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Vt. Education, Labor Officials Prep for Kingdom Job Wave

Newport, Vt. — Vermont education and labor officials are helping to prepare the Northeast Kingdom for an influx of what officials hope could eventually be 10,000 jobs that will come through a development initiative run by Jay Peak Resort President Bill Stenger and his partner, Ariel Quiros.

Officials say the first wave of jobs created in the region by the Northeast Kingdom Economic Development Initiative are already being created in the construction and tourism industries, and if people wait too long for training and additional education, they could miss out. “We really need trained qualified people,” said Patricia Sears of the Newport City Renaissance Corp., who is helping to prepare the community for the “NEK Initiative.”

A team of labor and education specialists is focusing on the jobs that they will create — and the training that will be needed to get those jobs. A report expected to be finished soon will be shared in the community, said team member Cindy Robillard.

Stenger and Quiros are expanding Jay Peak and Burke Mountain resorts, bringing Menck Windows USA and AnC Bio Vermont to the city of Newport, rebuilding a downtown block and building a waterfront hotel in Newport City. The project will also include expanding the Newport State Airport.

Neil Morrissette, of Creative Workplace Solutions in Newport City, said anyone who is holding back on getting training or education because of the cost should contact the North Country Career Center or labor department now. There are also hospitality and tourism programs at the career center, and area colleges.

Six to eight construction positions are already open and listed with the labor department, Robillard said. Menck Windows USA is expected to begin operations later this year