February2012January2012February2011January2012February2011 Total Labor Force360,700360,600360,200100500Employment342,900342,300339,0006003,900Unemployment17,80018,20021,200-400-3,400Rate (%)184.108.40.206-0.2-1.0Vermont’s labor force, employment and unemployment statistics are produced from a combination of a Statewide survey of households and statistical modeling. The data are produced by the Local Area Unemployment Statistics Program (LAUS) a cooperative program with the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Vermont Department of Labor.through ‘On the Job Training’ programs where the worker’s salary costs can be paid by federal money? Can we help place Vermont Veterans or long-term unemployed Vermonters into jobs and match the employer up with the tax incentives or hiring bonus programs? Can we put college students and recent graduates into internships whereby the employer has a chance to see the student on the job and make an offer if they think it’s working out well? We have to move the agenda on job creation in all areas of the state, to ensure that all Vermonters have a secure and decent paying job,’ said Department of Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan. State of Vermont Overview February unemployment rates for Vermont’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 3.3 percent in Warren-Waitsfield to 9.4 percent in Newport (note: local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted). For comparison, the February unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was 5.5 percent which reflects a decrease of two-tenths of a percent from the January level and a decline of nine-tenths of a percent from a year ago. Analysis of Job Changes by Industry The preliminary ‘not seasonally adjusted’ jobs estimates for February show an increase of 2,750 jobs when compared to the revised January numbers. This reported over the month change does not include the 550 job decrease between the preliminary and the revised January estimates due to the inclusion of more data. The broader economic trends can be detected by focusing on the changes between February 2012 and February 2011 as detailed in the preliminary ‘not seasonally adjusted’ February data. Within the last year, Total Private industries have increased by 1.9 percent (4,700 jobs) while Government has shed employment (-1,400 jobs or -2.5 percent). Per the over the year changes, Professional & Business Services (+2,000 jobs or +8.6 percent) and Education & Health Services (1,700 jobs or 2.9 percent) have reported above average growth. The seasonally adjusted data for February reports an increase of 1,300 jobs from the revised January data. As with the ‘not seasonally adjusted’ data, this over the month change is from the revised January numbers which experienced a downward revision from the preliminary estimates by 300 jobs. A review of the seasonally adjusted February numbers reflects that Vermont’s Private Industries reported an increase of 1,100 jobs while Total Government reported an increase of 200 jobs. Professional & Business Services had the largest nominal over the month job change reporting an increase of 700 jobs. Manufacturing reported an increase of 300 jobs while Leisure & Hospitality declined by an equal amount (-300 jobs). State unemployment data show continuing positive trendsState-level employment and unemployment data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics continue to show improving labor market conditions throughout the United States. From November 2011 to February 2012, unemployment rates in 46 states and the District of Columbia declined. Unemployment increased in only two states: New York (+0.3 percentage points) and New Mexico (+0.1 percentage points). However, these increases reflect growth in the labor market, as both states have had positive employment growth over the same period. Maine’s and South Dakota’s unemployment rates stayed unchanged. (Click here for interactive state maps)Over the past year, unemployment rates have decreased at least 1 percentage point in 17 states. Unemployment has declined by 1.5 percentage points or more in five of those states: Alabama, Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee and Utah. During this period, there was positive job growth in all but seven states: Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. Wisconsin experienced the largest employment loss of 16,900 jobs ‘ larger than the other six states’ job losses combined.While the latest figures are an encouraging sign that a broader economic recovery is underway, unemployment still remains high in many parts of the country. Three states (California, Nevada, and Rhode Island) continue to have unemployment rates above 10.0 percent, while 10 states plus the District of Columbia have rates of 9.0 percent or more. State-level economic conditions are always vulnerable to policy choices in Washington, DC. The Ryan budget proposal and the Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget for All offer starkly different paths forward for state economies. The former would shift health care costs onto states, reduce federal support of state unemployment insurance and cut funding for critical investments in state infrastructure. The latter offers a plan that would protect the middle class, provide sound economic stewardship and maintain the federal support needed for all states to experience a full recovery.EPI posts this and other economic indicators on The State of Working America web site, updated when new data are released. About EPI The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) is an independent, nonprofit think tank that researches the impact of economic trends and policies on working people in the United States. Changes From Vermont jobs and total labor force are up, while the number of jobless is down. The Vermont Department of Labor has announced that the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate for February 2012 was 4.9 percent, a decrease of two-tenths of a percent from the revised January rate. At 4.9 percent, Vermont’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is below 5.0 percent for the first time since October 2008. The comparable national rate for February 2012 is 8.3 percent; which held steady from the previous month. The seasonally adjusted Vermont data show the total Vermont labor force increased by 100. Total employment increased by 600 while total unemployment decreased by 400.