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You Can Quote Me - June 6, 2012 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

You Can Quote Me - June 6, 2012

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -



>> GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE. OUR NEWSMAKER THIS WEEK IS STATE ECONOMIST JEFF CARR.

>> OUR ECONOMIC RECOVERY CONTINUES. WHERE ARE WE IN THAT PROCESS?

>> WELL, TO SAY IT IN A PHRASE, NOT AS FAR ALONG AS WE WOULD LIKE IT TO BE. IN CERTAIN AREAS WE'VE MADE DECENT PROCESS, AND OF COURSE THE STATE HAS HAD TO DEAL WITH A NUMBER OF ISSUES GOING FORWARD. LAST YEAR IN 2011 WE STARTED OFF THE YEAR ON A RELATIVELY POSITIVE NOTE. THEN WE HAD THE FUKUSHIMA NUCLEAR DISASTER AND THE RESULTING TSUNAMI, AND WHEN THE SUPPLY CHAIN GOT DISRUPTED BY THAT, THAT AFFECTED US HERE IN THE UNITED STATES IN TERMS OF PARTS MANUFACTURING CHAIN, AND THEN ALONG IN VERMONT CAME LITTLE THING, TROPICAL STORM IRENE, WHICH HAS OBVIOUSLY CAUSED QUITE A BIT OF DAMAGE AND WILL AFFECT US FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS, WHICH THREW A CRIMP IN OUR ECONOMY, WE STARTED TO PICK UP TOWARD THE END OF THE YEAR, AND THEN WE HAD THE WINTER SEASON THAT WASN'T. AND IT WASN'T THAT OUR RESORTS DIDN'T DO A GOOD JOB OF MAKING SNOW AND BEING ABLE TO DELIVER A GOOD SPORTS EXPERIENCE, BUT WHEN PEOPLE WERE LOOKING OUT INTO THEIR YARDS AND NOT SEEING MUCH SNOW, THEY DIDN'T THINK ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT THE NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND AND VERMONT RESORTS COULD PROVIDE A GOOD WINTER EXPERIENCE. THEY DIDN'T NECESSARILY COME. THAT PUT A CRIMP INTO THINGS, AND NOW IN 2012, WE WENT INTO THE YEAR WITH A PRETTY GOOD FORWARD MOMENTUM GOING, AND ALONG CAME RUN UP IN ENERGY PRICES AND SOME OF THE OTHER THINGS. THERE IS A LOT OF -- IT'S THE CRISIS THAT WON'T END IN EUROPE RIGHT NOW. I WALKED AROUND FOR A LONG TIME SAYING HOW CAN A LITTLE COUNTRY LIKE GREECE AFFECT US, THE LARGEST INDUSTRIALIZED COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. BUT IT'S NOT ABOUT GREECE. IT'S WHAT GREECE MAY SAY ABOUT OTHER MAJOR PLAYERS IN EUROPE, LIKE SPAIN, AND THE CONCERN WE HAVE ABOUT THAT. AND AS WE LOOK AT THE SCHEME OF THINGS, I CONSIDER MY COMPUTER -- I CAN SIT AT MY COMPUTER SCREEN AND SHOW YOU THINGS THAT ARE IMPROVING, MOVING POSITIVE BY -- POSITIVELY, BUT IT'S NOT AS BROAD