Taxidermist Steve Bushey takes measurements at his shop in St. Albans.

Taxidermists are key for the hunting economy

ST. ALBANS — Milton resident Ed Poirier handed the white trash bag filled with antlers and innards to Steve Bushey, and told Bushey the story of how he bagged that huge, 11-point buck out in Kentucky, in early November.
Bushey is used to this by now — and he loves it.
“This is the crazy time of year, but it’s the great time of year,” said Bushey, owner of Top of The Knoll Taxidermy, in St. Albans.

Gwen Pokalo, the program manager of the Vermont Center for Women & Enterprise, is shown at CWE’s new office in Burlington.

Center for Women & Enterprise opens new resource center

BURLINGTON — The Center for Women & Enterprise, a regional nonprofit economic development organization, has opened its office in the Maltex Building in Burlington’s South End. Gwen Pokalo, program manager of Vermont CWE, said the office will house the Vermont Women’s Business Center, which is federally funded through a Small Business Administration (SBA) grant. The grant funds a center to provide technical assistance to businesses throughout every stage of development. Vermont is the newest office for CWE, which also operates centers in Boston, Central Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. CWE was founded in 1995 in Boston.

Group helps drive new business in Vt.

BARRE — Capstone Community Action’s Micro Business Development program helped 18 people launch new businesses in central Vermont this year. Altogether, those businesses created 34 full-time jobs in Lamoille, Orange and Washington counties and helped provide access to $841,300 in financing through local banks and credit unions. With the program — now in its third decade — Capstone also provided established businesses with marketing and financial guidance about expanding their current product or service lines. About 200 people received technical assistance and other support from Capstone’s program this year. “Micro-business development is an extremely effective and cost-efficient job creator and community economic development engine,” Capstone’s Executive Director Dan H. Hoxworth said in a statement.

Jeff Parsons, of Arrowwood Environmental, stands at a field in Leicester.

Environmental job exercises problem-solving skills

Being an environmental consultant, a job which often involves helping clients with permits for projects, certainly involves more time in the outdoors than a number of jobs and provides the chance to apply scientific knowledge out in the field. However, the work also involves giving the client some tough news when a costly project will have to get more costly, or at least more cumbersome, in order to comply with Vermont’s wetland regulations. Many times, these consultants take on a problem-solving role, in making sure permit requirements are met while also trying to meet a client’s goals — if the latter is possible. Jeff Parsons, one of four principals with Arrowwood Environmental, has worked as an environmental consultant for 30 years. The company, which started in 2000, is based in Huntington and has two home offices — Parsons works from his home in Lowell.

Jobs Fund taps board members

MONTPELIER — Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund recently named three new members to its board of directors: Sara Gilbert of Rutland City, Nate Hausman of Montpelier and Shelly Martin of Morristown. Gilbert is an assistant director at Rutland Economic Development Corp. and former director of business development at NeighborWorks of Western Vermont. She co-founded Rutland Young Professionals, which launched the Young Professionals Summit of Vermont in 2015. Hausman is a project manager for Clean Energy Group and the Clean Energy States Alliance, primarily focused on solar energy policy.

VPT, HITEC bring program into second year

SWANTON — Vermont Precision Tools in Swanton and the nonprofit group Vermont HITEC, Inc., are bringing back an education program for its second year. This education and apprenticeship program is designed to bring additional machine operator jobs to Vermont over the next several months following a previous program this spring. A machine operator is responsible for the operation of various cylindrical grinding machines as well as the operation of computer-controlled equipment. The program provides free education and one year of on-site mentoring through an apprenticeship at Vermont Precision Tools. It is designed for unemployed and underemployed Vermont residents.

Tim McBain, owner of Mendon Mini Golf & Snack Bar, weeds out a section of the course Wednesday afternoon.

Mini golf fun takes lots of work

In the world of outdoor family entertainment, mini golf is a decades-old tradition and remains popular in Vermont. While it provides fun for all ages, it also requires a lot of work for the owner. Pathways, greens, painted bridges and decorative buildings all require constant maintenance — not to mention caring for the plants, flowers and water areas. Oftentimes, these courses are part of a business model offering multiple entertainment options. One of the longstanding mini golf courses in Vermont is at the Essex Family Fun & Entertainment Center, where Manager David Levin-Walker oversees day-to-day operations and staff.

BMH hosts job fair June 14

BRATTLEBORO — Brattleboro Memorial Hospital will host a job fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 14 to fill several housekeeping positions. The event will take place in the hospital’s human resources department on the third floor of the Dunham Building. Contact Diane Cooke at 257-3199 or dcooke@bmhvt.org for more information about the job fair or other career opportunities at the hospital.

Teresa Miele works remotely from the Coffee Exchange in downtown Rutland recently.

Rutland County resident grows new HR business

After 20 years in the business, Teresa Miele knows how to deal with human resources issues in a variety of situations — including in times of crisis. Miele recently started HR Acquired, her own independent HR business — nearly two years after a fire destroyed the Rutland Plywood facility where she had led the HR department since 2013. After the fire, Miele led the efforts to connect former Rutland Plywood workers with state and regional employment services to get their careers back on track. At least a dozen different agencies were involved. “We brought in a lot of resources for folks to help them transition,” she said.

Philo Marcotte demonstrates how to shear a sheep with hand blades at a recent event at Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock.

Family carries on sheep-shearing tradition

Sheep-shearing is a Vermont tradition that’s been passed down for generations, and that trend is alive and well in Craig Marcotte’s family. Marcotte, 64, continues to shear sheep across Vermont and New England after 42 years in the business. His son, Philo, is also in the business, and grandchildren Owen, 10, and Aden, 12, are building up their skills, too, with guidance from Marcotte and his son. That whole family crew joined Marcotte at a recent sheep-shearing demonstration at Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock. His 4-year-old granddaughter, Abilene, was all smiles as Marcotte and his son set up equipment for the event.