‘Vermont’s latest numbers for our unemployment rate – at 4.9 percent – places our state at the 4th lowest unemployment rate in the country. That’s great news, but we must still focus on helping job seekers in those counties where regional unemployment numbers are still too high, such as Caledonia, Bennington, Lamoille, Grand Isle, Rutland and the Kingdom. VDOL will be contacting the regional workforce development groups to see what can be done to help stimulate job opportunities. Could we convince employers to hire people Vermont Labor Force Statistics (Seasonally Adjusted) VTDOL 3.28.2012
Over the last two decades, there has been growing concern that very high rates of modern extinction — loss of plant and animal species due to habitat destruction, overharvesting and other human-caused environmental changes — could reduce natureâ s ability to provide goods and services that people need, “like food, fuel, carbon storage, clean water, and habitat,” says the University of Vermontâ s Carol Adair.But itâ s been unclear how these species losses stack up against other human-caused environmental changes that affect ecosystem productivity.Now, a new study in the journal Nature provides a sobering answer: extinction of plant and animal species appears to damage ecosystem health as much as climate change, pollution and other major forms of environmental stress.The study — led by an international research team, including UVMâ s Adair — was published May 2.Species matterThe study is the first comprehensive effort to directly compare the impacts of biological diversity loss to the anticipated effects of a host of other human-caused environmental changes.The results highlight the need for stronger local, national and international efforts to protect biodiversity and the benefits it provides, according to the researchers, who are based at nine institutions in the United States, Canada and Sweden.”The take-home message is that loss of species is as important as climate change and pollution,” says UVMâ s Adair, an expert on global change in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. “When weâ re working on solving these other problems we should make sure the solutions donâ t negatively impact biodiversity.””These extinctions may well rank as one of the top five drivers of global change,” said Brad Cardinale, a University of Michgan ecologist and co-author on the study.”Some people have assumed that biodiversity effects are relatively minor compared to other environmental stressors,” said biologist David Hooper of Western Washington University, the lead author of the new paper. “Our new results show that future loss of species has the potential to reduce plant production just as much as global warming and pollution.”Global synthesisIn their study, Hooper and colleagues used combined data from a large number of published studies to compare how various global environmental stressors affect two processes important in all ecosystems: plant growth and the decomposition of dead plants by bacteria and fungi. The new study, funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, involved the construction of a database drawn from 192 peer-reviewed publications about experiments that manipulated species richness and examined the impact on ecosystem processes.This global synthesis found that in areas where local species loss this century falls within the lower range of projections (loss of 1 to 20 percent of plant species), very few impacts on plant growth will result, and changes in species richness will rank low relative to the impacts projected for other environmental changes.In ecosystems where species losses fall within intermediate projections (21 to 40 percent of species), however, species loss is expected to reduce plant growth by 5 to 10 percent, an effect that is comparable to the expected impacts of climate warming and increased ultraviolet radiation due to stratospheric ozone loss.At higher levels of extinction (41 to 60 percent of species), the impacts of species loss ranked with those of many other major drivers of environmental change, such as ozone pollution, acid deposition on forests and nutrient pollution.”Within the range of expected species losses, we saw average declines in plant growth that were as large as changes seen in experiments simulating several other major environmental changes caused by humans,” Hooper said.”I was surprised, and most of the people in the study were surprised, to see species loss rank up there with all these other changes,” UVMâ s Adair said.Policy pointsThe strength of the observed biodiversity effects suggests that policymakers searching for solutions to other pressing environmental problems should be aware of potential adverse effects on biodiversity, as well, the researchers said.”For example, one of the things we can do about climate change is to use biofuels,” say Adair, “but some biofuels incentives result in rainforest destruction — palm oil plantations and soybeans instead of rainforests — so youâ re losing diversity.” Instead, Adair points towards several international projects that seek to decrease greenhouse gas loads and also preserve biodiversity.Still to be determined is how diversity loss and other large-scale environmental changes will interact to alter ecosystems. “The biggest challenge looking forward,” said J. Emmett Duffy of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, a co-author of the paper, “is to predict the combined impacts of these environmental challenges to natural ecosystems and to society.”This story is adapted from materials prepared by Jim Erickson at the University of Michigan.Related Link: Nature Study – http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature11118.html(link is external)