BASED AS WE WOULD LIKE IT TO BE. WE HAVE A VERY UNUSUAL MIX OF THINGS, WE'RE WELL BEYOND THE SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF THE GREAT RECESSION, AND WE HAVEN'T MADE THE PROGRESS WE EXPECTED, AND WE HAVEN'T DEALT WITH SOME OF THE FUNDAMENTAL UNDERLYING CAUSES. WE'RE COMING UP ON A PERIOD WHEN POLICY IS GOING TO BE VERY IMPORTANT TO THE ECONOMY, AND WE'RE COMING UP AT A POINT IN TIME WHEN THERE IS A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF STIMULUS IN THE FORM OF THE VARIOUS TAX CUTS THAT WERE ENACTED LONG TIME AGO THAT HAVE BEEN REAUTHORIZED, AND THEY'RE EXPIRING AT THE END OF DECEMBER, AND THERE REALLY ISN'T ANY CERTAINTY FOR THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY IF THEY'RE GOING TO CONTINUE, OR FOR HOUSEHOLDS, IF THEY'RE GOING TO BE EXTENDED, WHICH ONES, WHICH PARTS OF IT, IS IT GOING TO BE COMPLETELY EXTENDED. LAST SUMMER WE HAD THE DEBT-CEILING DEBATE FOR THE FIRST TIME CALLED INTO QUESTION WHETHER THE UNITED STATES WAS GOING TO HONOR ITS OBLIGATIONS, WHICH HAD NEVER EVEN BEEN CONTEMPLATED BEFORE. NOW WE'RE GOING THROUGH A PERIOD WHERE WE COULD GO THROUGH ALL THAT AGAIN, AND THEN PEOPLE ARE SURPRISED THAT THE UNCERTAINTY IS CAUSING THE ECONOMY NOT TO PERFORM UP TO WHAT WE WOULD EXPECT IT TO PERFORM. AND SO, AGAIN, WE'RE MAKING PROGRESS, IT JUST ISN'T UP TO EXPECTATIONS, AND WE'RE ALSO NOW IN THE PART OF THE ELECTION PSYCHLE AND ALSO IN THE PART OF OTHER -- WHERE PEOPLE ARE MAKING PUBLIC PRONOUNCEMENTS ABOUT THE ECONOMY. THAT ISN'T NECESSARILY BASED ON OBJECTIVE AND THOUGHTFUL ANALYSIS OF THE ECONOMY; IT'S WITH A DIFFERENT AGENDA THAN LAYING OUT TO PEOPLE, AND BUSINESSPEOPLE, HOW THE ECONOMY IS DOING, AND NOBODY REALLY KNOWS, FOR THAT MATTER, WHO TO BELIEVE. SO I'M NOT SURPRISED THAT, GIVEN THE IMPORTANCE OF EXPECTATIONS AND CONFIDENCE, AND THE FACT THAT WE HAD THE CONFIDENCE SHAKEN DURING THE GREAT RECESSION AND LAST SUMMER AND THE AFTERMATH OF THE REALLY CONTENTIOUS AND HIGHLY PARTISAN DEBATE ON THE DEBT CEILING IN WASHINGTON, D.C., AND PEOPLE ARE SAYING UNDERSTANDABLY WE WILL TAKE A WAIT AND SEE, DO WE WANT TO RE-SIDE THE HOUSE, DO WE WANT TO REPAIR OR REPLACE THE CAR. WHEN WE GET TO THE END, WE ARE IN ON A RECOVERY TRACK, IT JUST ISN'T AS FAST AS WE WOULD LIKE IT TO BE, IT'S NOT AS BROAD, AND NOT ALL THE PEOPLE WE WOULD LIKE TO SHARE IN THE IMPROVEMENT ARE SHARING IN THE IMPROVEMENT.

