YCQM: August 27, 2017

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX)
>> Darren: GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE.
I'M DARREN PERRON.
RIGHT NOW KIDS STRUGGLING WITH
MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES ON CAMPUS.
WHAT PARENTS NEED TO KNOW.
ALSO, WHAT'S THE DEAL AT DEALER.
DOZENS LAID OFF, WHY, AND WHAT
CAN BE DONE TO KEEP HIGH TECH
JOBS IN VERMONT.
PLUS, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
WANTS TO PULL THE PLUG ON
VERMONT'S REGIONAL EB-5 CENTER
THAT WORKS TO BRING IN FOREIGN
INVESTORS, AND THAT'S WHERE WE
BEGIN THIS MORNING.
KYLE MIDURA HAS MORE ON A
BLISTERING FEDERAL REPORT
FOLLOWING THE KINGDOM CON.
>> Kyle: U.S. CUSTOMS AND
SERVICES ADMINISTRATORS WANT TO
DISSOLVE THE EB-5 CENTER.
IT GRANTS GREEN CARDS TO WEALTHY
FOREIGNERS WHO INVEST HALF A
MILLION DOLLARS OR MORE IN
APPROVED DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS.
IN A LETTER, FEDERAL
ADMINISTRATORS SAY VERMONT'S
CENTER CAN'T DO ITS JOB,
POINTING TO THE WEB OF FRAUD AND
LIES ALLEGEDLY PERPETRATED RIGHT
UNDER REGULATORS' NOSES FOR
YEARS AT J. PEEK.
AND THE CENTER'S TARNISHED
REPUTATION AFTER THE SCANDAL
CAME TO LIGHT.
>> WE PLAN TO HAVE A VIGOROUS
RESPONSE TO THE LETTER.
>> Kyle: MIKE PIECIAK IS THE
COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT
OF FEDERAL REGULATION.
HE'S RESPONSIBLE FOR WRITING THE
STATE OF RECENT EXTENSIVE
BREAKDOWN WHATEVER WENT WRONG
AND WHY.
PIECIAK SAYS THE STATE AGENCY
MANAGING THE INVESTMENT CENTER,
COMMERCE AND COMMUNITY
DEVELOPMENT, WAS OUT OF ITS
STEPS.
>> Pieciak: THEY WERE
UNDERRESOURCED, LACKED AUTHORITY
AND LACKED EXPERTISE IN TERMS OF
FINANCIAL INVESTIGATIONS AND
TRANSACTIONS.
WE AGREE WITH THE ULTIMATE
OUTCOME TO THE REGIONAL CENTER
SHOULD BE WOUND DOWN AND CLOSED,
BUT WE DON'T AGREE WITH THE
PROCESS THEY'RE GOING OR THE
SUBSTANCE OF THE ARGUMENTS THEY
MAKE.
>> Kyle: HE SAYS THE DYNAMICS OF
THE PROGRAM CHANGED DRAMATICALLY
BETWEEN WHEN THE VERMONT CENTER
OPENED IN 1997 AND ITS MODERN
INCARNATION AND THAT THE STATE
SHOULDN'T BE THE MIDDLE MAN
BETWEEN INVESTORS OR PROJECTS
AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
ANYMORE.
HE RECOGNIZES SHORTCOMINGS IN
REGULATION OF PROJECTS LIKE THE
KINGDOM CON, HE SAYS VERMONT DID
A BETTER JOB OF OVERSIGHT THAN
MOST CENTERS, AND PIECIAK ARGUES
THE FEDERAL ADMINISTRATORS
SUGGEST TOO RAPID AN EXIT.
TO BE DONE CORRECTLY, HE ARGUES,
COULD TAKE TEN YEARS.
>> Pieciak: VERMONT'S PLAN IS
MUCH MORE REASONABLE.
IT'S MUCH MORE RESPONSIVE TO THE
VERMONT ECONOMY, TO THE VERMONT
BUSINESSES THAT ARE ENGAGED IN
EB-5 AND ALSO TO THE INVESTORS
THAT ARE INVESTED IN THESE
PROJECTS.
>> Kyle: THE CENTER WOULD
CONTINUE WORKING ON THE PROJECTS
IT ALREADY HAS UNDER THAT PLAN,
BUT ANY NEW PROJECTS OR EVEN NEW
PHASES TO OLD ONES WOULD NEED TO
BE RUN THROUGH A NEW PRIVATE
CENTER, LIKE PROJECTS EVERYWHERE
ELSE IN THE COUNTRY.
>> Darren: AND HERE NOW IS MORE
OF KYLE'S INTERVIEW WITH THE
COMMISSIONER.
>> Kyle: BROADLY SPEAKING WHAT
DID YOU DETERMINE WENT WRONG
WITH THE EB-5 PROGRAM.
>> Pieciak: GOVERNOR SCOTT ADD
US TO DO A COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW
OF THE CENTRE AND THE PROGRAM
NATIONALLY.
THE THINGS HE LOOKED AT WERE THE
HISTORICAL CONTEXT BOTH
NATIONALLY AND VERMONT AND SOME
OF THE MAIN TAKEAWAYS FROM THERE
WERE OVER TIME PEOPLE BEGAN TO
RECOGNIZE THE INVESTMENTS MADE
IN THE EB-5 CONTEXT WERE
SECURITIES AND THAT PUT THE
PROGRAM ON THE RADAR FOR
SECURITIES FOLKS LIKE THE
DEPARTMENT OF FINANCIAL
REGULATION, BUT ALSO FOR THE
SEC.
SO THAT'S PART OF THE HISTORICAL
CONTEXT.
