State of Vermont employees to explore online marketing tactics through Champlain College and EpikOne/

first_imgBURLINGTON, Vt.–Champlain College’s Workforce Development Center and EpikOne, an online marketing consultancy in Williston, will deliver two days of customized training this fall to State of Vermont employees from 13 different departments whose responsibilities range from tourism and economic development to vocational rehabilitation and fish and wildlife.On the Champlain College campus on October 5 and November 2, the state employees will explore podcasting, blogging, online visibility, search engine optimization (SEO), Web ads, YouTube, and social networking.In almost every state outreach and marketing effort, we are seeing the Internet grow in importance and use. We all agreed that we need to be better informed on how to take advantage of these new tools, said Christine Werneke, the State of Vermont’s chief marketing officer. Champlain’s Workforce Development Center and EpikOne developed a customized training to specifically meet the State’s needs.This area of marketing is burgeoning and weve seen increased interest in training, said Melissa Hersh, Champlains director of workforce development and strategic growth. “With our on-campus expertise and partners such as EpikOne, we’re able to tailor business and technology training for clients of all sizes so they can put the latest tactics to work in their organizations.This training will provide state employees with an understanding about various online media, how it works and how it can help us promote Vermont to tourists, new businesses, and to deliver online services to Vermont citizens, Werneke said. The Rutland Economic Development Corporation and the Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center will also participate in the training.Due to popular demand, Champlain’s Workforce Development Center will offer a second intensive Online Marketing Boot Camp open to the public from November 12 16 at the Courtyard Burlington Harbor Hotel. Attendees are expected from throughout Vermont, the U.S. and Canada. Registration is available at www.ombootcamp.com(link is external). Topics include: moving business online, effective online strategies, forecasting online growth, maximizing online ad revenue, choosing the right media mix and Google AdWords training. Seminars will be delivered by instructors from Vermont, New York City, and Denmark.Champlain College’s Workforce Development Center was established in January 2006 to deliver professional education and training including new master’s degrees, bachelors degrees, professional certificates, non-credit customized training, boot camps, and industry certification. For more information about the Workforce Development Center at Champlain College, visit www.champlain.edu/workforce(link is external) or contact Melissa Hersh at (802) 865-5402 and hersh@champlain.edu(link sends e-mail).# # #last_img read more

Legislature using budget bill to save St Johnsbury prison

first_imgThe Legislature has included in the state budget language intended to keep open the prison in St Johnsbury. Among the Douglas Administration’s budget reduction proposals was closing the Northeast Regional Correctional Facility and laying off most of the employees. The inmates likely would be sent to prisons out of state. It costs the state less to pay another state to house inmates than to incarcerate them in Vermont. The House and Senate Appropriations Conference Committee included language that would require the governor to get legislative approval before he could close the prison. The prison in St Johnsbury is a vital part of our economy in the Northeast Kingdom, which is why I worked closely with the conference committee to make sure this language was included in the budget, said Representative Robert South, D-St. Johnsbury.  Our region is one of the hardest hit by the current economic crisis and it s critical the state do everything it can to keep Vermonters working, our businesses open and our communities vibrant.The budget language stipulates that the Douglas Administration cannot close or significantly reduce operations at the St Johnsbury facility without approval from both the legislative Joint Corrections Oversight Committee and the Joint Fiscal Committee. The Northeast Kingdom has among the highest unemployment rates in the state already, said Representative Lucy Leriche, D-Hardwick. With so many families in the region relying on jobs at the prison and so many local businesses counting on the facilities positive impact on our local economies, I am happy to follow Rep. South s lead fighting for these jobs.The House is expected to take the final vote on the budget on Saturday.last_img read more

Court bans Twin City Roofing for ‘willful contempt’ in fraud case

first_imgYesterday, the Vermont Superior Court, Washington Unit found Donald Bevins, a Williston-based home improvement contractor, in ‘willful contempt’ of Court orders containing ‘specific provisions intended to protect the public from home improvement fraud and provide for restitution to victims.’ Under the terms of the Order, Bevins is prohibited from entering into any new contracts for home repair, from setting foot on any work site where roofing work is underway, and is completely barred from working as a roofing contractor. The ban applies to Bevins individually as well as Twin City Roofing, Inc. and any other corporations Bevins represents. The Court Order notes, ‘at the hearing today, the court advised Mr. Bevins that failure to comply with this order is likely to result in sanctions from the court, including incarceration (jail).’‘The Court’s ruling is a strong message to home improvement businesses that Vermont consumers will be protected,’ said Attorney General Sorrell. ‘Operations like the one Donald Bevins was running won’t be allowed to stay in business if they ignore the rights of consumers.’The Office of Attorney General maintains the State’s Home Improvement Fraud Registry, a state-wide listing of individuals who have been criminally convicted or resolved civil claims by the State for ‘home improvement fraud.’Source: Attorney General. 12.15.2010For a link to the Home Improvement Fraud Registry and more information on home improvement fraud in Vermont, including information on how to find out if there have been consumer complaints against a business, please visit the Home Improvement Fraud page of the Attorney General’s website.Anyone with a complaint against Donald Bevins or Twin City Roofing, is encouraged to contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Assistance Program at (802) 656-3183 or toll free in Vermont: (800) 649-2424.last_img read more