>> WHEN YOU SAY WE'RE ON THE RECOVERY TRACK, AND WE'VE BEEN ON IT FOR WHAT SEEMS LIKE A LONG, SLOW SLOG, ARE WE GOING TO REACH A POINT WHERE PEOPLE SAY WE HAVE IMPROVED, OR IS THERE GOING TO BE A NEW NORMAL?

>> WELL, SOME THINGS HAVE BEEN FUNDAMENTALLY ALTERED. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I THINK IS CONTRIBUTING TO THE UNDERWHELMING VIEW OF WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE ECONOMY IS THE REALITY THAT WE HAVE FULLY RECOVERED IN TERMS OF THE VALUE OF THE GOODS AND SERVICES THAT THE U.S. ECONOMY HAS BEEN PRODUCING, AND WE'RE ACTUALLY IN WHAT IS TECHNICALLY IS AN EXPANSION. PROBLEM IS, WE'RE DOING IT WITH ABOUT FOUR MILLION JOBS FEWER THAN WHEN WE STARTED IN THE DOWNTURN. WE'RE MAKING GOODS WITH FOUR MILLION FEWER EMPLOYEES, AND IF YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT A NEW NORM, THAT'S ONE OF THEM. THE U.S. ECONOMY, THE WORKERS ARE INCREDIBLY PRODUCTIVE, THEY'RE WORKING VERY HARD, BUSINESSES ARE DOING A GOOD JOB, AND ONE OF THE BRIGHT SPOTS OUT, THERE AS A PRECURSOR TO HIRING, IS THE FINANCIAL CONDITION OF PRIVATE SECTOR BUSINESSES IS VERY STRONG. THAT'S NORMALLY A PRECURSOR TO HIRING. YOU CAN ONLY CUT YOUR EXPENSES SO MUCH, SO THE POINT WHERE YOU REALIZE THE REAL WAY TO GROW YOUR BOTTOM LINE IS TO GROW YOUR REVENUE STREAM, AND YOU CAN DO THAT IF YOU ADD EQUIPMENT AND EMPLOYEES IN ORDER TO ACCEPT MORE BUSINESS. WE'VE GOTTEN TO THE POINT WHERE THAT COULD OCCUR IF WE COULD GET PAST THE THINGS THAT ARE HOLDING PEOPLE BACK, WHICH IS UNCERTAINTY. IT'S ALMOST LIKE PEOPLE ARE WAITING FOR THE OTHER PERSON, THE OTHER COMPANY, TO GO FIRST. ONCE WE SEE THAT THIS IS SUSTAINED, ONCE WE SEE THAT THE RECOVERY REALLY IS GAINING SOME TRACTION AND FIRM FOOTING, THEN WE'LL MAKE THE COMMITMENT THAT BUSINESSES NEED TO MAKE TO HIRE PEOPLE. IT'S A VERY BIG COMMITMENT TO HIRE PEOPLE. THE LAST THING IN THE WORLD, AND UNDERSTANDABLY SO, THAT BUSINESSPEOPLE WANT TO DO IS MAKE A COMMITMENT TO HIRE SOMEBODY FULL TIME AND THEN TURN AROUND MONTHS LATER TO SAY WE CAN'T KEEP YOU ON. I'M A SMALL BUSINESSPERSON, I HAVE A SMALL STAFF, 12 PEOPLE, AND IF I HAD TO DO THAT, I WOULD LOSE SLEEP FOR WEEKS. IT'S NOT SOMETHING I WOULD LIKE TO DO. EXPECTATIONS ABOUT THE FUTURE, THE UNCERTAINTY THAT'S THERE, AND THE IMPORTANCE OF FEDERAL POLICY, AND THE DOUBTS THAT PEOPLE HAVE, IF THEY'RE REALLY GOING TO BE ABLE TO DELIVER ON THESE IMPORTANT ISSUES, WHICH ARE VERY IMPORTANT TO THE FUTURE PERFORMANCE OF THE ECONOMY, ESPECIALLY IN THE FIRST QUARTER, FIRST HALF OF NEXT YEAR, PEOPLE ARE LOOKING AT THAT AND SAYING I'M NOT CONVINCED, AND I NEED TO SEE A FIRMER FOOTING FOR THIS RECOVERY BEFORE WE TAKE ACTIONS.

>> AT THE HEIGHT OF THE RECESSION, HOW MANY JOBS WERE LOST IN VERMONT, AND WHERE ARE WE ON GETTING THOSE FOLKS BACK IN THE WORK FORCE?

>> WELL, RIGHT NOW, THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION. FROM THE TOP OF THE EMPLOYMENT CYCLE TO THE VERY BOTTOM OF THE EMPLOYMENT CYCLE, WE LOST A LITTLE IN EXCESS OF 14,000 JOBS IN VERMONT. THAT WAS PROPORTIONALLY LESS THAN WHAT THE U.S. LOST AND WHAT THE NEW ENGLAND REGION LOST, AND THE ECONOMY HAS BEEN SLOW IN VERMONT, AND WE'VE PROBABLY RECAPTURED ANYWHERE BETWEEN 35 AND 40% OF THOSE JOBS. BUT SEVERAL OF OUR COMPANIES THAT ARE DOING VERY WELL, PARTICULARLY IN THE NORTHWEST PART OF THE STATE, WE SEE A RESURGENCE IN THE NORTHEAST KINGDOM. WHAT'S GOING ON THERE IS --

>> J. PEAK?

>>.