WHEN WE LOOKED SPECIFICALLY, WHY
NOTICED OVER TIME THEY WERE
UNDERRESOURCED, THEY LACKED
AUTHORITY, AND THEY LACKED
EXPERTISE IN TERMS OF FINANCIAL
INVESTIGATIONS AND FINANCIAL
TRANSACTIONS.
THOSE WERE THE MAIN TAKEAWAYS
ABOUT THE REPORT AND WHY WE
SUGGESTED OVER TIME AND AN
ORALLY -- AN ORDERLY WAY, WE
WIND DOWN THE REGIONAL CENTER.
>> Kyle: IS IT FIXABLE?
>> Pieciak: WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE
STATE'S INVOLVEMENT IN THE
REGIONAL CENTER, THERE'S
PARTICULARLY COMPLICATIONS, MOST
IMPORTANT OF WHICH IS ONCE YOU
ENTER INTO A RELATIONSHIP WITH A
PROJECT, THERE'S NO WAY TO EXIT
THAT RELATIONSHIP IF THE PROJECT
IS NOT SUCCESSFUL.
SO IN THE EVENT OF J. PEAKE, AN
INVESTOR CAME IN AND TOOK OVER
THE PROJECTS, BUT IN OTHER
CASES, THERE WAS NO REAL EXIT
STRATEGY.
WHEN WE LOOK TO THE PRIVATE
SECTOR, WHEN THE REGIONAL CENTER
WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1997, THERE
ARE ONLY 17 REGIONAL CENTERS IN
THE COUNTRY AND TODAY THERE ARE
OVER 800.
THERE'S A PROJECT IN SOUTHERN
VERMONT THAT WAS COMPLETED
WITHOUT INVOLVEMENT OF THE
VERMONT REGIONAL CENTER, ANOTHER
PROJECT APPLIED FOR ITS OWN
REGIONAL CENTER STATUS, SO WE'RE
CONFIDENT THAT EB-5 INVESTMENTS
WILL CONTINUE TO HAPPEN IN
VERMONT WITHOUT THE
GOVERNMENT -- YOU KNOW, WITHOUT
THE STATE'S INVOLVEMENT.
>> Kyle: WITHOUT THE STATE
RUNNING ITS OWN REGIONAL CENTER,
DO YOU WORRY THAT SOME OF THE
SAME PROBLEMS MIGHT PLAGUE THESE
OTHER CENTERS AND IT'S JUST
SIMPLY THAT THE STATE HAS WASHED
ITS HANDS CLEAN OF THE PROBLEM?
>> Pieciak: IT'S NOT A "NOT OUR
PROBLEM" SITUATION BUT ON THE
FRONT END, WE'LL STILL BE THERE
TO HELP PROJECTS UNDERSTAND THE
PROGRAM AND DETERMINE WHETHER
IMS THE RIGHT AVENUE FOR THEM OR
NOT AND ON THE BACK END, THE
DEPARTMENT OF FINANCIAL
REGULATION WILL STILL BE HERE TO
RECEIVE ITS INVESTOR COMPLAINTS
AND TAKE APPROPRIATE
INVESTIGATIVE ACTION AND
ENFORCEMENT ACTION WHEN
NECESSARY.
SO IT'S PART OF OUR TRADITIONAL,
YOU KNOW, OBLIGATION TO ENFORCE
THE PRIVATE MARKET AND IT WILL
BE THAT JUST AS IT IS WITH ANY
OTHER PRIVATE INVESTMENT.
>> Kyle: WHAT DOES THE WINDDOWN
LOOK LIKE IF THE STATE HAS ITS
SAY?
>> Pieciak: IT WOULD INVOLVE
CONTINUING THE RIGOROUS
OVERSIGHT PROCEDURES THAT THE
DEPARTMENT PUT IN PLACE IN 2014
AND 2015.
THESE INVOLVE QUARTERLY VISITS,
INVOLVE QUESTIONNAIRES, LOOKING
AT HOW MONEY IS BEING SPENT, HOW
THE CONSTRUCTION IS BEING
PROGRESSED, AND THEN IT WOULD
INVOLVE NOT TAKING ON NEW
PROJECTS OUTSIDE OF THOSE THAT
WE HAVEN'T BEEN IN DISCUSSIONS
WITH OR THAT ARE IN QUEUE IN
TERMS OF THEIR APPLICATION.
SO IT WOULD BE AN ORDERLY, YOU
KNOW -- IT WOULD TAKE A WHILE,
BUT IT WOULD BE AN ORDERLY
PROGRESSION TO HAVING NO
PROJECTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE
REGIONAL CENTER AND EVENTUALLY
SHUTTING IT DOWN.
>> Kyle: AND YEARS, RIGHT?
>> Pieciak: YES, OUR OUTSIDE
LEGAL COUNSEL HAS ADVISED US
THAT IT COULD TAKE UP TO TEN
YEARS.
THERE'S SOME DELAY AT THE U.S.
LEVEL AND IT TAKES A WHILE FOR
THE INVESTORS TO BE PAID BACK.
THAT'S THE LAST STEP WHEN THE
INVESTOR GETS WHATEVER RETURN
THEY'RE GOING TO GET.
>> Kyle: READING THE LETTER THAT
THE U.S. SENT, THEY SEEM TO
SUGGEST A MORE RAPID WINDDOWN.
>> Pieciak: THE ISSUE WITH THEM
IS IT'S MUCH MORE PLEAD AND IT
DOESN'T TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE
IMPACT IT WILL HAVE ON THE
NON-J. PEAKE INVESTORS AND THOSE
INVESTORS.
