Blog

April 6, 2020

The first of several topical resource guides for navigating life during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find all of our COVID-19 resources at http://women.vermont.gov/covid19.

ECONOMIC SUPPORT FOR INDIVIDUALS & FAMILIES

Access to Food

Hunger Free VT is putting together outreach materials and will be updating their website to keep everyone in the loop with any important changes to school meal programs, 3SquaresVT, and other nutrition programs. 

Vermont Food Bank offers hunger relief during COVID-19 and information about how to access the food you need.

3SquaresVT - Has your household lost pay? Have your childcare expenses increased? You could be eligible to receive a 3SquaresVT benefit or increase the benefit you already receive.

Senior Helpline by AgeWell at 1-800-642-5119 - Toll-free and confidential aging resource in Vermont for information and assistance.

Senior Meal Site Map - Many senior meal sites in Vermont are still operating, but instead of community meals there are take-out meals. Contact your local site on this list to make arrangements for a meal.

Vermont WIC Updates about temporary changes including phone meetings and an expanded food list since some WIC foods are hard to find right now.

Emergency loans

North Country Federal Credit Union is offering existing members whose income is affected by COVID-19 loans of up to $5,000. www.northcountry.org

VSECU is offering a $2,000 loan with a 24-month loan term and an annual percentage rate APR as low as 0% to help any Vermonter.

US Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program

Forbearance Programs

The Vermont Public Utility Commission ordered a temporary moratorium on involuntary natural gas, electric and telecommunications service disconnections. This means that if you are not able to make your payments for natural gas, electricity or land-line telephones, you will not be shut off. However, charges will still accrue during this time.

Student Loan Forbearance info from the U.S. Department of Education

VSAC Student Loan Forbearance info 

Housing 

Department of Children and Families is extending housing supports for homeless individuals

Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition Updates about policy changes, resources, and closures related to housing amid COVID-19.

Vermont Housing Finance Agency’s COVID-19 updates on Affordable Housing 

Public Assistance 

The Agency of Commerce and Community Development provides updated information on Unemployment Insurance, Housing, and Financial Assistance

Department of Children & Families, Economic Services Division is waiving in-person contact requirements for state government benefits programs. Apply online or by phone at 1-800-479-6151.

Economic Services COVID-19 page provides updates from ESD including guidance for visitors.

Vermont Legal Aid has created a COVID-19 page with info on evictions, health care, 3 squares, etc.

Vermont WIC Updates on coronavirus from the Vermont Department of Health including phone meetings and an expanded food list.

Tax Changes

VT State Tax Filing Deadline Extended to July 15, 2020

Stimulus Package 

IRS guidance on the Federal Economic Impact Payments, which are an advance on a new tax credit for 2020, will be distributed in the coming weeks. 

The Vermont Department of Labor provides information on how the stimulus package, or CARES Act, will impact Vermonters. 

Unemployment Insurance

The Department of Labor has issued guidance for Employers and Employees, including information on the impact of the CARES Act on unemployment insurance benefits, employee sick-time and other issues as a result of COVID-19. 

Establish an initial Unemployment Insurance Claim by phone at 1-877-214-3330 or 1-888-807-7072 or online

The Full-Service Unemployment Insurance Claims Center can be reached at 1-877-214-3330.
 

March 27, 2020

Equal Pay Day is coming up Tuesday, March 31st, and it's more important than ever to draw attention to the ways women are uniquely economically impacted during these hard times. Hannah Lane has provided a great overview of the relevant points from the CTS report, and busted any myths non-believers may still hold dear. You can read the commentary here.

 

March 26, 2020

For Immediate Release Thursday, March 26, 2020

Montpelier, VT — Tuesday, March 31st is National Equal Pay Day, symbolizing the fact that the average American woman must work three months into 2020 to earn what the average American man made in 2019. 

In Vermont the median annual income for women who work full-time is $41,146.  That’s about $8,000 less than the median annual salary of men, equating to a loss or a “wage gap” of 16 cents to every dollar earned. While the gender wage gap in Vermont has narrowed over time, progress is slow: in 2007, the wage gap was about 16 cents on the dollar. Since then it has risen almost as much as it has dropped. 

