Southern Vermont Best Places to Work August 2022

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Flip through these pages to meet your next employer here and in nearby New Hampshire, in fields such as ... Auto sales • Human services • Production woodworking Teaching • Administration and many more A special publication of Vermont News & Media | August 6-7, 2022


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Whetstone delivers cafe-style cuisine, river views By Victoria Chertock Vermont News & Media correspondent BRATTLEBORO — When you talk about

a “view from the office,” it doesn’t get much better than working at Whetstone Beer Co. in Brattleboro. Offering stunning views of the Connecticut River and Wantastiquet Mountain, Whetstone Beer Co. seats about 200, including in a picturesque bier garten located on the roof, and a large wraparound deck on the first floor. This backdrop provides an inspiring environment not just for guests, but for employees, as well. Even the dishwashing station intentionally has a breathtaking view of the river. “We care about food and the environment and people. We wanted a place to go hang out and couldn’t find one, so we bought this little cafe on the waterfront 10 years ago and created a new space, which we love,” says David Hiler, co-owner. He and his business partners, Tim and Amy Brady, own Whetstone Beer Co., River Garden Marketplace and Kampfires Campground — all three are Whetstone brands. The Whetstone’s cafe menu includes frequently updated specials and seasonal offerings prepared inhouse by their kitchen team with a focus on local and sustainable options. The business incorporates “green” features throughout, such as the grill area harnessing steam to heat their hot water, and staff compost everything they can, which reduces their landfill footprint. Recently celebrating their 10th anniversary with a rebrand and some exciting updates, Whetstone Brands has jobs available in several departments, from landscaping to service, and from hospitality to administration. With great benefits and work/ life culture, owners and management are proud to say that more than 67 percent of their team has been a part of the Whetstone family for more than two years. Hiler is proud that they offer all of their employees “a living wage.” He says their mission is “to be the best brewery and tap room around!” Team members have told him they like working there because it’s a fun and vibrant atmosphere where staff and

guests all have a good time. He adds, “As much of our clientele is knowledgeable about beer, we expect our staff to be equally, if not more, passionate about beer and beer styles.” They pool tips, so that everyone makes between $20 to $30 an hour. The crew can also work at their sister properties: River Garden Marketplace and Kampfires Campground. “It’s a beautiful place to work, and I’m very proud of Whetstone Beer Co.,” said Eva Gwinn, a keyholder who grew up in Brattleboro, has been working there for six years. “The owners put a lot back into this town. For example, the bingo night raises money for local charities each week.” Gwinn laughs as she shares stories of the teams’ field trips and events she’s attended recently. They went on a Ben & Jerry’s tour, visited Mass MoCA and traveled to Waitsfield, just to name a few. They are always looking for “Brew Crew” members who want to be a part of their team and who love craft beer. By design, they only have four positions in the brewery: kitchen, counter/busser, bartender and keyholder (a bartender who can open and close the brewery). Team members’ benefits include: • Health care (fully paid for management and 50 percent paid for all full-time employees) • 401(k) (with match after 6 months of employment) • Paid time off (for all employees) • Fixed work schedules • Employee discounts (including memberships, merchandise, food and even camping) • Free membership to Brattleboro Art Museum, which includes a discount at gift shop • Food discounts for all staff, free membership at their swim club and miniature golf course, discounts on lodging • Staff recognition for every year they have worked with Whetstone brands • Staff outings So whether you’re looking for your first place to work or a new place to work, Whetstone is the place to work. For more information, visit whetstonebeer.com/station/ or call 802-490-2354.

KRISTOPHER RADDER — VERMONT NEWS & MEDIA

Logan Moore, a bartender, pours a beer at the Whetstone Beer Co. in Brattleboro.

KRISTOPHER RADDER — VERMONT NEWS & MEDIA

Maia Segura looks over items for sale at the Whetstone Station’s gift shop.

KRISTOPHER RADDER — VERMONT NEWS & MEDIA

Jackie Goss and Michael Yelle, from Holyoke, Mass., enjoy a beer while looking at the Connecticut River at the Whetstone Beer Co. in Brattleboro.


By Vermont News & Media Matching the right employee with the right company has never been more critical. With a transition of how we all go about working during this pandemic, whether that be in-office or at home, the dynamic of the workplace has changed for staff and management alike. Finding the right job has become more of a mutually beneficial relationship, rather than just showing up to collect a paycheck. Employers seek the right fit to fill their positions and are selective about whom they take onboard. And individuals have more options of employment, to really seek and find a company that has the right pay, environment for their needs. In Southern Vermont Best Places to Work, these featured businesses have a story to tell, and this employment section can help describe each employer’s culture and uniqueness in a way traditional help wanted ads just can’t. These businesses are local and staples to the communities they serve. Take a read and learn more. Who knows, maybe your new career is just a few pages away!

