipment, and materials.
Graybar serves the construction market; the commercial, institutional, and government (CIG) market; and the industrial and utility markets. Graybar’s products and services support new construction; infrastructure updates; building renovation; facility maintenance, repair and operations; and original equipment manufacturing.

For more information, visit
Vermont Technology News
A month after cyberattack, UVM Medical Center Restores Access to Electronic Records
(November 23, 2020 – VTDigger)

The University of Vermont Medical Center’s electronic medical records system is up and running nearly a month after the hospital fell victim to a cyberattack. 
The hospital tech team restored Epic health records system, giving doctors and nurses full access to patient medical history, appointments, and medications, said Al Gobeille, a vice president of operations for the UVM Health Network. 

Read more here.
Nolato Completes Merger with GW Plastics
(November 21, 2020 – Nolato GW)

GW Plastics, Inc. announced that it has completed its merger with the Nolato Group. headquartered in Torekov, Sweden. Nolato is a global solutions provider specializing in developing and manufacturing products in polymer materials such as plastic, silicone, and TPE for leading companies within the healthcare, automotive, and consumer electronics industries.
With GW Plastics’ seven global manufacturing facilities joining Nolato’s 25+ facilities around the world, this acquisition gives Nolato and GW Plastics a global position on the three key continents of North America, Asia, and Europe. Nolato’s acquisition of GW Plastics offers their customers expanded resources and capacity in the healthcare, filtration, and automotive markets.

Read more here.
DPS Releases COVID Response Telecommunications Recovery Plan
(November 19, 2020- Vermont Business Magazine)

The Department of Public Service released the Draft COVID Response Telecommunications Recovery Plan and is seeking public comment on the plan. The plan was prepared by the independent consulting firm CTC Energy and Technology, in partnership with the Vermont-based Rural Innovations Strategies, Inc.

The purpose of the Recovery Plan is to “reassess the State’s critical connectivity needs in light of the COVID-19 public health emergency and to reevaluate broadband deployment objectives going forward.” The Plan offers an independent assessment of Vermont’s telecommunications networks and presents key recommendations for improving and expanding telecommunications services.

Read more here.
Mamava Lactation Pods Now in Every State
(November 19, 2020 – Burlington Free Press)

Mamava, the Burlington company that invented lactation pods to give privacy to breastfeeding moms on the go, is now in all 50 states with its innovative product. The last holdouts were Montana and West Virginia. The vtTA member placed its first pod at Burlington International Airport in 2013.Today, there are more than 1,350 Mamava pods in all 50 states and Puerto Rico,

Mamava pods are linked into a proprietary smart technology system that makes it easy for moms to find them and get access with a free app. The app also links to resources, such as Mamava's legislation guide that informs mothers of their rights to privacy for breastfeeding.

Read more here.
FirstLight and Hub66 Partner for Internet Service to Underserved Communities in New Hampshire and Vermont
(November 18, 2020 – FirstLight)

FirstLight, a provider of fiber-optic data, Internet, data center, cloud and voice services throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, announced an expansive fiber-to-the-home project with Hub66, a New England-based, high-speed fiber broadband provider.

This project will deliver high-speed, fiber-based Internet access to-the-home in rural areas of New Hampshire and Vermont. FirstLight’s fiber footprint in Rindge, NH and Enfield, NH was the starting point for the project that has since expanded its reach into Moultonborough, NH, Fitzwilliam, NH and Rupert, VT.

Read more here.
Vermont Ranks in the Middle of the Pack in Recent 50-state technology indexes
(November 16, 2020 – vtTA)
Vermont falls in the middle of the pack among 50 states on recent technology rankings from two think tanks: the Milken Institute and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

Vermont ranks 24 out of 50 states in the 2020 State New Economy Index, from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a think-tank for science and technology policy.The report measures the degree to which state economies are knowledge-based, globalized, entrepreneurial, IT-driven, and innovation-based. Vermont holds higher rankings in some of the sub-categories explored in the index: Vermont is No. 2 for online agriculture, No. 3 for immigration of knowledge workers, No. 7 for workforce education and No. 9 for the number of managerial, professional and technical jobs.