Franklin Foods Inc,Franklin Foods, the fastest-growing cream cheese producer in the world with over 100 years of making cream cheese, announced today that Green Mountain Farms Greek Cream Cheese will be available nationwide at Walmart Stores across the US. It went on sale March 1, 2013. A new choice for Greek Yogurt and cream cheese lovers alike, Franklin Foods’ patented formula is made with a combination of Greek Yogurt and premium cream cheese and is produced with farm fresh milk and cream in Enosburg Falls, Vermont.The news of the expanded distribution is perfectly timed to take advantage of a renewed focus on lighter eating choices for the spring season. Green Mountain Farms Greek Cream Cheese delivers twice the protein and fifty percent less fat than traditional cream cheese, and contains live and active cultures. Franklin Food’s Greek Cream Cheese 8oz bar is great for home chefs and can be used in any recipe calling for cream cheese (Cheesecake with 1/2 the fat and 2x the protein). Franklin Food’s Greek Cream Cheese is also available in 8oz and 12oz soft tubs and 8oz whipped tubs.Franklin Food’s patented formulation allows for easy spreading on bagels, crackers, fruits and vegetables for healthy, quick and easy snacking, making it a great substitute for traditional cream cheese.”We are seeing a huge rise in popularity for Greek foods, driven by the popularity of the Mediterranean diet and a move toward a balanced, simpler, and more pleasurable way of eating,” said Jon Gutknecht, CEO of Franklin Foods. “We are thrilled to bring these authentic Mediterranean qualities to the cream cheese market and announce our expanded distribution with Walmart, which helps bring Franklin Foods Greek Cream Cheese to a much wider audience.”Green Mountain Farms Greek Cream Cheese is available nationwide at over 5000 retailers including Walmart, Stop & Shop, Giant Food Stores, Giant and Giant Eagle. Green Mountain Farms Greek Cream Cheese is located in the dairy case in the cream cheese section at retailers for SRP: $2.29 – $3.29. For more information visit www.eatgreekcreamcheese.com(link is external).About Franklin FoodsFranklin Foods, Inc., corporate offices are located in Delray Beach, FL, with manufacturing facilities in Enosburg Falls, Vermont and Casa Grande, AZ. Franklin Foods is a Safe Quality Foods (SQF) Level 3 Certified manufacturer. Franklin Foods began producing cheese in 1899 using fresh milk and cream from nearby farms. Today, the Franklin Foods tradition of top quality, delicious taste and dairy innovation continues. Franklin Foods is the fastest growing cream cheese producer in the World and continues on its mission to “Re-Invent Cream Cheese® for today’s consumers.” Franklin Foods’ award-winning products are distributed to industrial, institutional, foodservice, private label, supermarket and club store accounts across the United States and numerous international markets. For more information visit: www.franklinfoods.com(link is external)DELRAY BEACH, FL–(Marketwire – March 04, 2013) – Franklin Foods, Inc
A new analysis from HealthPocket, Inc of early health insurance rate filings finds that the least expensive plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have higher out-of-pocket costs for consumers compared to current plans in the individual and family insurance market. While most states have yet to publish their rates, “Bronze Plan” filings fromCalifornia, Connecticut, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington indicate that for these entry level plans consumers may pay more in deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance for their medical services than they do now.*Catastrophic plans are required by the Affordable Care Act and may only be offered to young adults under age 30. Note that parents may cover their young adult children up to age 26 on a family policy.Initial Monthly Rates Filed for Standard QHPs for 2014 Plan YearSingle Couple Parent and Child(ren) Family^ High-Deductible Health PlanSEE PRELIMINARY RATE FILINGS FOR VERMONT HEREBased on a review of over 9,500 health plans in the current individual and family health insurance market, copayments for doctor visits were estimated at $28 on average. In comparison, Bronze Plans averaged a$41 copayment ‘an increase of 46 percent. The lowest Bronze Plan copayment for a doctor was $15and the highest was $60. For doctor visits where a coinsurance fee is charged instead of a flat fee copayment, the current national average is 24 percent. Bronze Plans that charge coinsurance averaged 27 percent, an increase of 13 percent.The analysis also revealed that changes are coming to how deductibles work for doctor visits and that there will be significant increases in average plan deductibles. In the current pre-reform market, 37 percent of health plans include doctor visits as