Vermont: Showcases Manufacturing Tech Sector: Companies Tackling Talent Issue, Innovating and Growing in the Green Mountain State
20 Apr, 2018
Vermont – a state typically known for maple syrup and snowy peaks – has taken on a new definition: advanced manufacturing hub. Grown out of the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and strong startup mentality, Vermont’s manufacturing sector has skyrocketed.
In fact, the sector accounts for approximately 11 percent of state GDP, and manufactured goods exported by Vermont companies made up almost 71 percent of all Vermont exports (about a $2.57 billion value) in 2014. Every $1 produced in manufactured goods generates an estimated $1.37 worth of additional economic activity — the highest of any other sector.
Bringing Vermont’s Talent to the Next Level
To battle the national talent shortage and ensure Vermont’s innovative companies have access to hi-tech workers, many companies have implemented internal programs to assist their incoming employees. One example is Vermont Precision Tools, a manufacturing company that services the metalworking industry, which offers a tailored workforce program, created in conjunction with Vermont Healthcare & Information Technology Center (HITEC). The 8-week program teaches incoming employees the exact skills needed to operate their specialized machinery, to ensure they are prepared for a long career at the company.
Another organization that’s helping to grow Vermont’s company talent is the Vermont Center for Emerging Technology (VCET), Burlington’s globally ranked incubator. VCET profiled a few startups that are disrupting the manufacturing space, including Semiprobe, which manufactures inspection and probing systems for semiconductors, Benchmark Space Systems, a research and development company focused on the small satellite market, and E.A.S.Y. Tactile Graphics, a company creating products engineered to enable access for blind users.
State Programs Spurring Growth
As a way to safeguard their ongoing success, Vermont companies are also taking advantage of the state’s incentive programs. For example, fast-growing companies like BioTek Instruments – a global leader in life science instrumentation – and Logic Supply – a leading industrial PC company – utilize the Vermont Employment Growth Incentive (VEGI), a program that incentivizes employment growth by offering cash. This program continues to assist these companies, particularly as their growth has accelerated.
Driving Manufacturing Innovations
As the industry continues to grow in the state, so do the resulting innovations. Companies like Dynapower Corporation – a major global player in the power electronics market – are changing the way the world views power conversion, serving companies like GE, Merck and Apple.
Additionally, companies like Revision Military and Liquid Measurement Systems (LMS) are helping provide innovative solutions for the defense industry.
While Vermont may be lesser known for its manufacturing technology innovations, Vermont manufacturing is becoming a key player in the national market.