THE STATE PLAN IS MUCH MORE
REASONABLE TO THE ECONOMY AND
THE INVESTORS INVESTED IN THE
PROJECTS.
>> Kyle: USCIS HAS SOME PRETTY
SCATHING CRITICISM OF THE
REGULATION AND OVERSIGHT.
IS THAT FAIR?
>> Pieciak: WE PLAN TO HAVE A
VIGOROUS RESPONSE TO THE LETTER.
WE AGREE WITH THE ULTIMATE
OUTCOME THAT THE REGIONAL CENTER
SHOULD BE WOUND DOWN AND CLOSED,
BUT WE DON'T AGREE WITH THE
PROCESS THEY'RE EMPLOY WILL OR
THE SUBSTANCE OF THEIR ARGUMENTS
THAT THEY MAKE AGAINST THE
REGIONAL CENTER.
WE ALSO WANT TO TRY TO WORK WITH
THEM SINCE WE'RE BASICALLY
MOVING IN THE SAME DIRECTION.
WE GOT THERE ON PARALLEL TRACKS
AND WE THINK A MUCH MORE
PRODUCTIVE DISCUSSION WOULD BE
TO PROTECT THE BUSINESSES,
PROTECT THE VERMONTERS THAT ARE
INVOLVED IN THOSE BUSINESSES,
PROTECT THE INVESTORS AND HAVE
AN ORDERLY TRANSITION WINDDOWN
AND THAT'S WHAT WE'RE GOING TO
DO.
>> Kyle: WHAT DO YOU SEE EB-5
PROJECTS LOOKING LIKE IN VERMONT
MOVING FORWARD?
>> Pieciak: I THINK PROJECTS MAY
DECIDE TO HAVE THEIR OWN
REGIONAL CENTER, WHICH A NUMBER
OF PROJECTS DO ACROSS THE
COUNTRY.
THERE MAY BE THOSE THAT OPERATE
IN NEW ENGLAND THAT EXPAND TO
VERMONT OR THERE MAY BE SOMEONE
THAT'S ENTREPRENEURIAL AND WANTS
TO START THEIR OWN REGIONAL
CENTER, PRIVATE CENTER, AND ALL
OF THOSE THINGS ARE SOMETHING
THAT ARE WELCOMED HERE IN THE
STATE.
>> Darren: AND COMING UP NEXT,
LAYOFFS AT DEALER.COM IN
BURLINGTON.
WHAT NOW FOR THE COMPANY AND
WHAT'S THE STATE DOING TO KEEP
HIGH-TECH JOBS HERE IN VERMONT?
I TALK TO THE STATE'S COMMERCE
SECRETARY AFTER THE BREAK.
>> Darren: LAYOFFS AT ONE OF
VERMONT'S LARGEST TECH
COMPANIES, COX AUTOMOTIVE,
ANNOUNCED IT CUT 950 WORKERS
WORLDWIDE.
IT'S THE PARENT COMPANY OF
DEALER.COM AND 45 OF THOSE PINK
SLIPS WERE HANDED OUT HERE IN
BURLINGTON.
I TALKED TO COMMERCE SECRETARY
MIKE SCHIRLING ABOUT THAT AND
WHAT'S BEING DONE TO KEEP AND
BRING HIGH-TECH JOBS TO VERMONT.
FIRST OF ALL, THANK YOU FOR
JOINING US.
WHAT DID THE COMPANY TELL YOU OR
ARE THEY TELLING YOU ANYTHING
ABOUT THESE CUTS?
>> Schirling: BY HAPPENSTANCE,
WE HAPPENED TO HAVE HAD A
MEETING SCHEDULED WITH DEALER'S
NEW LEADERSHIP HERE JUST IN THE
DAYS THAT PRECEDED THE
ANNOUNCEMENT AND THEY'VE HAD A
LONG-STANDING GOOD WORKING
RELATIONSHIP WITH NOT ONLY THE
STATE BUT THE CITY AS WELL, SO
WHILE THEY WEREN'T COMPLETELY
AWARE OF WHAT IMPACT THE 950
JOBS THAT WERE DOWNSIZED IN THE
COX AUTOMOTIVE GROUP WAS GOING
TO HAVE IN BURLINGTON, THEY KNEW
SOMETHING WAS COMING, SO THEY
GAVE US A HEADS-UP THAT THAT WAS
GOING TO HAPPEN.
>> Darren: AND WHICH POSITIONS
WERE CUT?
>> Schirling: IT WAS PRIMARILY
IN CLIENT SERVICE, CUSTOMER
SERVICE TYPES OF POSITIONS,
MARKETING, BUT TECHNICAL JOBS
WHICH ARE THE BULK OF WHERE
DEALER HAS GROWN MOST
SUBSTANTIALLY IN BURLINGTON ARE
STILL STRONG.
>> Darren: WHAT'S THE STATE
DOING FOR THOSE FOLKS WHO WERE
LET GO?
>> Schirling: THE DEPARTMENT OF
LABOR REACHES OUT AND OFFERS TO
ASSIST WITH PLACEMENT AND AS
WE'VE INDICATED IN THE LAST FEW
DAYS, THE JOB MARKET IN --
PARTICULARLY IN WHICH IT AT THE
TOP DONE COUNTY, BUT MANY AREAS
OF VERMONT IS QUITE TIGHT, LOW
UNEMPLOYMENT.
SO SKILLED WORKERS LIKE THOSE
COMING FROM A DEALER TYPE OF
ENVIRONMENT SHOULD HAVE LOTS OF
PROSPECTS.
>> Darren: SIMILAR JOBS HERE IN
VERMONT FOR THOSE 45 PEOPLE?