Every year, advocates call attention to the wage gap on this day and to the factors that contribute to it.  Policymakers focus on this as well, even this year.  In advance of Equal Pay Day, Governor Scott issued a Proclamation, which states,  “We must work to improve the intersecting factors of bias, discrimination, and gender expectations that contribute to the wage gap, including pay differences between men's and women's traditional occupations, women's time out of the workforce to meet unequal family responsibilities, and the disproportionate impacts of sexual harassment and intimate partner violence.”

Women’s full-time earnings in Vermont are lower than men’s in every county, at every education level, and at every age. The differences are more pronounced for women of color and those living with disabilities.   The wage gap still exists in even female-dominated professions, like those currently on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, who can’t work from home, like nurses, psychiatric and home health aides, and grocery store cashiers.

“Of course, in addition to the wage gap, we’re concerned about income and job loss for Vermont women and their families, and the long term economic impact of COVID-19,” said Cary Brown, Executive Director of the Vermont Commission on Women. “We know from our partnership initiative Change The Story VT’s latest report, Women, Work, and Wages in Vermont, that women make up 53.5% of Vermonters who earn less than $11.00 an hour.  Those women aren’t students; their median age is 38 years old, and 28% have at least some post-secondary education.  We also know from this research that over 81% of Vermont’s tipped workers are women -  the highest rate in the nation.  Lower-wage and tipped workers are experiencing dramatic income and job loss as businesses close to prevent coronavirus spread.”   

March 18, 2020

Vermonters are struggling as we face enormous change and uncertainty with the emerging COVID-19 pandemic. As difficult as it may be, you are not alone. Find information, help, and resources to get you through, as well as ways to get involved and help others. Find help and resources and explore ways to give!
 

March 12, 2020

<Sharing PC Construction's Press Release> South Burlington, VT – PC Construction announced today that it has joined over 180 other Vermont companies in signing on to a Vermont Equal Pay Compact, pledging its support for gender equity in the workplace. It’s a move that coincides with national Women in Construction Week, but that also honors PC’s longstanding commitment to elevating strong women at its employee-owned company.

The Vermont Equal Pay Compact – an initiative spearheaded by the Vermont Commission on Women – provides a way for Vermont employers to show their support for closing the gender wage gap, removing barriers to women’s advancement, and improving economic security for women and their families.

“The Vermont Commission on Women welcomes PC Construction as a signer to the Equal Pay Compact,” said VCW Chair Lisa Senecal. “The Compact allows employers to learn about and show support for closing the gender wage gap in our state, and in turn, improve economic security for women and their families. Legislation alone can’t fix this: employers are the key, and action on this is particularly important in the trades, where women are under-represented.”

Women make up only 2.7% of workers in the construction trades, and 9.1% of workers in the construction industry, according to 2017 data compiled by the Associated General Contractors. At PC, women represent 17% of the entire employee population and 4.2% of field employees. The company also has two women vice presidents, as well as women leaders in every area across the company. While the company outpaces the industry in terms of the advancement of women, it is committed to making even more progress in the coming years.

“This places us well above the industry average, but far below equal representation,” said Jay Fayette, President and CEO of PC Construction. “Diversity and Inclusion is a process requiring continuous effort and we’re committed to that. We are glad to be counted among the nearly 200 Vermont companies who are working towards equality for women employees. As part of the compact, PC will continue its work to advance more women leaders in every area of the company.”

Said Eve Norris, Vice President of Operations: “I’ve worked at PC for 32 years. I’m proud to be part of an employee-owned company that empowers everyone to be an active and engaged part of making PC a great place to work for all.”

Added Nicole LaBrecque, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development: “I’m also proud to see that PC is continually seeking out women and minority candidates for job opportunities, and hires and promotes women regularly. When I look around the room during a meeting, I’m not the only woman at the table, which is a great feeling for me and a notable achievement for this company.”

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About PC Construction

PC Construction offers general contracting, construction management and design-build services to private and public clients across the country. The company manages projects along the east coast and in the southeastern United States from its headquarters in Vermont and a network of locations in Georgia, Maine, New Hampshire, New York and North Carolina. A construction industry leader for 60 years, PC Construction is guided to success by its team of dedicated employee-owners. Connect with PC Construction at pcconstruction.com and on Twitter @_PCConstruction

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