>> AND ALL THE BUSINESSES AROUND IT. CERTAINLY J. PEAK IS ONE. WE SEE SOME OF OUR MAJOR ECONOMIC DRIVERS DOING RELATIVELY WELL. THE TECHNOLOGY CAMPUS HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED IN ESSEX JUNCTION WITH IBM. WE HEARD RUMORS OF LAYOFFS MONTHS AGO, BUT THEY DON'T SEEM TO HAVE AFFECTED VERMONT VERY MUCH. EVEN GREEN MOUNTAIN COFFEE ROASTERS, THEY'RE DOING IT OUT WITH THE WALL STREET ANALYSTS, THEY'RE ADDING JOBS HERE. THEY'RE GROWING ELSEWHERE. THEY'RE A NATIONAL BUSINESS, BUT DON'T BE NEGATIVE ABOUT WHAT COMPANIES LIKE THAT ARE DOING IN VERMONT. THEY'RE ADDING QUITE A BIT OF CAPACITY. SOMETIMES YOU GET TO THE POINT WHERE, WELL, MAYBE THEY'RE NOT GOING TO HAVE ENOUGH WORK FORCE BECAUSE OUR EMPLOYMENT RATE IS SO LOW TO REALLY GROW HERE IN VERMONT. I MEAN, THERE ARE POSITIVE SIGNS OUT THERE, AND THERE ARE POSITIVE -- PROGRESS BEING MADE. AGAIN, IT'S JUST RELATIVE TO EXPECTATIONS AND WHAT PEOPLE SAY WE SHOULD EXPECT. A LOT OF TIMES IT DOESN'T -- THOSE EXPECTATIONS -- IT'S A LITTLE BIT LIKE A COMPANY ON THE STOCK EXCHANGE: YOU COULD HAVE A GREAT QUARTER, BUT IF YOU'RE ONE PENNY LOWER THAN EXPECTATIONS PER SHARE, THEY PUNISH YOU. THERE IS STILL A COLLECTIVE CONCERN OUT THERE BECAUSE OF THE DEPTH AND THE BREADTH OF THE GREAT RECESSION. I THINK SOME OF US FEEL WHAT OUR PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS FELT DURING THE GREAT DEPRESSION. THAT DOESN'T GO AWAY QUICKLY. I THINK THE COMBINATION OF THOSE THINGS AND THE UNCERTAINTY, AND, REALLY, THE PERCEPTION, WHICH I THINK IS FAIRLY ACCURATE, THAT THERE IS SOME CONCERN THAT MAYBE THE PEOPLE IN WASHINGTON AREN'T GOING TO BE ABLE TO EXECUTE ON THE THINGS THAT THEY NEED TO EXECUTE FOR US TO DEAL WITH THESE THINGS, LIKE WE NEED TO DEAL WITH THE FEDERAL BUDGET SITUATION, WE NEED TO DEAL WITH THE HOUSING ISSUES, THIS IS A HOUSING-LED RECESSION. MOST OF THE REST OF THE COUNTRY, YOU KNOW, WENT THROUGH A VERY SEVERE HOUSING DECLINE. IT WAS ALMOST -- PEOPLE ARE USING THE TERM "DEPRESSION" AND IN PLACES LIKE NEVADA AND FLORIDA AND PLACES LIKE THAT, IT REALLY WAS CLOSE TO THAT, WHEN YOU LOSE 40 TO 50% OF THE VALUE OF YOUR HOME, WE WERE FORTUNATE HERE IN VERMONT. FOR THOSE OF US IN VERMONT WHO WERE AROUND THEN, YOU DON'T HAVE TO REMEMBER BACK TOO FAR, THE LATE 80s AND EARLY 90s, WE WENT THROUGH A TERRIBLE HOUSING BUBBLE HERE. PEOPLE FORGET. MAYBE IT'S UNREALISTIC EXPECTATION. BUT THAT TIME PUT US IN OUR WORST RECESSION SINCE WORLD WAR II. THIS LAST ONE WASN'T THE WORST SINCE WORLD WAR II, IT WAS IN THE EARLY 90s, AND IT TOOK US FIVE TO SIX YEARS TO RECOVER FROM THAT. I THINK SOME OF THE CONCERN THAT WE SEE ON THE PART OF HOUSEHOLDS, BUSINESSES, AND SOME OF THE INVOFTOR CONFIDENCE THAT -- INVESTOR CONFIDENCE THAT WE SEE, IS BECAUSE WE WANT TO SEE THINGS IMPROVE REALLY FAST. THERE ARE THINGS LIKE THE EUROPEAN SITUATION ARE, THE SITUATION WITH HOUSING -- WE'RE NOT GOING TO HAVE A STRONG ECONOMIC RECOVERY UNTIL THE HOUSING MARKETS RECOVER. WE HAVEN'T BOTTOMED YET. SOME OF OUR HOMEOWNERS ARE UNDERWATER. IT'S MORE EXPECTATIONS. I THINK WE ARE UNFAIRLY TRYING TO CHARACTERIZE THIS AS A FAST RECOVERY BECAUSE WE WENT DOWN SO FAR FOR SO LONG. UNTIL WE DEAL WITH SOME OF THESE ISSUES, WE'RE NOT.

