By Rob Roper
This week we learned that two stalwart Vermont companies are cutting jobs due to the Covid-19 economic shutdown, and an iconic Vermont business is leaving the state.
Darn Tough socks announced that they are laying off 50 of their 330 workers, a 15% cut. It’s hard to conjure a more resilient, successful Vermont company than Darn Tough. They are a poster child for businesses “making it in Vermont.” Back in December, before Covid, they were announcing a major expansion. Due to their military contracts Darn Tough is considered an essential business. Even this wasn’t enough to prevent this hit. If Darn Tough isn’t tough enough to handle this, who is?
National Life is one of Vermont’s largest private employers and one of our most successful. They are laying off 53 of their 800 person Vermont workforce, as well as making cuts in offices in other states. These are some of the best paying jobs in our state.
Magic Hat Brewery is hailed as a pioneer of the craft brewing industry that has become such a strong pillar of the Vermont Brand. But now the company (owned by FIFCO USA since 2014) is pulling out of Vermont and consolidating its operations in Rochester, NY. While this may have occurred without the Covid impact, why is it that when an out of state company purchases a Vermont company and decides to consolidate operations, they never do so in Vermont?
These companies aren’t the canaries in the coal mine, they’re the coal miners. If they’re struggling, imagine what’s happening throughout the rest of our economy.