Table of Contents Whetstone delivers cafe-style cuisine, river views Page 2 Fenton Family Dealerships looking to hire employees in all departments Page 3 Family atmosphere leads to worker retention at Mack Molding Page 4

Vets’ Home has work for all kinds of career paths Page 6 Growth at Fulflex, for the company and you, too Page 7 SVSU offers fulfilling careers that shape future generations Page 8 The USPS — a lot more than mail and stamps Page 9 Cedarcrest needs energetic employees with passion for changing kids’ lives Page 10 The Brattleboro Retreat — Make a difference in someone’s life Page 11 Let Bayada Home Health Care open the door to your next career Page 12

Business is bustling at Fenton Family Dealerships, and the company is looking to hire employees in all departments. By Vermont News & Media “We currently have a need for automotive technicians, sales consultants and service advisors,” said Bob Swartz, CEO and vice president of Fenton Family Dealerships. The company — founded over 35 years ago by Bill Fenton — has five franchises in four buildings: Hyundai of Keene and Subaru of Keene in Keene, N.H., and Toyota/Volvo of Keene and Honda of Keene in Swanzey, N.H. “We’re a very community-minded dealership,” Swartz said of the company that supports more than 150 local charities, organizations, and schools every year. “We give back to the community that purchases and services through us, and we are looking for people who are basically good citizens who also want to be part of a company that gives back. We’re looking for honest people, people with integrity, with a good work ethic.” Sign-on bonuses are provided to employees and are related to the position. Swartz said the company provides one of the top pay rates in the industry, matches a 401(k) retirement account, offers a generous paid-time-off program and has one of the better automotive health insurance programs

in the state. He also touted “a great work environment with state of the art equipment.” Training is available for new employees. “We also hire experienced people, as well, but it won’t prohibit us from hiring an entry-level technician,” Swartz said. “Especially in sales, we generally have to train who we hire.” The best way to apply for a position

with the company is to visit fentondealerships.com and click “Careers.” Fenton serves all of Southern New Hampshire, including Keene, Peterborough, Claremont and surrounding areas; Southern Vermont, which includes Brattleboro, Bennington and surrounding areas; and Northern Massachusetts, which includes Fitchburg, Gardner, Templeton, Athol, Winchendon, Baldwinville and much more.

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Putney School is a progressive place Page 5

Fenton Family Dealerships looking to hire employees in all departments

Southern Vermont Best Places to Work | Weekend Edition | Saturday & Sunday, August 6-7, 2022

Your next job might be within these pages

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Family atmosphere leads to worker retention at Mack Molding By Vermont News & Media

ARLINGTON — Mack Molding has been a family company for more than a century. And it feels like family working there, too. The privately held manufacturing firm, which is about to enter its 102nd year of operation, prides itself on fostering a tight-knit sense of community among its employees and managers at its headquarters on Warm Brook Road, manufacturing facility on East Arlington Road and Cavendish location. “I would say most people say it’s a great place to work in that it’s a strong family atmosphere,” human resources director Brian Nolan says. How much so? Larry Hovish, the company’s communications director, says when he arrived six years ago, the average tenure among employees he interviewed with was about 24 years. “That just doesn’t happen anymore” at most companies, he says. Mack Molding, which has its corporate headquarters and 650 employees in Vermont, was founded in 1920 as a plastic mold injection manufacturer. “Today, especially in Vermont, we’re more of a full-service contract manufacturer that produces injection molded plastics in addition to metal fabrication, machining and contract assembly,” Hovish says. The company is part of Mack Group, which operates 11 locations throughout Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Mexico, with a total of 1.5 million square feet of manufacturing space and approximately 3,000 employees. While manufacturing is a big part of the story at Mack, the company also has a strong engineering presence in Arlington, as well as customer management, finance, quality control, and purchasing operations. Wages vary,

with manufacturers earning from a floor of $15.63 — most come in above that figure, Nolan says — up to $32 hourly. Professional salaries are competitive, Nolan says. The family vibe, in large part,

MACK MOLDING PHOTO

Employee Casey Tsougranis shows off her 100th anniversary Mack Molding blanket.

comes from the relationships between employees and managers, Nolan says. ”We encourage managers to develop strong relationships with employees,” he says. Benefits include paid time off

MACK MOLDING PHOTO

Pat Thompson is one of many Mack Molding employees who got to take home a holiday ham.