>> Schirling: YES, YES, OR OTHER
KINDS OF JOBS THAT THEY COULD BE
RETRAINED FOR, THEIR SKILL SETS
SORT OF FREE DISPOSE THEM FOR --
PREDISPOSE THEM FOR.
>> Darren: GIVE ME SOME EXAMPLES
OF PLACES THAT COULD PROBABLY
HIRE THESE FOLKS.
>> Schirling: WE KNOW THERE ARE
A NUMBER OF OTHER TECH COMPANIES
THAT ARE LOOKING TO HIRE.
FOR EXAMPLE, WE WERE AT LOGIC
SUPPLY IN THE WEEK PRECEDING AND
THEY'RE LOOKING AT PRETTY
SUSTAINED GROWTH OVER THE LAST
FEW YEARS, SO THEY'RE LOOKING
FOR STAFF, BUT THAT STORY
REPLICATES ITSELF LOTS OF TIMES
OVER.
THE TECH INDUSTRY IN VERMONT IS
PRETTY STRONG.
KIND OF AN INCREASINGLY KNOWN
BUT LARGELY UNKNOWN GEM OF OUR
ECONOMY, SO FOR FOLKS COMING
FROM ANY OF THOSE TECH FIRMS,
ESPECIALLY THE LARGER ONES WHERE
THEY GAIN A WEALTH OF
EXPERIENCE, THERE ARE A HOST OF
OPPORTUNITIES THAT ARE AVAILABLE
TO THEM.
>> Darren: VERMONT WAS HOME TO
BEGIN WITH, WITH DEALER.
THEY STARTED HERE, BORN HERE,
BOUGHT, BOUGHT AGAIN, GETTING
FURTHER AWAY FROM THEIR ROOTS.
WHAT'S TO SAY THAT THIS COMPANY
IS GOING TO STAY HERE?
IS DEALER GOING TO STAY IN
BURLINGTON?
>> Schirling: WE'RE PRETTY
CONFIDENT THAT THERE ARE OTHER
CLUES RECENTLY, INCLUDING AN
ANNOUNCEMENT THAT THEIR
MANHATTAN BEACH AND FT. MYERS
LOCATIONS WERE GOING TO CLOSE
AND THEY WERE GOING TO
CONSOLIDATE TECHNICAL OPERATIONS
INTO PLACES LIKE BURLINGTON.
THEY'VE LONG BEEN FANS OF THE
WORKFORCE HERE.
WE'VE GOT A STRONG TECHNICAL
WORKFORCE AND THE CHALLENGE IS
FINDING MORE FOLKS THAT CAN DO
THAT KIND OF WORK AND GROWTH HAS
BEEN SIGNIFICANT, SO YOU TAKE
ALL OF THOSE THINGS IN CONTEXT
AND I THINK WE'RE PRETTY
CONFIDENT THAT THEY HAVE A
BRIGHT FUTURE.
>> Darren: WHAT DOES LOSING 45
PEOPLE HERE IN BURLINGTON MEAN
FOR THE CITY?
ARE YOU WORKING WITH THE MAYOR,
ANY CONCERNS THERE?
>> Schirling: NO SIGNIFICANT
CONCERNS.
WE DON'T HAVE ANY SPECIFIC
OUTREACH GOING ON WITH CITY
OFFICIALS AT THIS POINT AND THE
REASON FOR THAT IS, IT'S
RELATIVE.
IF THIS WERE A FIRM THAT WERE
100 PEOPLE AND THEY WERE LOSING
45, IT WOULD BE A MUCH MORE
SUBSTANTIVE IMPACT.
THIS IS A 1200-PERSON FIRM
THAT'S MAKING AN ADJUSTMENT OF
45, AND LIKE WE SAID, WE'RE
PRETTY CONFIDENT THAT THOSE
FOLKS HAVE A BRIGHT FUTURE HERE
IN THE BURLINGTON AREA OR
ELSEWHERE IN VERMONT.
>> Darren: DID THE STATE TRY TO
WORK WITH COX, KNOWING THAT THEY
WERE STRUGGLING, KNOWING THAT
THESE LAYOFFS WERE COMING, TO
TRY TO MITIGATE THAT BEFORE IT
HAPPENED HERE?
>> Schirling: NO, I WOULDN'T
CHARACTERIZE IT AS STRUGGLING.
THE BACKDROP IS THAT THE
AUTOMOTIVE GROUP WENT THROUGH A
NUMBER OF MERGERS AND
ACQUISITIONS OVER THE COURSE OF,
I THINK FIVE YEARS.
THERE WERE MORE THAN 30 MERGERS
AND ACQUISITIONS AND THERE WERE
NO STAFF ADJUSTMENTS THAT WENT
WITH THAT, SO AT THIS STAGE,
THEY MADE SOME ALTERATIONS TO
STAFFING LEVELS TO ACCOUNT FOR
THAT SORT OF REALLY LONG PERIOD
OF MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS THAT
HAPPENED, AND WE HAVE NO REASON
TO DOUBT THEIR SINCERITY WHEN
THEY SAY THIS IS PREPARING THEM
FOR THE NEXT ROUND OF GROWTH.
WHAT'S INTERESTING ABOUT
COMPANIES LIKE DEALER AND THE
TECH SPACE IS THAT THEY CAN
OFTEN SUSTAIN HIGH GROWTH, WHICH
IS NOT COMMON THROUGHOUT
VERMONT.
THE TECH SPACE IS RELATIVELY NEW
FOR US, REALLY, OVER THE LAST 20
YEARS, FOLKS ARE CERTAINLY
FAMILIAR WITH GLOBAL FOUNDRIES
AND WATCHING IT GROW OVER TIME,
BUT THIS KIND OF SOFTWARE TECH
IS RELATIVELY NEW TO WATCH FOR A
PLACE LIKE VERMONT.
