OEA Grant to Help Vermont Contractors Diversify

The state of Vermont will use a $386,325 grant from DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment to help defense contractors diversify into new markets as defense spending declines.

The grant awarded to the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development will be used to help businesses that directly contract or subcontract with DOD, or that exist anywhere along the supply chain, according to a press release from Rep. Peter Welch (D) and Gov. Peter Shumlin (D). The agency will support eligible businesses by developing strategies to diversify and tap into new markets, as well as creating workforce development plans to carry out new lines of business.

Welch and Shumlin announced the award Monday at the Revision Military Ltd. plant in Essex Junction, Vt., where 120 people are employed making military-grade eyewear for use during conflict. With cutbacks in defense spending, the firm is considering marketing its products to law enforcement agencies or government agencies, said Gregory Maguire, Revision Military’s senior director of legal and government affairs. Its products could be used for defense from other people, for workplace safety or to protect from environmental hazards, Maguire said, reported VTDigger.org.

“Many Vermont businesses provide high-quality products and services to our military,” Welch said. “They also provide good jobs for Vermonters and represent a key component of our economy. As federal defense spending declines, it’s important that these businesses diversify into new markets so that they and their employees continue to thrive,” he said.

Dan Cohen
Dan Cohen

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