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Mack Molding employees know how to have fun. Apply for Mack Molding jobs online at mack.com/job-opportunities.

and holidays, health, dental and life insurance, short and long-term disability insurance and a 401(k) retirement program with a company match. Facing the same workplace development issues as other companies, Mack has recently offered signing bonuses of $3,000 as a way to entice candidates to come in for an interview. Employees can earn a $500 referral bonus for friends and family who join the firm. And the company holds on-site job fairs, at which it is “prepared to make offers on the spot,” Nolan says. The Warm Brook Road facility includes employee workout areas with cardio and weights, and the company brings in trainers and yoga instructors to guide employees. Outside, there’s horseshoes, a volleyball court, a driving range and trails. “There’s definitely a focus on wellness, and we have easy access for employees to get out and recreate.” The family feel extends to employee outings as well. The annual holiday party, complete with fireworks, reindeer and Santa, is an annual favorite, when there’s not a pandemic getting in the way. So is the summer trip to the Great Escape in Lake George, N.Y. While Mack Molding is known as a place where employees stay, the company also has a strong internship program that welcomes 15 to 20 college students a year, some of whom return to Arlington upon graduation to begin their careers. Nolan and Hovish say the company is starting to attract younger professionals to manufacturing, reversing a long trend of young adults staying out of the field. “There is much more interest in manufacturing and engineering,” Hovish says. “We’re really starting to build that next generation … you can really see that change in demographics.”


By Vermont News & Media

PUTNEY — It takes a lot of people with diverse talents, skills and experience to keep the 230-student Putney School running. The independent residential high school has 110 employees, ranging from the head of school to gardener, from teachers to maintenance staff; it also includes a couple of farmers, as well as fundraising professionals. But all must believe in the credo that “building a just and inclusive community is a shared responsibility,” according to Randy Smith, assistant head of school. The private school, one of several located in Putney, was founded in 1935 by noted progressive education pioneer Carmelita Hinton. Its motto is “progressive education for a sustainable future,” and its staff, faculty, and students are all “committed to the ideals of social justice.” “We’re a progressive school; we value collaboration,” Smith says. The ethos of the school is that the school is a community. “You pitch in where you can and when you can,” he says. The school is currently advertising for several full-time positions, ranging from housekeeper to di-

rector of development, admissions counselor and dean of students, and will soon be opening up applications for its part-time staff for its summer arts school. It recently hired a new head of school, Danny O’Brien, to replace Emily Jones, who is stepping down at the end of June. O’Brien currently heads the High Mountain Institute in Colorado.

The Putney School advertises local and regionally, as well as keeping a detailed list of positions open on its website. Apply via email at employment@putneyschool.org, or visit putneyschool.org/employment. The housekeeping position includes a variety of duties from moving furniture and cleaning

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The school is advertising for several full-time positions, ranging from housekeeper to director of development, admissions counselor and dean of students, and will soon be opening up applications for its parttime staff for its summer arts school.

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“All must believe in the credo that “building a just and inclusive community is a shared responsibility,” according to Randy Smith, assistant head of school.

buildings, to working with students on their cleaning assignments. And this being Vermont, the housekeepers also pitch in on snow removal. “We do a ton of hiring every year for our summer program,” Smith says, and the school is currently looking for teachers and dorm heads for its Putney School Summer Arts program. “Summer Arts is an opportunity for teens to experience the visual and performing arts, as well as rural living on a Vermont farm ,” he says. The program runs for four weeks and hosts 120 students. “Because of our commitment to the surrounding community, we always look for new hires locally prior to reaching out regionally or nationally. In addition our benefits and salaries are competitive and your lunch is on the school,” says Smith. Employment is relatively stable at the school, and he says there is not a large amount of turnover among the staff. Between retirements and departures, he estimates the school has to fill between five and 10 positions a year. “We’re kind of like a town,” he says, with a wide variety of people, and a lot of different responsibilities and experiences. “We have a huge variety of types of employment.”

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The Putney School, an independent residential high school, has 110 employees, ranging from the head of school to gardener, from teachers to maintenance staff; it also includes a couple of farmers, as well as fundraising professionals.

Southern Vermont Best Places to Work | Weekend Edition | Saturday & Sunday, August 6-7, 2022

Putney School is a progressive place

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The Putney School’s motto is “progressive education for a sustainable future,” and its staff, faculty, and students are all “committed to the ideals of social justice.”

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To name a few: Licensed nursing assistant; registered nurse; licensed practical nurse; food service worker; Veterans’ Home cook; and more By Victoria Chertock Vermont News & Media correspondent BENNINGTON — Vermont Veterans’

Home in Bennington means so much more to Tina Cole than just a place to work. For the past 34 years, Cole has served in three different roles: in the kitchen, housekeeping, and now as a licensed nursing assistant. Her brother and father, both veterans, worked there, too. Both of her parents were residents at the end of their lives, and she says she remains grateful for the excellent care they both received. “I like working here because I feel I’m giving back to the men and women who fought for our freedom and our country,” Cole says. “The families I’ve met along the way have been amazing. You get to join their family when they bring a family member to you.” The mission of the Vets’ Home is “to provide best-of-class health care services and advocacy for veterans, their spouses and gold star parents while honoring their choices and respecting their right of self-determination.”