>> LET'S EXPAND ON THE WORK FORCE HERE IN VERMONT. I'VE HEARD LIKE DEALER.COM, THEY ARE CONCERNED THERE REALLY ISN'T A POOL HERE. WE STRIL A LOT OF FOLKS UNEMPLOYED, BUT DO THEY LACK JOB SKILLS THAT ARE NEEDED FOR JOBS LIKE AT DEALER.COM AND OTHER HIGH-TECH JOBS IN THE STATE?

>> I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS, IF WE GO BACK TO WHAT'S DIFFERENT ABOUT WHAT'S HAPPENED IN THE LAST FEW YEARS, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT KA CHARACTERIZED THIS DOWNTURN FROM ALL THE OTHERS WAS THE LENGTH OF TIME THAT PEOPLE WERE WITHOUT JOBS. WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE DATA, IT'S VERY SURPRISING THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN OUT OF WORK AND HAVE BEEN OUT OF WORK FOR SO LONG. WHEN YOU SOMETIMES GET INTO SOME OF THE DISCUSSIONS, SOME PEOPLE ARGUE IT'S BECAUSE WE EXTENDED UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS FOR SO LONG, BUT TO HAVE PEOPLE OUT OF THE WORK FORCE FOR SIX, 12, 18 MONTHS, YOU KNOW, SOME OF THE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN OUT OF THE MARKETPLACE FOR TWO YEARS, DON'T EVEN KNOW THE LATEST ITERATIONS OF SOME OF THE SOFTWARE TO BE SITTING AT A DESK OPERATING SOFTWARE. THAT'S CLEARLY ONE THING. THERE ALSO, UNFORTUNATELY IS, IF YOU'RE OUT OF WORK FOR A REALLY LONG TIME AND YOU START SHOWING UP TO INTERVIEW, SOME OF THE PEOPLE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TABLE WONDER WHY YOU'VE BEEN OUT OF JOB FOR TWO YEARS, MAYBE SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH YOU. MOST OF THE TIME THAT'S NOT TRUE, BUT IT CONTRIBUTES TO A PERCEPTION. AND SO AND THE OTHER THING THAT HAPPENS IN VERMONT, IF YOU LOOK AT US AND YOU LOOK AT OUR DEMOGRAPHICS, WE HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT ARE IN THE AGE 24 TO 35, 36-YEAR CATEGORY THAT LEAVE; AND IT'S NOT ONLY THE BABY BOOM GENERATION, THOUGH SOME PEOPLE OLDER THAN ME SAY I'M REALLY NOT.

>> WHAT DO YOU THINK IT IS?

>>.

>> A COMBINATION OF THE BABY BOOM POPULATION, AND WE'RE YOU NOT PUTTING THINGS IN AT THE BEGINNING OF THE PIPE. IF YOU LOOK AND YOU TALK TO EMPLOYERS, YOU'LL SEE THINGS LIKE, WELL, YOU KNOW, IT'S NOT A COOL THING IF YOU'RE 24 YEARS OLD TO STAND UP ALL DAY AT A MACHINE. AND FOR SOME PEOPLE, YOU KNOW, THERE'S A LOT OF DATA OUT THERE THAT SAYS THAT RECENT COLLEGE GRADUATES LIKE TO GO TO PLACES WHERE OTHER RECENT COLLEGE GRADUATES ARE GOING, YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA, AND SOME OF THE OTHER PEOPLE, I HAVE TO TELL YOU, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, BUT BURLINGTON, VERMONT, IS NOT HIGH ON THE LIST OF PLACES LOTS OF COLLEGE GRADUATES L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L

>> WELCOME BACK. WE CONTINUE TO TALK TO STATE ECONOMIST JEFF CARR ABOUT THE STATE'S ECONOMY, THE COUNTRY'S ECONOMY, THE WORLD'S ECONOMY, HOW IT'S ALL CONNECTED. RIGHT BEFORE THE BREAK, WE WERE TALKING ABOUT THE MISMATCH OF JOB SKILLS AND THAT YOUNG PEOPLE DON'T STAY IN VERMONT. IS THAT A HUGE ISSUE THAT IS GOING TO PLAGUE THE STATE, OR ARE WE ALREADY FEELING IT?