JD Power: Verizon Wireless ranks highest in wireless network quality performance

first_imgVerizon Wireless105 Northeast Region Average143 Northeast Region AT&T162 Overall network performance levels for wireless handsets differ depending on whether devices are used for voice calling, text messaging or data service, according to the J.D. Power and Associates U.S. 2011 Wireless Network Quality Performance Study(SM)’Volume 2 released today.The study finds that overall network performance varies widely by the type of activity being performed on the handset. For example, there are more reported problems among wireless customers while placing calls, compared with messaging and data-related activities. Overall, problems associated with calling, such as dropped calls, initial disconnects and audio issues, average 18 PP100. This compares with a reported 16 PP100 average for data-related issues, such as Web and email connection errors and excessively slow downloads. An even lower PP100 average is reported for messaging problems (5 PP100), such as transmission failures and late text messages.In addition, the specific types of problems experienced can vary greatly within each usage type. Among customers who report data-related issues, there are more reported problems for excessively slow downloads (19 PP100), compared with Web connection failures (11 PP100) or email failures (6 PP100). The same holds true for specific problems associated with making calls. There are more reported problems related to general audio issues, such as interference or voice distortion, compared with failed/late voice messages (8 PP100 vs. 5 PP100, respectively).”Based on the varying degree of consistency with overall network performance, it’s critical that wireless carriers continue to invest in improving both the voice quality and data connection-related issues that customers continue to experience,” said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power and Associates.According to Parsons, there is a financial impact in providing a high-performing network, as spending increases by an average of $10 per customer among those who have switched from a previous carrier to obtain a better network/coverage, compared with those who leave for other reasons.Now in its ninth year, the semiannual study has been expanded in 2011 to collect evaluations from wireless customers’ most recent usage activities in three areas that impact the network performance: calling, messaging and data. Overall network performance is based on 10 problem areas that impact the customer experience: dropped calls; calls not connected; audio issues; failed/late voicemails; lost calls; text transmission failures; late text message notifications; Web connection errors; email connection errors; and slow downloads. Network performance issues are measured as problems per 100 (PP100) network connections, where a lower score reflects fewer problems and better network performance. Carrier performance is examined in six regions: Northeast; Mid-Atlantic; Southeast; North Central; Southwest; and West.For a 14th consecutive reporting period, Verizon Wireless ranks highest in the Northeast region. Verizon Wireless achieves fewer customer-reported problems with dropped calls, initial connections, transmission failures and late text messages, compared with the regional averages. Verizon Wireless also ranks highest in the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Southwest and West regions.In the North Central region, U.S. Cellular ranks highest for a 12th consecutive reporting period. Compared with the regional average, U.S. Cellular has fewer customer-reported problems with dropped calls, failed initial connections, audio problems, failed voice mails and lost calls.Additional study findings include:Wireless usage patterns continue to evolve, as fewer calls are being made or received. On average, wireless customers use 450 minutes per month, a decline of 77 minutes from 527 in 2009. Customers are using their devices more often for text messaging. The study finds that wireless customers sent/received an average of 39 text messages during an average two-day period. During the course of a month, this equals more than 500 incoming/outgoing text messages.On average, smartphone customers continue to experience more problems than do traditional handset customers’14PP100 vs. 12PP100, respectively. However, the largest gaps in reported problem rates occur with both calling and data activity. In these areas, problem rates among smartphone customers average 4 PP100 higher than among traditional device customers.Among the top 30 U.S. markets, average problem rates are lowest among wireless customers in the Salt Lake City market (9 PP100), and highest among wireless customers in the Sacramentomarket (16 PP100).The 2011 Wireless Network Quality Performance Study’Volume 2 is based on responses from 22,110 wireless customers. The study was fielded between January and June 2011.For more information on customer satisfaction with wireless service, wireless retail sales, cell phone handsets, customer care, prepaid wireless service and business wireless service, please visitJDPower.com.Network Performance PP100 Rankings T-Mobile153center_img Sprint Nextel153 CarrierIndex scoreJDPower.com Power Circle Ratings  For Consumers Included in the Northeast Region are: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., Aug. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ —last_img read more