SO THIS IS PRETTY NORMAL FOR
OTHER PLACES IN THE COUNTRY.
>> Darren: SO THEN, YOU THINK
THAT DEALER IS JUST ABSORBING,
PERHAPS, THIS BROADER NUMBER OF
PEOPLE THAT NEEDED TO BE LET GO,
THAT THIS IS JUST ABSORBING
THE -- FROM THE PARENT COMPANY?
>> Schirling: I THINK THAT'S
RIGHT.
WHEN YOU TAKE ON 30 COMPANIES
AND JOIN THEM TOGETHER, THERE
WILL INVARIABLY BE DUPLICATION
AND ADJUSTMENTS GET MADE AND YOU
POISE YOURSELF FOR GROWTH AFTER
YOU MAKE THOSE ADJUSTMENTS.
>> Darren: WE'VE BEEN LED TO
BELIEVE FOR A LONG TIME NOW IF
AND THE STATE HAS TOUTED DEALER
AS THE PLACE TO WORK, THE KIND
OF COMPANY THAT WE WANT HERE IN
VERMONT.
IS THE COMPANY STILL GROWING OR
WAS THAT SORT OF JUST HIGH
HOPES?
>> Schirling: I THINK WE
ANTICIPATE THE COMPANY WILL
CONTINUE TO GROW, BUT IT'S ALSO
IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT DEALER IS
REFERRED TO IN THE GROWTH FACE
AS A UNICORN -- GROWTH SPACE AS
A UNICORN, ONE OF THOSE RARE
COMPANIES THAT REACHES
A BILLION-DOLLAR LEVEL, A
HEALTHY ECONOMY IN A PLACE LIKE
VERMONT WHERE WE HAVE 625,000
PEOPLE HAS A FEW OF THOSE LARGE
COMPANIES, BUT A VIBRANT
ECOSYSTEM IS MADE UP OF A FEW OF
THOSE, BUT PRIMARILY SMALL AND
MEDIUM SIZED COMPANY THAT ARE
OFTEN THREE, FOUR, FIVE PEOPLE,
50 PEOPLE, 200 PEOPLE, AND THAT
CREATES THE ABILITY FOR A
COLLISION OF IDEAS TO HAPPEN,
FOR PEOPLE TO CROSS POLLINATE
THOSE COMPANIES TO, MOVE FROM
PLACE TO PLACE, BRING THEIR
IDEAS AND TALENTS AND SPIN UP
NEW VENTURES.
IF YOU LOOK HISTORICALLY AT THE
TECH ECOSYSTEM THAT STARTED WITH
IBM IN 1957, IF YOU WERE TO LOOK
AT IT LIKE AN ANCESTRY TREE, YOU
CAN SEE WHERE CERTAIN COMPANIES
SPUN OUT OF IBM AND THEN IBM
SPUN UP THINGS LIKE IDX AND THEY
SPUN UP OTHER VENTURES AND
YOU'RE STARTING TO SEE THE SAME
THING WITH DEALER, THAT PEOPLE
LEAVING DEALER ARE GOING INTO
OTHER SMALL START-UPS AND
THEY'RE GROWING AND THAT'S WHAT
CREATES THE HEALTH AND VIBRANCY,
SO DEALER'S POSITION AS AN
IMPORTANT PIECE OF THE PUZZLE IS
NOT JUST BASED ON THEIR GROWTH
AND THEIR PLACEMENT IN
BURLINGTON AND VERMONT, BUT IN
HOW THEY IMPACT OTHER THINGS AND
HOW THEY ATTRACT TALENT AND HOW
THAT TALENT MOVES OUT INTO THAT
BROADER ECOSYSTEM AND SPINS UP
NEW VENTURES.
>> Darren: THE STATE HELPING
THESE 45 PEOPLE TRY TO FIND
OTHER JOBS, DO WE HAVE AN IDEA
IF THEY LEFT WITH SOME KIND OF
SEVERANCE FROM DEALER?
>> Schirling: YES.
OVERNIGHT DETAILS ON THAT -- I
DON'T HAVE THE DETAILS ON THAT,
BUT ALL INDICATIONS ARE THERE
WAS A HEALTHY SEVERANCE PACKAGE
TO KEEP THEM IN GOOD STEAD WHILE
THEY FIND THE NEXT ADVENTURE.
>> Darren: DO WE HAVE ANY OTHER
PROSPECTS, ANY OTHER COMPANIES
SIMILAR TO DEALER EYEING VERMONT
RIGHT NOW THAT YOU'RE AWARE OF?
>> Schirling: WE'RE NOT AWARE OF
ANYTHING THAT'S THAT SIZE.
OUR STRATEGY FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH
HAS A VARIETY OF PIECES TO IT,
BUT RELATIVE TO BUSINESS GROWTH
AND RECRUITMENT, ABOUT 80% OF
THE EFFORT IS BEING FOCUSED ON
GROWING EXISTING VERMONT FIRMS
BECAUSE 80% OF THOSE FIRMS ARE
50 PEOPLE AND SMALLER, SO
THERE'S A LARGE CROSS-SECTION OF
COMPANIES, WHETHER THEY'RE IN
THE TECH SPACE, ADVANCED
MANUFACTURING, IN AG, IN ENERGY
AND HEALTHCARE, THAT ARE PRIME
TO GROW A LITTLE BIT AND A
LARGER NUMBER OF COMPANIES
GROWING SMALL AMOUNTS OR MEDIUM
AMOUNTS OR EVEN DOUBLING IN SIZE
FROM 50 TO 100 HAS JUST AS MUCH
IMPACT AND IS ARGUABLY A LITTLE
BIT HEALTHIER THAN TRYING TO
ATTRACT A LARGE COMPANY THAT
COULD HAVE A DISRUPTIVE IMPACT
WERE SOMEONE TO TRY TO START
FROM 1200 IN OUR ECOSYSTEM.