VERMONT NEWS & MEDIA FILE PHOTO

Courtney Zazzaro, left, and Bobbie Joe Becker, both licensed nursing assistants at Vermont Veterans’ Home in Bennington, help U.S. Army veteran Frank Snow up from his chair on a Monday afternoon. The campus includes a deer park, a trout pond, a large pavilion, several gazebos and beautiful scenery. The building comprises 138 beds; eight of which are for independent living. Of the 161 full and temporary employees, 10 of them have worked at the home for 30 years each. That says something about the purpose-driven work, patient-centered care and camarade-

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Vets’ Home has work for all kinds of career paths

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For Tina Cole, working at the Vermont Veterans’ Home has been a family affair.

rie of this special place. Full-time employees at the Vermont Veterans’ Home enjoy excellent benefits, such as medical and dental insurance, sick and vacation days, 11 paid holidays and retirement benefits. Joyce Santacross, human resources administrator, has worked at the Vets’ Home for the past 18 years. “I really enjoy coming to work every day and serving the employees. It’s a fulfilling position because I make a difference in employee’s lives, and I value that.” She adds, “It’s good pay and has excellent benefits also. The people I work with are good to work with. They all serve the mission of helping the veterans. That’s why we come to work — to take care of them.” The Vermont Veterans’ Home is currently recruiting for these positions: • Licensed nursing assistant • Registered nurse • Licensed practical nurse • Food service worker (temporary and full time) • Veterans’ Home cook • Institutional custodian (temporary and full time) • Veterans’ Home clinical social worker • Nurse supervisor • Therapeutic activities aide (temporary)

• Veteran buddy Santacross explains that the work schedule can be flexible, depending on the job and the needs of the specific department. Pay rate for food service and custodians starts at $14.88 an hour, a cook’s starting pay is $17.12 an hour, pay for a LNA is $18.01 an hour, pay for an LPN is $23.21 an hour. They have registered nurses (I) who start at $34.15 an hour and registered nurses (II) starting at $37.40 an hour. Salaries might be negotiable based on years of experience. Cole concludes by telling a favorite story. “One Christmas 20 years ago, I was on shift to work that day. I sat in a rocking chair next to one of the veterans who lived there, and he said to me, “Tina, I’m sorry you have to work on Christmas and not be at home with your family!” I replied, “Sir, that is where you are wrong. I am with my family. If I have to be anywhere on Christmas, I’m glad I’m here with you.” For more information about employment, contact Joyce Santacross by phone at 802-447-6535 or email her at joyce.santacross@vermont.gov. The Vermont Veterans’ Home is located at 325 North St. in Bennington, VT 05201. For more information, visit its website at vvh.vermont.gov.


Join Fulflex’s team in Southern Vermont Vermont News & Media

VERMONT NEWS & MEDIA FILE PHOTO

A slitting operator at Fulflex in Brattleboro strings up elastics on a machine.

FUTURE OPENINGS Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for masks to prevent the spread of the virus, Fulflex has seen exponential growth in its medical supply markets. Fulflex employs 116 employees and anticipates future openings for machine operators, maintenance and engineering positions. “Fulflex is looking for individuals who pride themselves on having a strong work ethic and want to become part of the Fulflex family,” said Don Venice, vice president of operations. “Fulflex prides itself on its diverse culture and commitment to employee growth and success, while having a presence in the global market.” As such, Fulflex provides inhouse training to help employees further develop the special skills necessary to work in the rubber industry. The salary ranges from $19.53 per hour to $23.72 per hour post training, and the company offers a competitive benefits package that includes a comprehensive medical, dental and vision plan, as well as 401(k) with a company match. How to apply: Walk-ins are welcome; stop in between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.; apply on Indeed.com or on the company website at fulflex.com.

VERMONT NEWS & MEDIA FILE PHOTO

Workers at Fulflex in Brattleboro help pull out a roll of elastics that will be used in disposable diapers.