part of the deductible. For the new Bronze Plan filings, 84 percent had doctor visits subject to the deductible. For Bronze Plan consumers this means they are likely to be charged the full amount for some doctor visits until they have met their plans’ deductible. In California, however, it is standard plan design that the deductible will not be applied for the first three doctor visits. In the seven states where HealthPocket examined rate filings, the current average medical deductible was$3,589. In those same states, the Bronze Plans’ average medical deductible was 26 percent higher at$4,509.”We know that consumers’ number one concern about health insurance is what they will have to pay for it,” said Kev Coleman, head of research & data at HealthPocket. “People shopping for insurance need to worry about two things: the cost of their monthly premium and what out-of-pocket costs they face. By considering both factors together rather than in isolation from one another, consumers can make the best financial decision for their healthcare.”HealthPocket selected the Bronze Plan as the focus of its investigation since it is the least expensive level health plan within the Affordable Care Act and, accordingly, expected to be the most popular among cost-conscious consumers. For most people without group insurance from an employer or other group, the Bronze plan is the minimum health insurance plan in which they can enroll that will satisfy the Affordable Care Act’s mandate for people to purchase health insurance.The results of the study were derived from qualified health plan rate filings within the individual and family health insurance market for the calendar year beginning January 1, 2014. Data on cost-sharing for currently available health plans was collected on June 11, 2013 from 9,727 health plans within the individual & family health insurance market.This HealthPocket InfoStat is part of a series using health plan data to produce unbiased market analysis and guidance for consumers navigating America’s changing health insurance environment. More information about out-of-pocket costs and Bronze Plans can be found at www.HealthPocket.com(link is external).About HealthPocketHealthPocket.com is a free website that compares and ranks all health plans available to an individual, family, or small business, so everyone can make their best health plan decision and save on their out-of-pocket costs. The Company uses only objective data from government, nonprofit, and private sources that carry no conditions that might restrict the site from serving as an unbiased resource. The founders ofHealthPocket.com spent decades pioneering online access to health insurance information and knew they could offer something different that can positively change how people buy and use healthcare in the U.S. Learn more at www.HealthPocket.com(link is external).SOURCE SUNNYVALE, Calif., June 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — HealthPocket
Vermont State Police One lane of I-89 in Highgate has been re-opened. Today at approximately 12:12 pm, the Vermont State Police received a 911 call regarding a plane crash on Interstate 89 in the northbound lane, near mile marker 125, north of exit 21 in the town of Highgate. Initial reports indicated the single passenger plane was fully engulfed in flames and someone parachuted out prior to crashing.According to WCAX-TV: (link is external)”Northbound traffic on I-89 was stopped at Exit 21 in Swanton all the way to the Canadian border for nearly an hour before one lane reopened. The second lane remained closed until about 3 p.m. as crews work to remove the burned-out wreckage of the single-passenger plane from the highway.”1:22 pm: Emergency responders remain on scene of today’s aircraft crash near mile marker 125, just north of Exit 21, Interstate 89.First responders indicate that the plane crashed adjacent to the interstate; impacting traffic safety and thereby causing traffic to be delayed and rerouted. Crews have reopened a single lane of travel, northbound; however the right lane may be closed for an extended period of time.Responders also have verified that the single occupant of the aircraft, the pilot, sustained minor injuries after parachuting to safety and is being provided medical treatment.Members from the Vermont State Police Bureau of Investigation, along with Vermont Agency of Transportation, are responding to the scene. The Federal Aviation Administration, out of the Maine office, has been notified and will conduct a further investigation.1:10 pm: One lane on I-89 has reopened to traffic, the right-hand land is expected to remain closed for an extended period still. Further details on the crash are not yet available.12:22 pm: Traffic will be redirected off the interstate, while emergency crews extinguish the fire and provide medical care. Please find alternative routes.At this time we cannot confirm injuries, occupants, type of plane, cause of the crash… or any other details until the scene is rendered safe and crews are able to initiate an investigation.Updates will be provided as possible.Highgate, VT – 04/18/14 – Vermont State Police