NOT TO SAY WE'RE OPPOSED TO
THAT.
IF THERE WERE A COMPANY
INTERESTED, WE WOULD CERTAINLY
WORK WITH THEM AND DO EVERYTHING
POSSIBLE TO MAKE THAT FIT, BUT
ABOUT 20% OF OUR EFFORT RIGHT
NOW IS IN RECRUITMENT WITH A
SPECIAL EMPHASIS ON COMPANIES
FROM QUEBEC AND CANADA THAT HAVE
RESURGENT INTEREST IN LOCATING
IN THE UNITED STATES.
>> Darren: THE DOORS ARE OPEN.
>> Schirling: THEY ARE.
>> Darren: BUT VERMONT IS SEEN
BY MANY AS AN EXPENSIVE PLACE TO
DO BUSINESS.
HOW DO WE CHANGE THAT OR CHANGE
THAT PERCEPTION?
>> Schirling: YOU KNOW, WE DO
HAVE THAT -- YOU HEAR THAT WITH
SOME FREQUENCY.
IN SOME INSTANCES, THAT IS TRUE
AND WE'RE WORKING ON A VARIETY
OF THINGS TO TRY TO MITIGATE THE
COST OF DOING BUSINESS IN
VERMONT, BUT WE'RE NOT SO FAR
REMOVED FROM THE COST OF OTHER
STATES, AND WHERE WE THINK WE
HAVE THE COMPETITIVE EDGE IS THE
SIZE AND THE NIMBLENESS AND THE
NATURE OF THE WORKFORCE.
WE HAVE A REALLY ACTIVE AND
ENGAGED WORKFORCE.
WE HAVE A REPUTATION OF
PRODUCING PRODUCTS THAT JUST
HAVING THE VERMONT MONIKER ON
THEM IS A MARKETING BOON.
SO TAKEN INTO TOTALITY, WE MAY
NEVER BE THE LEAST EXPENSIVE
PLACE TO DO BUSINESS BECAUSE OF
OUR SIZE, BUT THE OTHER SIDE OF
THAT COIN IS BECAUSE OF OUR
SIZE, WE'RE UNIQUELY PLACED IN
VERMONT TO BE ABLE TO LEVERAGE
THE VERMONT BRAND, LEVERAGE OUR
WORKFORCE TO COMPETE ON A GLOBAL
STAGE.
>> Darren: YET WE SUFFER FROM
BRAIN DRAIN OR GRAYING OF THE
GREEN MOUNTAINS WHERE YOUNGER
PEOPLE ARE LEAVING THE STATE,
OUR POPULATION IS GETTING OLDER.
HOW DO WE REVERSE THAT?
>> Schirling: PART OF IT IS
TELLING THE STORY, WHAT WE CALL
ILLUMINATING THE VIBRANCY OF
VERMONT.
IT IS WELL-KNOWN THAT WE PRODUCE
MAPLE SYRUP, THAT WE HAVE A
HEALTHY DAIRY INDUSTRY, THAT
BEN & JERRY'S WAS STARTED HERE.
WE'RE WELL KNOWN FOR OUR
PHYSICAL ASSETS WHICH ARE
UNMATCHED, VERY FEW PLACES ON
THE PLANET THAT YOU CAN GET THE
PHYSICAL ASSETS THAT WE HAVE
FROM MOUNTAINS TO STREAMS TO
RIVERS AND LAKES AND ALL WITHIN
A SHORT DRIVING DISTANCE.
WHAT'S LESSER KNOWN IS WHAT WE
STARTED TALKING ABOUT, THE
IMPACT OF TECH SECTOR, THE FACT
THAT VERMONT HAS A 228-YEAR
HISTORY OF INNOVATION IN
ADOPTING NEW TECHNOLOGIES FROM
JOHN DEERE BEING INVENTED HERE
TO THE FIRST DC ENGINE I JUST
LEARNED WAS INVENTED IN VERMONT
IN 1834, SO THE MORE YOU PEEL
BACK THE ONION, THE MORE STORIES
THERE ARE TO TELL AND IT STARTS
THERE AND THEN ONCE OUR YOUNG
PEOPLE AND PEOPLE FROM OUTSIDE
VERMONT REALIZE WHAT IS
AVAILABLE TO THEM HERE, BOTH IN
TERMS OF EDUCATION AND JOB
OPPORTUNITIES, THEN IT IS
CONNECTING THE NEEDS OF
EMPLOYERS AND THE DESIRES OF THE
YOUNG FOLKS IN A -- WHAT WE CALL
TALENT PIPELINE MANAGEMENT,
WHICH IS ONE OF THE INITIATIVES
WE'RE A PARTNER IN TO TRY TO
CONNECT EMPLOYERS WITH NEEDED
WORKFORCE MT. 21st CENTURY -- IN
THE 21st CENTURY AND BASICALLY
CREATE A CONTINUUM OF SUPPLY AND
DEMAND FOR THE WORKFORCE,
WHETHER THAT'S IN TRADE AND
ELECTRICIANS, PLUMBERS, WELDERS,
PIPE FITTERS WHAT WE'RE GOING TO
SEE A DEARTH OF, WHETHER IN
HEALTHCARE, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE
A SHORTAGE OF NURSES AND
DOCTORS, OR WHETHER IN
TECHNOLOGY.