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Fulflex, a Southern Vermont company that enjoys international success with its specialty elastic products, is looking forward to growth at its Brattleboro plant. Fulflex is a leading manufacturer of thin-gauge specialty elastics for the medical, industrial, textile, hygiene, food and personal care industries. The company uses natural and synthetic polymers to produce the finest custom-manufactured elastic tapes and threads, which are used in a variety of apparel — swimwear, underwear, sportswear, children’s wear and in disposable diapers, health care products, fitted bedsheets and many other elasticated products. The company’s elastic tapes and threads are designed to improve the user experience, optimizing comfort, fit and performance. The products are flatter for better fit and appearance; thin and lightweight; soft and comfortable; high heat resistance; completely launderable; and nonshrinking — they retain original size and tension after many washings. In addition, they will not stain or yellow most fabrics; are efficiently packaged and lubricated for trouble-free sewing; and resistant to chlorine, suntan lotion, saltwater and perspiration. Many of the world’s leading brand names rely on Fulflex to provide the suppleness, strength, stretch, comfort and fit in the diverse range of products where Fulflex elastic is used. The products are sold both within the USA, as well as internationally to customers around the world, including China, Korea, Singapore, Japan, Canada, Mexico and Brazil.

Until 2018, Fulflex was owned by Rhode Island-based The Moore Co., a family-run business that was founded in 1909. In 2018, Fulflex was sold to Garflex, a global manufacturer of latex and latex-free elastic rubber products with headquarters in Miami. Fulflex factories and warehouses are located throughout Europe, North America and the Asian Pacific region to respond rapidly to customers’ needs.

Southern Vermont Best Places to Work | Weekend Edition | Saturday & Sunday, August 6-7, 2022

Growth at Fulflex, for the company and you, too

VERMONT NEWS & MEDIA FILE PHOTO

To apply at Fulflex: Walk-ins are welcome; stop in between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.; apply on Indeed.com or on the company website at fulflex.com.

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SVSU offers fulfilling careers that shape future generations

VERMONT NEWS & MEDIA FILE PHOTO

Melissa Chancey, a teacher at Woodford Hollow Elementary, works with Skylar Laskowske, then 6, on Dec. 21, 2020. Vermont News & Media BENNINGTON — Children are our future. With a solid education from caring teachers, today’s children become the next astrophysicists, medical doctors, nurses, professors, artists, musicians and world leaders. Vermont is known for its high-quality education, and the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union is committed to its excellent programs and staff. This includes substitutes across all departments. The SVSU — which oversees schools in Bennington, Shaftsbury, Arlington, Woodford and Pownal — is seeking dedicated employees who put children first. “We have had staff members who started as para-educators and are now teachers. We’ve helped them get their education and certifications. There definitely is a career ladder for someone who is dedicated,” said James Culkeen, SVSU superintendent. Jeff Johnson, Shaftsbury Elementary School principal, and Mount Anthony Union High School Principal Tim Payne started out as paraed-

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Kids and teachers enjoy some outside time at Molly Stark Elementary School in Bennington.

ucators. And Johnson now has two former substitutes working for him as teachers. The supervisory union employs 750 full-time staff members, which includes over 350 teachers. “We’re one of the largest employers in Bennington County. We also are indirect sources of employment for Dufour Transportation, The Abbey Group and other contracted providers,” said Nick Gault, the SVSU’s director of human resources.

paid time off,” said Gault. Besides the benefits offered to employees, the careers offer other rewards that bring fulfillment to the teachers and the children under their guidance. “At the middle school and high school level, I have new teachers who have asked about opportunities to serve as a coach or advise a club. The school is big enough to support that,” said Payne, the Mount Anthony Union High School principal.

BENEFITS In the current market, school districts compete for committed employees. Benefit packages ensure that employees stay and grow their careers with an organization. Not only does working for the schools provide a flexible schedule and the satisfaction of shaping students’ lives, the SVSU offers generous benefits. “We have a comprehensive benefits package that we feel is as strong as any available in Southern Vermont, including health, dental, life, long-term disability, retirement and

WORK CULTURE Vermont’s schools are among the highest ranking in the U.S. Because of smaller populations, one-on-one interaction is the result. “Vermont has the lowest studentto-staff ratio to any state in the country,” said Gault. Vermont is also known for people contributing to their communities in meaningful ways. “My first year at the high school, I found the vast majority of staff were helpful. They volunteered for things. They showed up when I asked them to show up. At graduation, we asked

folks to get back to wearing caps and gowns for the kids, and we had a good showing. The vast majority of staff are really willing to step up to help the kids and to help me as a new principal,” said Payne. IDEAL EMPLOYEE Finding the right fit is important to the aspiring teacher and the school district. “I’m looking for people who believe that you’ve got to have a relationship with a kid in order to be effective. You have to know that the first and second days of school are about making relationships. That’s what sets up the year for success,” said Payne. CAREER OPPORTUNITIES The SVSU is currently hiring substitute teachers and other staff positions. “We’re always in need of substitutes, both short- and long-term. We have welcomed back retired teachers to fill some of these assignments, and will continue to do,” said Gault. For more information on career opportunities, go to svsu.org.