by Laura Krantz vtdigger.org(link is external) It could soon be illegal to sell or possess powdered alcohol in Vermont after the Senate on Tuesday approved an amendment calling for more information about the new product. Federal regulators this month gave and then rescinded approval of Palcohol, which is mixed with water to create an alcoholic beverage. Palcohol also carries a warning against snorting the product, USA Today reported.(link is external) The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, part of the Treasury Department, said its vote was in error.Worried about the potential abuse of powdered alcohol in Vermont, Sen. Kevin Mullin, R-Rutland, proposed an amendment to study the substance and make sale and possession illegal until officials know more.“This is a product that could be used very unwisely,” Mullin said.The amendment is tacked onto S.299,(link is external) a bill about alcohol sales that allows restaurants to sell flights of beer, wine or liquor.Screenshot from CBS This Morning.A study of powdered alcohol must be complete by January 15, 2015, the amendment says. The Commissioner of Liquor Control along with the Department of Health will do the study, the amendment says.Mullin said the company that makes Palcohol plans to reapply for approval in the fall.Until the study is complete, the amendment imposes fines and potential prison time on people who possess or sell powdered alcohol. The fine for possession is up to $500. The penalty for selling is up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, or both.Sen. Peter Galbraith, D-Windham, Tuesday on the Senate floor accused Mullin’s committee of not researching powdered alcohol thoroughly before proposing an amendment. Powdered alcohol is legal in Japan, Germany and the Netherlands, he said.“I’m not in anyway endorsing or approving this product,” Galbraith said.Galbraith proposed his own amendment, removing the jail penalty. It failed.
Keurig Dr Pepper,Vermont Business Magazine Keurig Green Mountain, Inc, (Keurig) (NASDAQ: GMCR), a personal beverage system company that has revolutionized the way consumers create and enjoy beverages, today announced the launch of Green Mountain Coffee® Coffeehouse, a new collection of beverages featuring café-inspired cappuccinos, lattes, and macchiatos. The specialty line of products draws upon the Green Mountain Coffee® heritage as a small-batch roaster and coffee shop combined with the ease and simplicity of the Keurig hot brewing system.The Green Mountain Coffee® Coffeehouse collection allows consumers to make a delicious, frothed café-style beverage at home. The two-step process is easy: simply empty the froth packet into a mug, brew the K-Cup® pod and enjoy! Coffeehouse two-step beverages are made with Fair Trade Certified™ coffee, sugar, skim milk, cream and sea salt and contain no artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors or preservatives. Coffeehouse is available in three irresistible flavors: smooth and flavorful Cappuccino(link is external), buttery and rich Salted Caramel Macchiato(link is external) and sweet and creamy Vanilla Latte(link is external).“Green Mountain Coffee takes pride in its roots as a local Vermont roaster and coffee shop that created distinctively delicious coffee house beverages,” said Tom Ferguson, Senior Vice President, US Hot Beverages at Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. “With the new Green Mountain Coffee Coffeehouse collection, we drew on that longstanding coffee expertise and the innovation of Keurig simplicity to create the barista experience you love, at home, at the touch of a button.”Consumers looking to enjoy the new Green Mountain Coffee® Coffeehouse collection can find it in 9-count boxes of K-Cup® pods and froth packets for $11.99 at www.keurig.com/green-mountain-coffee-coffeehouse(link is external).The Green Mountain Coffee® Coffeehouse collection joins the over 575 different beverages and 80+ brands in the Keurig Green Mountain family. For 35 years Green Mountain Coffee® has been a leader in specialty coffee, finding and roasting the highest quality coffee in the world while building strong, lasting relationships with the farmers who grow it.WATERBURY, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE(link is external))–11.5.2015
Vermont Business Magazine At its 29th Annual Membership Meeting held at The Essex Resort and Spa, the Vermont Business Roundtable elected eight new directors to their first three-year term, including: John Brumsted, The University of Vermont Health Network; Dimitri Garder, Global-Z International; Scott Giles, Vermont Student Assistance Corporation; John Killacky, Flynn Center for the Performing Arts; Stephanie Mapes, Paul Frank + Collins; Paul Ode, Downs Rachlin and Martin; Tom Sullivan, The University of Vermont; and Larry Williams, Redstone. Elected to their second three-year term were the following directors: Renee Bourget-Place, KPMG; Pierre LeBlanc, Engelberth Construction; Leslee MacKenzie, Coldwell Banker Hickok Boardman Realty; Paul Millman, Chroma Technology; and Michael Seaver, People’s United Bank.Continuing members of the Roundtable board are: Jill Berry Bowen, Northwestern Medical Center; Tom Dee, Southwestern Vermont Health Care; Mark Foley, Foley Services; Walter Frame, Trapp Family Lodge; Don George, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont; Geoff Glaspie, Husky Injection Molding; Judy O’Connell, Champlain Investment Partners; Bill Shouldice IV, Vermont Teddy Bear; Win Smith, Sugarbush Resort; Mike Walsh, Hackett Valine & MacDonald; and, John Wilking, Neville Companies.Officers for the new year include: Win Smith, Chair; Michael Seaver, Vice Chair; Renee Bourget-Place, Treasurer; Mark Foley, Secretary; and Lisa Ventriss, President.The Roundtable is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of CEOs from Vermont’s top private and nonprofit employers, representing geographic diversity and all major sectors of the Vermont economy and employing more than 10 percent of the state’s workforce. The Roundtable is committed to sustaining a sound economy and preserving Vermont’s unique quality of life by studying and making recommendations on statewide public policy issues.
