Southern Vermont Best Places to Work January 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 | Saturday, January 29, 2022

Southern Vermont Best Places to Work Saturday, January 29, 2022 | The Bennington Banner | The Brattleboro Reformer 2

USPS: Great benefits, wages and job security Knowing and helping your community BY VERMONT NEWS & MEDIA

Mathew Norris became a postmaster in Vermont with the U.S. Postal Service — the second largest employer in the United States — 22 years ago. He’s never looked back. Among the perks that have kept him on the job with the USPS: job security, benefits, wages and something less tangible. “I’m a people person,” he says. Working for the post office is all about helping people, through a variety of jobs the USPS offers — behind a desk, at the customer counter, sorting mail or heading out into the community delivering mail and getting to know and enjoy the customers. “There’s some sort of a job within the post office that’s going to appeal to everyone,” he says.

He enjoyed doing a rural delivery route early in his career, adding, “I know somebody from every household by now.” Norris says one of the strongest reasons to work for the USPS — besides the pay and benefits — is job security. “I never wonder whether or not I’m going to get a paycheck. We’ve never had a layoff,” he says. “Any private company can layoff tomorrow, or close. Here, it’s job security.” To work for the USPS, you must be 18 years old (or 16 with a high school diploma); pass a criminal background check, drug screening and medical assessment; and have a safe driving record, if applicable to the position. Norris said salaries start at $17.32 to $19.06 per hour. Benefits are another draw for prospective employees. Workers are immediately eligible for health insurance through the Care First Health Plan, as well as dental and

vision coverage. In addition, USPS offers up to 13 days of vacation per year and six paid federal holidays for many positions. Some positions have contracts that state after two continuous years on the job in the same location, staff are converted to “career” employees and eligible for even better benefits — up to 13 days of sick leave per year, increased vacation time of up to 26 days for employees who stay for 15 years or more, annuity retirement and life insurance. The USPS offers a thrift savings plan to career employees, similar to a 401(k) with up to a 5 percent automatic match, as well as automatic pay increases for cost of living or based on length of service under the various union contracts. All those perks, he says, “and we’re not asking for a college education.” Norris points out that eligible military personnel and veterans



One of the strongest reasons to work for the USPS — besides the pay and benefits — is job security. New Haven Postmaster Mathew Norris says: “I never wonder whether or not I’m going to get a paycheck. We’ve never had a layoff. Any private company can layoff tomorrow, or close. Here, it’s job security.”

receive additional benefits, including full credit for time spent in the armed forces. Eligible veterans and disabled veterans are given preference during the onboarding process by means of additional credits toward exam scores. The USPS also focuses on training, stating on its website, usps. com, “Career development is not a one-time event; we offer development and training at every stage of the employee lifecycle. Programs offered include functional job-related training, technical hands-on learning, new supervisor training and management to executive development.” “From distributing tax forms to taking passport photos and delivering ballots overseas, the U.S. Mail moves government services. USPS is the only delivery service that reaches every mailbox in the nation,” the organization says. Norris is happy to help anyone interested in working for the USPS in Vermont. “As postmaster, I’ve recruited more people and helped people get through the process than anyone in the district,” he says. For more information about the USPS and employment at the postal service, visit or email Contact Postmaster Mathew Norris at 802-233-5790.


City Carrier Sasa Maksimovic delivers mail in downtown Rutland.

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 inoffice 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 The USPS — great benefits, wages and job security Page 2 Fenton Family Dealerships needs 10 new employees Page 3 Page 4

Putney School is a progressive place Page 5 Southwestern Vermont Supervisory Union offers meaningful careers, job perks Page 6 VNH offers a full continuum of care, and meaningful employment Page 7 Family atmosphere leads to worker retention at Mack Molding Page 8 UCS of Bennington County, building a stronger community Page 9 Get hands on with meaningful work at Whitney Brothers Page 10 Vermont Veterans’ Home provides sense of community Page 11 VNA & Hospice looking for region’s top caregivers, medical providers Page 12