Vermont News & Media

VERMONT NEWS & MEDIA FILE PHOTO

The U.S. Post Office in Pownal. Learn more about the multiple career paths within the USPS at about.usps.com/careers.

Bennington Banner | Brattleboro Reformer

The United States Postal Service is full of opportunities, and Ashley Hamilton has been taking advantage of them since she started as a parttime clerk in Williston back in 2006. In her 16 years, she has held over a half-dozen job titles within the USPS and is still far from seeing it all. “The Post Office is not just about delivering mail and selling stamps. There is so much to offer once you get your foot in the door,” says Hamilton. “You can work in management, accounting, IT, sales, marketing, maintenance, safety, instructing and the list goes on …” As a government employer, the USPS has more to offer than most of the private sector in terms of job security and benefits. Besides full health, vision and dental coverage, perhaps one of the most notable perks with the Postal Service is the ample vacation time and sick leave. After three years of service, annual leave jumps from 13 days to 20, and increases to 26 after 15 years. This is coupled with four hours of sick pay every pay period for full-time employees. Those who make the USPS a career will only continue to reap rewards long after they hang up the uniform for good. “I have no worries about retiring,” says Hamilton. And why should she? In addition to Social Security, when Hamilton retires, she will be able to collect from her federal pension, as well as a Thrift Savings Plan, similar to a 401(k). The Postal Service matches employee contributions up to 5 percent. “You double your money right away,” Hamilton explains. Within five years on the job as a clerk, Hamilton was an officer in charge for post offices without a postmaster, and was officially promoted to supervisor in 2013. In 2015, she took a position as manager of distributions at the processing and distribution center in Burlington. Then in 2018, she decided it was time for a new challenge and to learn something new, taking the operations specialist job in the same plant. Hamilton isn’t the only example within her family of the possibility for upward mobility with the USPS. Her sister and her son both have taken ad-

vantage of opportunities, as well. “My sister had a bank job, 20-plus years of experience, and they downsized,” Hamilton said. “She took a postal support employee job, and three years later, she is in management.” As her son has illustrated, the Postal Service can be an excellent career path for those without post-secondary education, as well. “My son graduated high school and did not want to go to college. He got hired as a mail handler assistant. Within six months, he was converted to ‘career’ status,” she went on. “Two years after being ‘career,’ at 21 years old, he is making $42,000 a year with federal health insurance, and he started his Thrift Savings Plan and is getting matched with 5 percent more added to his retirement.” Of course, everywhere there is a need for mail, there is a need for the USPS, which employs 600,000 nationwide to date. This provides some flexibility in one’s career without having to sacrifice the rungs of the ladder they have already climbed. “You can transfer anywhere in the U.S.,” Hamilton says. “During bad snowstorms, I always search in Hawaii, and there are always jobs posted!”

Southern Vermont Best Places to Work | Weekend Edition | Saturday & Sunday, August 6-7, 2022

The USPS — a lot more than mail and stamps

Keep your eyes peeled at about.usps.com/careers for available job openings near you.

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Cedarcrest needs energetic employees with passion for changing kids’ lives Vermont News & Media

It’s not every career where an employee transforms children’s lives. And not every workplace feels like a home. Cedarcrest Center for Children with Disabilities, in Keene, N.H., promotes a one-of-a-kind environment that prioritizes children. HELPING CHILDREN ENJOY THEIR BEST LIVES The mission is to help the children with disabilities live their best lives with the use of technology and programs aimed at physical and cognitive development. The staff takes the children on field trips, such as going to a baseball game. Closer to home, the employees and children explore nature at Cedarcrest. Employees experience fulfillment as the children develop and meet their goals. Employees on the administrative, medical and teaching sides of the center join forces to transform lives. “The children all have personal goals that they are working towards, and the staff helps them make progress as best as they are able. I enjoy the striving aspect and admire the persistence everyone demonstrates. It’s a rewarding experience working at Cedarcrest, on many levels. There are opportunities to have fun while working, too,” said Patty Farmer, director of development and communications. “I love working at Cedarcrest. The work I do is challenging, but satisfying. I feel like I contribute to the overall well-being of the children, even though I don’t provide care for them directly. The staff are highly committed to ensuring that the kids have fun and are given all kinds of great opportunities,” said Farmer. WORK CULTURE On 5 acres, Cedarcrest provides a comfortable environment for the children and the employees, said Director of Human Resources Erin Dallas-Patch.