>> WE'RE ALREADY FEELING IT. EMPLOYERS WILL TELL YOU WE HAVE GOOD JOBS, BUT WE DON'T NECESSARILY HAVE THE PEOPLE WE NEED TO FILL THEM. IT'S A VERY COMPLEX EQUATION, AND IT'S A COMBINATION OF THINGS. NOT ONLY DO YOU HAVE TO HAVE INTERESTING WORK, YOU HAVE TO HAVE A PLACE WHERE THAT IS WORK LOCATED WHERE PEOPLE, PARTICULARLY YOUNG PEOPLE, WANT TO LIVE, AND I MEAN, YOU MAKE IT COOL. AND IT'S REALLY -- IF WE COULD FIGURE THAT OUT, BECAUSE THERE ARE ONLY TWO THINGS YOU CAN DO IN PUBLIC POLICY WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: YOU CAN MAKE SURE THAT THE INFRASTRUCTURE IS UP TO SNUFF, AND INFRASTRUCTURE IS AT THE LEVEL WHERE COMPANIES NEED TO BE COULD COMPETE IN THE GLOBAL MARKETPLACE, AND YOU CAN PREPARE YOUR WORK FORCE, WORK COMPETITIVELY AND WORK WELL, SO OUR COMPANIES CAN COMPETE. I NEVER IMAGINED WHEN I WAS GOING THROUGH SCHOOL THAT WE WOULD BE TALKING ABOUT GREECE, WE WOULD BE TALKING ABOUT WHAT'S NEEDED FOR OUR COMPANIES TO BE ABLE TO COMPETE WITH PEOPLE ASIA, BUT THAT'S THE REALITY OF PEOPLE'S WORLD. WE'RE WORKING HARD ON THE BROADBAND ACCESS, WHICH IS A GREAT WAY OF LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD. WE DELIVER MOST OF OUR PRODUCTS THROUGH TELECOM, SERVICES ON SKYPE TELECONFERENCES, I TELL MY STAFF, HOW GREAT IS THIS, WE GET TO WORK ALL OVER THE COUNTRY AND GET TO LIVE IN BURLINGTON, VERMONT. WE'VE GOT THAT. AND YOU HAVE TO DO WHAT YOU CAN TO MAKE SURE THAT THE WORK FORCE HAS AT LEAST ESSENTIAL SKILL SETS, AND BY THAT I MEAN, NOT ONLY DO THEY HAVE THE MATH SKILLS AND THE ABILITY TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES, THE TECHNICAL CAPABILITY TO, FOR EXAMPLE, PROGRAM A COMPUTER WHILE THEY'RE ON THE FLOOR OF A MANUFACTURING PLANT, BUT THEY ALSO HAVE TO HAVE THE SOFT PEOPLE SKILLS. WHAT'S LACKING IS WHEN YOU'RE WORKING FOR THE COMPANY, YOU'RE PART OF A TEAM. WHEN YOU'RE A KID IN COLLEGE, IF YOU DON'T SHOW UP FOR CLASSES ON MONDAY, THE ONLY PERSON YOU AFFECT IS YOU. IF YOU DON'T SHOW UP AT WORK, YOU AFFECT THE FOUR OR FIVE OTHER PEOPLE ON YOUR TEAM. WE'RE DOING A GOOD JOB OF THAT IN THE SCHOOLS AND THE WORK FORCE INVESTMENT FORCES HAVE STEPPED UP AND WORKED HARD ON THIS PROBLEM, BUT IT IS A BIG ISSUE, AND IT'S GOING TO TAKE A LOT OF EFFORT AND A LOT OF CONSISTENCY AND CONSTANCY IN THAT EFFORT TO DO THAT. UVM HAS COME A LONG WAY. I REMEMBER BACK IN THE 90s BEING ON A PANEL WITH A UVM PROFESSOR WHERE THE PROFESSOR ESSENTIALLY SAID WE'RE NOT THE TEAM FOR THE VERMONT SERVICE COMMUNITY, BUT VERMONT HAS MADE A LOT OF PROGRESS, AND I APPLAUD THEM FOR IT, AND THEY STEPPED UP TO THE PLATE, TO REALIZE THERE IS IMPORTANT PREPARATORY WORK FOR YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN TO NOT ONLY BECOME GOOD THINKERS BUT ALSO TO BECOME GOOD, RESPONSIBLE, MATURE ADULTS, SHAPING THEM TO BE THAT SO THAT THEY HAVE THE SKILLS THAT THEY NEED TO BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE AND BE PART OF A TEAM. WE'RE MAKING PROGRESS, BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN WE DON'T HAVE A HECK OF A LONG WAY TO GO, AND IT'S EASIER TO RECOGNIZE THIS 24- TO 35-YEAR-OLD PROBLEM WHERE A LOT OF OUR BEST AND BRIGHTEST YOUNG PEOPLE LEAVE. CERTAIN PEOPLE WHO GROW UP IN VERMONT, THEY LEAVE, JUST LIKE THEY DO IN NEW YORK, AND YOU'RE NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO ADDRESS THAT. IF WE CAN FIND A WAY TO MAKE IT ATTRACTIVE FOR THOSE KINDS OF WORKERS -- OR WE'RE ALL GOING TO HAVE TO WORK UNTIL WE'RE 80, AND I DON'T THINK WE WANT TO DO THAT.