WHETHER IT'S CODING OR PEOPLE
RUNNING ADVANCED MANUFACTURING
MACHINES OR TAKING CARE OF CARS
AND KNOW HOW TO DO MAINTENANCE
ON VEHICLES THAT EVENTUALLY
DRIVE THEMSELVES.
DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGY IS WHERE
THERE ARE CHALLENGES, BUT ALSO
OPPORTUNITIES.
IT'S IMPORTANT TO KNOW ALSO THAT
VERMONT HAS THIS DEMOGRAPHIC
CHALLENGE GOING ON, BUT IT'S NOT
ENDEMIC TO VERMONT ALONE.
ANY PLACE IN THE UNITED STATES
THAT ISN'T AN URBAN AREA RIGHT
NOW IS SEEING A DECLINE IN
POPULATION AND AN AGING
POPULATION, SO IT'S SOMETHING
THAT'S HAPPENING ON A WIDE SCALE
AND WE THINK THAT, AGAIN, OUR
SIZE AND OUR ABILITY TO BE
NIMBLE WILL POSITION US WELL TO
BE ABLE TO COUNTERACT THAT IN
THE YEARS TO COME.
>> Darren: MIKE SCHIRLING, THANK
YOU.
UP NEXT, COLLEGE KIDS STRUGGLING
WITH MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES ON
CAMPUS.
ADVICE FOR PARENTS COMING UP.
>> Darren: COLLEGE STUDENTS ARE
GETTING READY TO HEAD BACK TO
CLASS AND THE NATIONAL COLLEGE
HEALTH ASSESSMENT SAYS
COUNSELING CENTERS ON CAMPUSES
ARE PROVIDING 28% MORE URGENT
CARE THAN THEY DID SIX YEARS
AGO.
DOCTORS AT UVM ARE SEEING THAT
TREND TOO, AND TO TALK ABOUT WHY
IS THAT, I'M JOINED NOW BY
DR. JON PORTER, THE DIRECTOR OF
THE SCHOOL'S CENTER FOR HEALTH
AND WELL-BEING.
THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE THIS
MORNING.
>> Porter: THANK YOU FOR HAVING
ME.
>> Darren: DOCTOR, TELL US WHY
YOU THINK WE'RE SEEING THIS
HAPPENING.
>> Porter: I THINK THERE'S LOTS
OF COMPONENTS AS IS USUALLY THE
CASE WITH THESE KINDS OF
QUESTIONS.
ONE OF THEM CERTAINLY IS THAT IN
A VERY POSITIVE WAY, STUDENTS
ARE EXPERIENCING LESS STIGMA
ABOUT SEEKING HELP FOR MENTAL
HEALTH ISSUES.
I ALSO THINK WE ARE SEEING MORE
OF A CHALLENGE IN SOME OF THE
SKILLS THAT WE WOULD WANT
STUDENTS TO HAVE AS THEY GO
THROUGH THE COLLEGE YEARS
CIRCLES SYMPATHY THAT'S ONE OF
THE ROLES -- SO I THINK THAT'S
ONE OF THE ROLES OF THE
INSTITUTION IN HELPING STUDENTS
GET THOSE SKILLS.
WHEN I'M TALKING ABOUT THOSE
SKILLS, I'M TALKING ABOUT
HANDLING DISAPPOINTMENT OR
DISTRESS OR AMBIGUITY AND
THINKING CRITICALLY ABOUT WHAT
YOUR OPTIONS ARE AND MAKING THE
BEST DECISIONS THAT YOU CAN.
>> Darren: WHAT KINDS OF MENTAL
HEALTH ISSUES ARE STUDENTS
COMING TO, SAY, THE CENTER FOR?
>> Porter: WELL, IT'S -- AS
OPPOSED TO WHEN I WAS IN COLLEGE
WAY BACK AT THE TURN OF THE 20th
CENTURY, IT'S NOT SO MUCH
HOMESICKNESS OR RELATIONSHIPS.
THESE ARE ISSUE THAT ARE MORE
ACUTE, MORE COMPLEX THAN THEY
WERE EVEN TEN YEARS AGO.
DEPRESSION, ANXIETY STILL TOP
THE LIST.
RELATIONSHIP ISSUES ARE STILL
THERE.
SUBSTANCE USE, SELF INJURY ARE
ALSO IN THE TOP FIVE.
>> Darren: YOU HEAR ABOUT
HELICOPTER PARENTS.
SOME RESEARCHERS ARE POINTING TO
THOSE PARENTS WHO ARE, SAY,
OVERPROTECTIVE OF THEIR KIDS AS
ONE OF THE REASONS THAT WE COULD
BE SEEING THIS.
DO YOU AGREE?
>> Porter: WELL, I'M LEERY OF
BLAMING THE PARENTS, IN QUOTES.
I DO THINK IT'S REALLY A
CHALLENGE.
I MEAN, I THINK FOR PARENTS WHO
ARE SEEING THEIR CHILDREN OFF AT
THIS TIME OF YEAR, IT'S A MAJOR
ACCOMPLISHMENT TO GET A CHILD TO
THIS PLACE WHERE THEY'RE ABLE TO
GO OUT ON THEIR OWN, BUT AGAIN,
I THINK THE QUESTION FOR PARENTS
AT THIS TIMES HOW DO I WANT TO
HELP THIS DEVELOPMENT OF MY
YOUNG ONE CONTINUE, AND SO I
THINK WHAT THAT REALLY MEANS IS
STAYING IN TOUCH FOR SURE, BUT
UNDERSTANDING THAT FOR YOUR
CHILD, THIS IS A TIME OF REALLY
AMAZINGLY IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENT
FOR THE NEXT FIVE, SIX, SEVEN
DECADES, AND SO AGAIN, THE HOPE
IS TO HELP YOUR CHILD BUILD
THOSE SKILLS OF KIND OF
ANALYZING CHOICES IN A MINDFUL
WAY, THINKING REALLY CRITICALLY
ABOUT WHAT THEY'RE DOING HERE,
AND HELPING THEM ALONG THAT WAY
AS OPPOSED TO MAKING VERY
SPECIFIC SUGGESTIONS ABOUT WHAT
THE RIGHT COURSE OF ACTION IS.