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Cedarcrest Center for Children with Disabilities, in Keene, N.H., promotes a homey atmosphere that prioritizes children. For the right individual, Cedarcrest provides educational and training opportunities that lead an employee to develop and grow with the center. “Cedarcrest is unlike anywhere else you can work; for many staff, it is like a home.” It takes a special individual to succeed at Cedarcrest. According to Dallas-Patch, “An ideal employee is patient, competent, loves children and wants to see the children succeed.” GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT For aspiring individuals, Cedarcrest provides educational and training opportunities that lead an employee to develop and grow with the center. “We’ve had many staff who started here as child care assistants, then became LNA, and then LPN/ RNs. Our current director of nursing began here as an LNA/RN/ nurse manager,” said Dallas-Patch.

EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE Cedarcrest attracts high school and college students, as well as professionals who have stayed five to 20 years. Mary Hatch, teacher and licensed nursing assistant, developed her career at Cedarcrest. “Cedarcrest fosters a unique, warm and positive work environment and work culture. Everyone who works here is driven by the same desire to do what’s best for the children that live here. ... The staff members become more than just co-workers. They become people with whom you develop a deep respect for. People you can look up to, and people you can trust.” And as further encouragement, field trips provide enjoyment for the children and the staff.

“Watching a child’s face light up as they hold a baby goat for the first time, or listening to their shrills of delight as they swim in the pool is the most rewarding feeling,” said Hatch. OPPORTUNITIES Cedarcrest has part-time positions with perks — a daily meal, tuition reimbursement, a wellness program, staff development and a retirement plan. Full-time employees enjoy all of the above plus medical, dental, life insurance and a benefits package. Cedarcrest is hiring a full-time licensed nurse assistant, a part-time respiratory therapist, a part-time feeding technician and part-time child care assistants. Go to cedarcrest4kids.org. Click on Careers and apply online.


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By Victoria Chertok Vermont News & Media correspondent

PROVIDED PHOTO

For more information on careers at the Brattleboro Retreat, contact Sam Mathewes-Clark, human resources, at 802-258-6721 or email him at smclark@ brattlebororetreat.org, or visit brattlebororetreat.org/careers.

PROVIDED PHOTO

Jobs at the Retreat are varied, with options to work with all kinds of patients.

Bennington Banner | Brattleboro Reformer

BRATTLEBORO — If you want to make a difference in someone’s life, then a job at the Brattleboro Retreat is right for you. The Brattleboro Retreat, opened 180 years ago, is a private, nonprofit, psychiatric and addiction treatment hospital, offering comprehensive services designed to meet the mental health needs of children, adolescents and adults from all walks of life. It offers a variety of inpatient, outpatient, residential and day programs. The Retreat also offers specialized programs to meet the needs of uniformed service providers and health care professionals. The buildings and grounds, close to downtown Brattleboro, look much like a rural college campus with a central green and indoor and outdoor recreational facilities. Its mission statement reads, “Inspired by the courage of our patients, the Brattleboro Retreat is dedicated to children, adolescents and adults in their pursuit of recovery from mental illness, psychological trauma and addiction. We are committed to excellence in treatment, advocacy, education, research and community service. We provide hope, healing, safety and privacy through a full continuum of medical and holistic services delivered by expert caregivers in a uniquely restorative Vermont setting.” Staff includes hundreds of experienced physicians, nurses, social workers, behavioral health technicians and others who share one mission: a person’s well-being. There are full-time and part-time positions available. Twelve-hour day and night shifts are available. The staff takes a team approach to care and aims to treat people with respect and support, while working to eliminate shame and stigma around mental illness. The Retreat is recruiting for these positions: • behavioral health technicians; • registered nurses;

licensed practical nurses; clinic coordinator; power plant technician; clinical manager; case manager; patient access services representative; • and program assistants. The Retreat offers competitive pay and benefits, including: • highly competitive salaries; • excellent shift differentials; • medical, dental and vision benefits; • 403(b) retirement savings plan with employer match; • flexible health care spending accounts; • basic life, accident, short-term and long-term disability, and other insurance coverage; • tuition reimbursement; • work/life balance; • paid holidays; • generous paid time off; • flexible leave policies; • employee discounts with local vendors; • employee fitness room; • amazing people; • collaborative work environment; • extensive clinical orientation; • and ongoing training and support. The Retreat is offering a $1,000 sign-on bonus for day shift behavioral health techs and a $2,000 signon bonus for night shift behavioral health techs. “Working at the Brattleboro Retreat is challenging but also very rewarding. I experience tremendous satisfaction in being able to help patients feel welcome, safe and comfortable, so they can focus on recovery,” said Retreat employee Robert Smith, a behavioral health tech and president of United Nurses & Allied Professionals Local 5086 (Unit 2). For more information, contact Sam Mathewes-Clark, human resources, at 802-258-6721 or email him at smclark@brattlebororetreat.org, or visit brattlebororetreat.org/careers.