>> WHAT DO YOU THINK DOES INCOME AND SALARY PLAY A ROLE IN NOT ATTRACTING YOUNG PEOPLE? I THINK AT THE HEIGHT OF THE RECESSION, VERMONT'S INCOME DROPPED THE MOST IN THE COUNTRY; RIGHT?

>> IT WAS RIGHT UP THERE, YEAH, SURE, AND I THINK SOME OF THAT HAS TO DO WITH THE FACT THAT OUR STATE IS ONE OF THE STATES THAT COMES FROM NONLABOR WAGE SOURCES. THAT HAD TO DO WITH -- NON-LABOR INCOME. THERE IS A LOT OF IT IS HERE. SO I THINK SOME OF IT HAD TO DO WITH THAT, AND HOUSEHOLD INCOME STATISTICS. I DON'T THINK OUR WAGES FELL OFF THAT MUCH, BUT WHEN YOU LOOK AT OUR INCOMES -- AND THAT'S A PROBLEM. IF YOU LOSE DISPOSABLE INCOME, PEOPLE CAN'T PAY, THEY DON'T WANT TO GO OUT TO DINNER, THEY STAY HOME, THAT'S AN ISSUE. BUT I THINK A LOT OF IT HAS TO DO WITH, THERE'S A LOT OF, I THINK, GOOD JOB OPPORTUNITIES, SOME OF THEM GEOGRAPHICALLY MAY NOT BE LOCATED IN THE BEST PLACE. I DON'T KNOW YOUNG PEOPLE WHO ARE BEATING DOWN THE DOORS TO GO TO CERTAIN PARTS OF THE STATE. AROUND BURLINGTON. QUITE FRANKLY, BURLINGTON IS BACKED UP AGAINST NEW YORK CITY, BOSTON, FLORIDA, LOS ANGELES. MAY NOT BE EXCITING ENOUGH FOR SOME OF THE YOUNG PEOPLE. WE'VE RECOGNIZED THE PROBLEM, WE'VE TRIED PROMISE SCHOLARSHIPS, WE'VE TRIED FIGURING OUT WAYS TO DEVELOP SOCIAL NETWORKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE, BECAUSE THAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT TO YOUNG PEOPLE, WHEN THEY GET OUT OF COLLEGE. YOU'RE AT THAT AGE WHERE AM I GOING TO MEET THE PERSON I'M GOING TO SPEND THE REST OF MY LIFE WITH WHERE I'M LIVING? IF THEY DON'T THINK SO, THEY'LL LEAVE. SO WE WANT TO PROVIDE INTERESTING JOBS AND THE TYPE OF ATMOSPHERE WHERE PEOPLE WANT TO LIVE.