Business is bustling at Fenton Family Dealerships, and the company is looking to hire about 10 new employees. “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-timeoff 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 and click “Careers.” Fenton serves serve 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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Join Fulflex’s growing team

Fenton Family Dealerships needs 10 new employees

Southern Vermont Best Places to Work | Saturday, January 29, 2022

Your next job might be within these pages


Southern Vermont Best Places to Work Saturday, January 29, 2022 | The Bennington Banner | The Brattleboro Reformer 4

Join Fulflex’s growing team BY VERMONT NEWS & MEDIA

Fulflex, a Southern Vermont company that enjoys international success with its specialty elastic products, has multiple job openings at its Brattleboro plant for a variety of skill sets. 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, salt water 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 latexfree 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. MULTIPLE OPENINGS

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for masks to prevent the spread of the vi-

rus, Fulflex has seen exponential growth in its medical supply markets. The company has openings in its Brattleboro plant for a variety of positions from packaging to rubber machine operators for second and third shift. “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 or on the company website at

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@, or visit The housekeeping position includes a variety of duties from moving furniture and cleaning


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 part-time staff for its summer arts school.


“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.”


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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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 | Saturday, January 29, 2022

Putney School is a progressive place


Southern Vermont Best Places to Work Saturday, January 29, 2022 | The Bennington Banner | The Brattleboro Reformer 6

SVSU offers meaningful careers, job perks BY VERMONT NEWS & MEDIA BENNINGTON — When you think of the

perks of working for a school system, there’s the staples: summers off, job stability, good benefits and work hours that match your child’s schedule. Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union — which oversees schools in Bennington, Shaftsbury, Arlington, Woodford and Pownal — offers all of those and more. “They’re here with a purpose,” says Katie West, public information coordinator for the supervisory union, of school employees. “I do think that that is recognized throughout the staff. There is a strong sense of community, in the school buildings and outside of the school buildings.” BENEFITS

Beyond providing a sense of meaning and camaraderie, the SVSU supports its employees in practical ways. “We offer competitive compensation, a really strong benefits package and a retirement plan through the state of Vermont. It’s a pensionstyle retirement plan and benefits,” says Nick Gault, the district’s director of human resources. With southwestern Vermont bordering New York and Massachusetts, the SVSU has to compete with not just the rest of the state, but also its neighbors to the south and west, to keep up with industry standards and attract a workforce. And that’s good for workers. The SVSU offers a robust professional development plan to employees at all stages of their careers. Courses are subsidized at the University of Vermont per credit rate, covering the full cost of tuition at most institutions. “Somebody can come and go through an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree, or master’s degree program, while employed here, and get reimbursed for that along the way,” says Gault. Whether seeking out teacher certification or not, employment with the SVSU offers extensive professional learning opportunities


Madelyn Degler, school counselor at Mount Anthony Union High School, is one of many employees of the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union. Apply for SVSU openings today. throughout the year. The opportunities are always being updated and are a great way for all school staff to continue learning and stay up to date on evolving best practices for the schools. Learn more about continuing education programs here: WORK CULTURE

The SVSU’s existing staff is dedicated, with a love of kids and desire to put their needs first. Like-minded candidates would be the best fit. “From teachers to office workers to members of our maintenance and grounds crews, and the folks who are out there painting the lines on the football field — they’re doing that for the kids,” says West. It’s a large network. People don’t often think of the supervisory union as a major area employer, since it’s separated into insular school systems. But with about 750 employees, it definitely is. Gault estimates that about 350 of those

staffers work directly for the supervisory union, and the rest are employed by the individual schools. The SVSU makes sure new employees receive the support they need. Prior to the far-reaching effects of COVID-19, the schools had a 10 percent turnover rate, well below average. “We have a program where we assign new hires in certain positions — teachers, administrators — a mentor. There’s in-building training. Sometimes it’s on-thejob training, as they’re getting up to speed and getting acclimated to the role,” explains Gault. AVAILABLE POSITIONS

Schools are complex work ecosystems, and need more than just excellent educators to run smoothly. From custodians to school psychologists and speech language pathologists, the need for school staff beyond teachers is growing. Gault speaks to that growth.