Southern Vermont Best Places to Work | Weekend Edition | Saturday & Sunday, August 6-7, 2022

The Brattleboro Retreat — Make a difference in someone’s life

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Weekend Edition | Saturday & Sunday, August 6-7, 2022 | Southern Vermont Best Places to Work Bennington Banner | Brattleboro Reformer 12

Let Bayada Home Health Care open the door to your next career ‘Everything we do is from a place of support and caring’ By Brandon Canevari Vermont News & Media correspondent BENNINGTON — Individuals looking to gain some knowledge in the health care industry with limited to no experience have the opportunity to do just that. Bayada Home Health Care, which has branches in Bennington, Colchester, Norwich, Rutland, White River Junction and Williston, has open positions. The Bennington location, which covers Manchester to Springfield and everything south to the borders of Vermont, is hiring home health aides and direct care workers, according to Beth Kirkpatrick, Southern Vermont director of Bayada Home Health Care. One of the biggest attributes required for these positions, Kirkpatrick said, is that the candidates tend to be “mission-oriented” people. “These are people who have a lot of empathy for other people, want to help them out and want to give people the opportunity to stay at home longer, and take care of people,” said Kirkpatrick. Like many businesses, Bayada has experienced staffing issues since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Currently, at the Bennington location, Bayada employs 85 home health aides, which is about half the number of aides it had prior to the start of the pandemic. While attracting workers is currently a challenge, Kirkpatrick said there are several benefits to working for Bayada, not all of which are compensatory. “There’s this whole philosophy that drives what we do. We call it ‘the Bayada Way,’” said Kirkpatrick. “The Bayada Way is putting our clients first, and understanding that our employees are our greatest asset, and everything we do is from a place of support and caring. Even when things are not necessarily going as we like them, we are trying to support each other through it and improve in ways that are productive and positive.” Abbey Rogers, a home health aide who has worked for Bayada since 2017, cited the families that she works with and the appreciation for the work that

she does as two of the main reasons she enjoys working for Bayada. “I could be having a really bad day and then I get there, and the client’s energy just completely changes that,” she said. Rogers said she recently received a Hero Award from Bayada for the work she has been performing, for which Kirkpatrick presented her with the award and flowers. “The effort and the recognition meant a lot to me, and I think it means a lot to the other staff members to feel valued,” Rogers said. Kirkpatrick said the office regularly receives positive feedback from clients expressing their appreciation for the work provided by the home health aides and direct care workers. “Our clients love our aides and so we’ll get calls to the office all the time where they’re like, ‘Abbey made me the most beautiful dinner the other night. It was just lovely, and I so appreciate it.’ And then we’ll get calls that are something to the effect of, ‘Jane is just instrumental in my life. I don’t know what I would do without her. She helps me with everything, and I’m just so grateful for her.’” The function of a home health aide is to visit a client’s home and help them with their activities of daily living, such as showering, grooming and using the restroom. They are also responsible for helping clients with things such as laundry, running errands and going to doctors’ appointments, among other things. “The purpose is to help people age in place and stay home longer, so they’re not forced to go into a facility if they don’t want to,” Kirkpatrick said. Home health aides have at least a year doing the aforementioned work, Kirkpatrick said. A direct care worker would be someone that Bayada trains to perform the same work if the individual does not have the required experience. The training would take one week, Kirkpatrick said. Starting pay for home health aides is $16 an hour on weekdays and $16.50 an hour on weekends. The company also offers full benefits to anyone that works over 30 hours per week, and there are scholarships available for individuals who are interested in furthering their education, Kirkpatrick said.

VERMONT NEWS & MEDIA FILE PHOTO

A registered nurse for Bayada Home Health Care works with a client in April 2016. There are several attractive components of working at Bayada, notes Abbey Rogers, a home health aide who has worked for Bayada since 2017. “I think people underestimate the feeling of knowing that you helped someone or knowing that you made one person’s day just a little bit better. I think people underestimate how gratifying that is for yourself,” says Rogers. Another benefit the company offers is a flexible schedule, which is something Rogers said is very important to her. “As a single mom of three kids, Bayada is pretty really flexible,” Rogers said. “Right before the beginning of the month, we make a schedule of what we’re going to work the next month, and any days off we need, or any time we have to leave early, we just let them know and then our schedule reflects that. Having the flexibility if I need it is a huge comfort.” Bayada also does not have any requirements when it comes to hours

worked, Kirkpatrick said. Though there are several attractive components of the position, there was one that really stood out to Rogers. “I think people underestimate the feeling of knowing that you helped someone or knowing that you made one person’s day just a little bit better. I think people underestimate how gratifying that is for yourself,” she said. “So, I think that people coming in will be surprised by how good the job will make you feel and how … attractive that feeling is to you once you’ve started and how it can change your whole day.”