Vermont is ranked 28 among all states in the 2020 Milken Institute State Technology and Science Index, a biennial assessment each state’s science and technology capabilities relative to opportunities for job growth and wealth creation. Among the sub-indexes, Vermont ranked highest, at 19, in “Technology Concentration and Dynamism,” a measure of the proportion of establishments, employment, and payrolls in high-tech categories.

Read more here.
Comcast Holds Digital Equity Summit Focused on Veterans’ Needs; Dodge House in Rutland Gets $20,000
(November 16, 2020 – Comcast)

Executives from Comcast Corporation and Comcast’s Western New England Region, which serves communities in Vermont, held a virtual summit on the topic of veterans to raise awareness of the impact the digital divide has on them. As part of the event, Comcast also announced several donations worth more than $250,000 to support digital inclusion efforts in Connecticut, Vermont and western Massachusetts, including $20,000 to Dodge House in Rutland, Vermont.

Read more here.
Small Cities Like Burlington, VT Are A Big Draw for Remote Workers During the Pandemic
(November 16, 2020 – NPR)

Rising from the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, just south of the Canadian border, this distant city looks like a quaint throwback, with Victorian-era architecture, church steeples and a main shopping street laid with brick.
But over the last few years, Burlington, Vt., has become home to an invisible economy of people who work remotely for the world's most cutting-edge technology businesses — and the pandemic has only increased the number decamping to this bucolic enclave.

Since COVID-19 has allowed people to work hundreds or thousands of miles from their company's office, this trend appears to be speeding up dramatically. More young, well-paid and well-educated people are relocating permanently from big metro areas such as Seattle, San Francisco, Boston and New York to small cities such as Burlington, which has a population just under 43,000.

Read more here.
Navigate360 Acquires Social Sentinel
(October 29, 2020 – Navigaate360)

Navigate360 has announced the acquisition of Social Sentinel, a linguistics technology company that scans and analyzes digital content to identify potential safety and security threats as well as mental health and social and emotional signals. By incorporating Social Sentinel into the Navigate360 umbrella, leaders in the education and business spheres now benefit from another powerful tool designed to help keep their students and employees safe.
Social Sentinel is a leading linguistics and AI-based software solution designed to recognize signals of potential harm found in digital conversations such as organization-owned emails and public social media posts. Social Sentinel won the Innovation Award at the 2018 Tech Jam Awards presented by the vtTA.

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 include individual members Gary Coryer (Snow Tiger Digital), and Tom Cecere (Athenium Analytics). Renewing members include Home Outside and Richard Gliech (Translations).
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
Pandemic Information Webinar Series for Vermont Businesses

The Department of Health and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development have launched a weekly webinar series focused on health and commerce pandemic updates for the business community. Decision makers from ACCD, the Department of Health, and the Department of Public Safety will provide updates and be available to answer your questions. This webinar is designed for business owners and organizations that primarily serve businesses.

Find full details and how to submit questions at the ACCD Business Recovery Resource Center.
Vermont Information Technology Professional Services Request for Proposals

The State of Vermont, Agency of Digital Services, in partnership with the Agency of Human Services (AHS) and the Department of Vermont Health Access (DVHA), posted an Information Technology Professional Services Request for Proposals (RFP). These services support the activities in AHS, with most work related to its Integrated Eligibility and Enrollment Program, Medicaid Management Information System Program, and Health Information Exchange Program. They are seeking to establish a contract with one or more vendors for these services. 

The RFP can be accessed here.
Provide Feedback on “The Vermont Proposition”
The Vermont Council on Rural Development his completed the first draft of the “Vermont Proposition” – a set of ideas to drive common action and advance a successful and resilient future for the state. The Vermont Proposition was developed based on statements gathered from personal interviews, partners, policy councils and statewide coordinating efforts. The public is welcome to share ideas, feedback, corrections, and improvement by taking a survey to help test, improve and add to the Vermont Proposition.

Find more about the Vermont Proposition here and take the survey.
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
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