Vermont Business Magazine Bernie Sanders on Saturday congratulated Hillary Clinton on her victory in Nevada’s closely-contested caucuses and looked ahead to carrying his campaign for the White House to primaries and caucuses across the country. With 95 percent of precincts reporting by Sunday morning, Clinton won 19 delegates with 52.7 percent of the vote and Sanders won 15 delegates with 47.2 percent of the vote, according to the Associated Press.“I just spoke to Secretary Clinton and congratulated her on her victory here in Nevada. I am very proud of the campaign we ran. Five weeks ago we were 25 points behind and we ended up in a very close election. And we probably will leave Nevada with a solid share of the delegates,” Sanders said.“I am also proud of the fact that we have brought many working people and young people into the political process and believe that we have the wind at our back as we head toward Super Tuesday. I want to thank the people of Nevada for their support that they have given us and the boost that their support will give us as we go forward,” Sanders added.The Nevada outcome follows Sanders’ 22-point victory on February 9 in New Hampshire and a virtual tie on February 1 in Iowa. The contest moves next to South Carolina, where Democrats vote on February 27, and then to states across the country.
Champlain College,Champlain College Report Card: Are we financially illiterate? Was our lack of financial acumen a cause of the Great Recession of 2008 and does it continue to undermine our nation’s economic health? Unfortunately, the answer is yes to all of these questions, but until now, the extent of our financial ignorance had not been quantified. The 2016 National Report Card on Adult Financial Literacy, released Monday by the Center for Financial Literacy(link is external) at Champlain College(link is external), shows that adults in America earned just a C grade. Vermont got a “B” and finished ninth best. More than three-quarters of adults live in states with poor grades. This means that too many adults are deficient in financial knowledge and skills, which leads them to make uninformed and often poor decisions about their money.John Pelletier, executive director of Champlain College’s Center for Financial Literacy, says the report card assesses the problem nationally, and gives grades to each state based on data gleaned from national organizations that track Americans’ financial knowledge, credit, saving and spending, retirement readiness, investing, and levels of insurance.“The goal of this report is to inform,” says Pelletier. “We need to make adult personal finance education a priority among policymakers, financial institutions, the educational establishment and others, so that we can begin to build a financially savvy citizenry.”Pelletier says the challenge is educating the millions of Americans who misuse credit, don’t save for a rainy day or for retirement, don’t pay their bills on time or have a budget, or know how to invest or plan for the future.“The first step in addressing this challenge is to gauge our financial illiteracy, and that it what this report does,” he says. “Our hope is that the facts will motivate efforts to improve personal finance education for adults in this nation. It’s important to individuals, families and our nation.”No state earned an A grade. The Center’s research team used a relative grading system, so even those states with A- or other high grades are merely the best among a group of low-performing states. “In other words,” Pelletier notes, “our report shows that our nation has dramatic room for improvement, so one should not be misled by grades.”To arrive at the relative grades, 59 data points were drawn from 18 national organizations. To view the full report, click here(link is external). To view any state fact sheet, click the state on the map. Source: December 12, 2016 BURLINGTON, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE(link is external))–Champlain College