>> Darren: AND YOU BRING UP A
GOOD POINT, AND A LOT OF PARENTS
ARE, YOU KNOW, FEARING THIS
EMPTY NEST SYNDROME THAT'S GOING
TO KICK IN AND THEY'RE SAD TO
SEE THEIR KIDS GO OFF TO SCHOOL.
SHOULD THEY HIDE THOSE FEELINGS
SO THEIR KIDS ARE MORE APT TO
COME TO THEM WHEN THEY'RE
STRUGGLING?
>> Porter: WELL, I THINK -- I
DON'T WANT ANYBODY HIDING THEIR
FEELINGS.
I THINK GOOD CONVERSATIONS ABOUT
WHAT IT MEANS FOR THE PARENTS --
AGAIN, FROM THE PARENTS' SIDE OF
THE COIN, THIS IS REALLY A
TRANSITION OF IDENTITY WITH
THEIR CHILD NOW OUT OF THE
HOUSE, NOW ENGAGED IN A REALLY
VITAL TIME IN THEIR LIVES, SO I
THINK WOULD BE GREAT IF PARENTS
CAN SEE THIS AS A TIME OF
TRANSITION AND HOW DO I WANT TO
DEFINE MYSELF IN THIS NEW PHASE
OF MY LIFE.
AND IN SOME WAYS, IT'S A VERY
PARALLEL PROCESS TO WHAT THEIR
CHILD IS DOING, SO THAT
CONNECTION CAN BE IMPORTANT AND
I THINK PARENTS IN THAT REGARD
CAN REALLY MODEL FOR THEIR
STUDENTS, FOR THEIR CHILDREN,
HERE'S WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE TO
DEFINE MYSELF, HERE'S WHAT I'M
UP TO DURING THIS TIME OF MY
LIFE, HERE'S HOW I'M GOING TO
GET THERE.
SO I THINK IT IS A TIME OF
GRIEVING, IT'S A TIME OF A
CHANGE IN RELATIONSHIP AND A
LOSS OF A CERTAIN KIND OF
RELATIONSHIP.
>> Darren: WE TALKED A LITTLE
BIT HERE ABOUT WHAT THE PARENTS
NEED TO KNOW.
WHAT'S YOUR ADVICE TO STUDENTS
IF THEY GET TO CAMPUS, THEY'RE
FEELING OVERWHELMED OR
STRUGGLING WITH MENTAL HEALTH IN
ANY KIND OF WAY?
>> Porter: I THINK IT IS TO
CONNECT WITH RESOURCES.
AT THE UNIVERSITY, AS IS THE
CASE AT MOST UNIVERSITIES, WE
WORK HARD TO MAKE STUDENTS AND
THOSE WHO HAVE CONTACT WITH
STUDENTS AWARE OF WHAT'S
AVAILABLE TO THEM.
REALLY 24 HOURS A DAY.
IN A BROADER SENSE, YOU KNOW,
ONCE THIS TIME OF ACUTE
TRANSITION GOES, I THINK IT'S
REALLY IMPORTANT THAT STUDENTS
CONNECT IN A DEEP WAY TO WHAT
THEY WANT TO DO WITH THE NEXT
FOUR YEARS.
WHY AM I HERE.
AND WHEN THEY DO THAT, I THINK
THAT THEN SETS UP THE NEXT STEP
OF CREATING GOALS AND WHAT DO I
NEED TO ACCOMPLISH THOSE GOALS,
HOW AM I GOING TO GET THERE?
AND I GUESS I WOULDN'T EVER WANT
TO UNDERSTATE THE IMPORTANCE OF
CONNECTION.
CONNECTIONS TO A FRIEND GROUP,
CONNECTIONS TO AN ACADEMIC
PURPOSE, CONNECTIONS TO ADULTS
IN THE FORM OF FACULTY OR STAFF
AT CAMPUS.
THOSE ARE ALL RESOURCES THAT I
THINK GET UNDERPLAYED A LITTLE
BIT.
WHEN WE TALK ABOUT MENTAL
HEALTH, THOSE CONNECTIONS REALLY
END UP BEING IMPORTANT FOR
STUDENTS NONTERMS OF GETTING
FEEDBACK -- IN TERMS OF GETTING
FEEDBACK ABOUT WHAT'S GOING ON,
PROCESSING WHATEVER COMES UP
DURING THE DAY, SO REALLY MAKING
SURE YOU'RE CONNECTED TO A
FRIEND GROUP, TO SEEM ADULTS, TO
EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES, TO
CLUB SPORTS, THE OUTING CLUB,
THINGS THAT REALLY ENGAGE YOU IN
THE OFF HOURS.
>> Darren: DR. PORTER, THANK YOU
SO MUCH FOR JOINING ME THIS
MORNING.
THAT WILL DO IT FOR US.
THANK YOU, EVERYONE.
THE NEWS CONTINUES NEXT ON THE
WEEKEND.
THANKS FOR WATCHING CHANNEL 3.
WE'LL SEE YOU SOON.

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