>> WE'VE TALKED A LOT ABOUT THE TROUBLING SIGNS IN THE ECONOMY. DO YOU SEE ANY POSITIVE SIGNS?

>> OH, YEAH. I THINK THERE ARE SEVERAL THINGS OUT THERE, AND I KNOW IT DOESN'T SOUND LIKE IT, BUT I'M FAIRLY OBSTACLE -- OPTIMISTIC. IF WE GET THROUGH THE NEXT YEAR WITH RATIONAL OUTCOMES, I THINK THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE ECONOMY TO IMPROVE AND IMPROVE AT RATES THAT ARE MORE CONSISTENT THAN WHAT WE EXPECT ARE VERY POSITIVE.

>> DO YOU MEAN VERMONT'S ECONOMY?

>> U.S. AND VERMONT. UNFORTUNATELY U.S. AND GLOBAL ECONOMIES ARE INEXTRICABLY LINKED TO VERMONT. ECONOMIES ARE POISED TO EXPAND. THERE IS A LITTLE BIT OF A CHICKEN AND EGG PROBLEM. WE'VE DONE A LOT TO REVERSE THE TRANSGRESSIONS THAT GOT US INTO THIS SITUATION, BOTH FINANCIALLY, WITH PEOPLE HAVING TOO MUCH MORTGAGE DEBT -- ALL TYPES OF DEBT, ALL SERVICING OF THE DEBT, DEBT SERVICE INDICATORS, ARE ALL GOING DOWN. IN FACT, THE TOTAL DEBT FOR THE HOUSEHOLD SECTOR IS AT LEVELS OF THE EARLY 80s. SO PEOPLE HAVE THE CAPACITY TO TAKE ON DEBT, THEY HAVE THE CAPACITY TO SPEND, BUT THEY'RE MISSING THE INCLINATION TO SPEND. WE'VE MADE PROGRESS ON THAT. ENERGY PRICES SEEM TO BE EASING BACK RIGHT NOW, AND, YOU KNOW, THE GLOBAL ECONOMY, EVEN THOUGH IT'S SLOWING DOWN, SEEMS TO BE SETTLING IN, PARTICULARLY IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD, INTO A MORE SUSTAINABLE -- JOB GROWTH, THE CHINESE RIGHT NOW ARE GOING APOPLEPTIC ABOUT THEIR SLOWDOWN, BUT THERE ARE OPPORTUNITIES FOR OUR ECONOMY TO GROW. WE HAVE A VERY STRONG VESTED INCOME IN A POSITIVE OUTCOME IN EUROPE. I THINK PEOPLE ARE STARTING TO UNDERSTAND THAT ARE IN THE POSITIONS OF CONTROL, THE GERMANS IN PARTICULAR, THAT SOMETHING REALLY FUNDAMENTALLY HAS TO BE DONE TO DEAL WITH THE CURRENCY CRISIS, DEAL WITH THE BANKING CRISIS THAT STILL SEEMS TO BE UNFOLDING THERE. IF WE HAVE A POSITIVE OUTCOME THERE, THEN I THINK -- AND IF WE CAN RELY ON OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS IN WASHINGTON TO DEAL WITH SOME OF THESE ISSUES, DEAL WITH THE DEBT CEILING, DEAL WITH THE FISCAL -- THE SEQUESTRATION IS IMPORTANT, HOW IT'S GOING TO AFFECT DEFENSE CONTRACTORS, AND VERMONT IS HEAVILY INVESTED IN DEFENSE CONTRACTING, AND WE WANT NEW ENGLAND TO DO WELL, BECAUSE THOSE FOLKS MAKE GOOD VACATION MARKETS. PEOPLE IN BOSTON AND NEW YORK HAVE VACATION HOMES IN VERMONT. I'M 57 YEARS OLD, AND I HAVE BEEN AFROWNED A LONG TIME, BUT I'M STILL OPTIMISTIC. I THINK OUR ELECTED LEADERS IN WASHINGTON WILL DO THE RIGHT THING WHEN THEY FACE THE NEED TO, AND WHEN WE GET PAST THE ELECTION SEASON.

>> THANK YOU FOR JOINING US, JEFF CARR.

>> HAVE A GREAT SUNDAY. THANKS FOR WATCHING. CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY CAPTION ASSOCIATES, LLC

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