“You’ve seen a lot more on the professional services side. So those are not educators; they’re not in the classroom teaching. They’re supporting education, but doing it through a totally different lens.” Right now, Molly Stark Elementary School is seeking a music teacher. Schools also need English language instructors for students whose first language isn’t English. Across the supervisory union, there’s always a need for substitute teachers, as well as openings for some coaching positions for math and literacy. The SVSU often posts positions on School Spring, an education job listings website. You can check out available positions here: jobs/?employer=10286. For more information about Southwestern Vermont Supervisory Union, peruse its website here:

And meaningful employment BY VERMONT NEWS & MEDIA

covers 4,000 square miles.


In 2018, Warren Patrick, then 107, of Townshend, gets a flu shot from Rena Provencher, a registered nurse with Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire. Born June 13, 1911, Patrick died Sept. 27, 2020, witnessing two pandemics, and surviving two World Wars and the Great Depression. He was the former town clerk and treasurer of Jamaica.


Qualified applicants for VNH positions have to be passionate about health care to work at VNH. To apply, visit careers. or email Redfield at


VNH’s care providers work one-on-one with patients and develop lasting relationships with them. These specialists (and special people) include registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, licensed nursing assistants, physical therapists and physical therapist assistants, and occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants. Experienced registered nurses can earn up to $80,000 a year at VNH. “Patients and families benefit enormously from having care provided in their own home,” says Johanna Beliveau, president and CEO (and a registered nurse) at VNH. “It’s where people live their lives day to day. They don’t live in the hospital, and so that’s the place where a lot of people want to be,” says Dr. Cristine Maloney, medical director of palliative care and hospice at VNH. “The future of health care is home care,” agrees David Edson, VNH clinical manager. Edson says VNH celebrates excep-


Registered nurse Megan Chamberlain gives a flu shot to Anthony Devitt, of Marlboro, during a flu vaccine clinic on Route 9, in Brattleboro, Vt., that was hosted by Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire Oct. 26, 2021.

tional skill and autonomy among its staff. “It encourages you to perform at the highest clinical level.” VNH also served a vital role in the past two years, reaching people at their homes for pandemic care and to offer vaccinations, not just for COVID-19 but also for the flu. “The flu virus can cause significant health issues, especially for people over the age of 65 or individuals with a compromised immune systems. Receiving the flu vaccination is a step an individual can take to reduce their own risk of severe illness,” says Hilary Davis, vice

president of strategy management for VNH. “With the additional risks that COVID-19 poses to our community and our health care system, individual actions such as getting vaccinated can have a big impact.” Redfield says qualified applicants have to be passionate about health care to work at VNH. To apply, visit or email Redfield at VNH offers a full continuum of care that includes adult nursing, senior care, postoperative care and Medicare-approved visits and hospice.

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For 115 years, Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire has been providing care at home across 140 communities in the two states. “We’re a mission-driven nonprofit that’s reimagining rural home health and hospice care,” says Alysia Redfield, VNH’s talent acquisition manager. VNH employs nurses, personal care attendants and other specialists who provide support from birth to end-of-life care. Redfield says the agency’s employees, those who work directly with people in the community, also are engaged in finding new and innovative ways to deliver the best patient experience possible. VNH’s care providers work oneon-one with patients and develop lasting relationships with them. These specialists (and special people) include registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, licensed nursing assistants, physical therapists and physical therapist assistants, and occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants. Experienced registered nurses can earn up to $80,000 a year at VNH. Positions are open in Bradford, Brattleboro, Randolph, Springfield, White River Junction, and Lebanon, N.H., says Redfield. Those positions include registered nurses for hospice, maternal health and long-term care, and home health, as well as personal care assistants, case managers and physical therapists. Redfield says VNH offers competitive pay and a sign-on bonus for specific positions, mileage reimbursement, mental health, dental and vision benefits, earned time off, a retirement plan and tuition reimbursement. VNH, a member of the Dartmouth Hitchcock Health system, provides services to more than 5,000 people every year — that’s 150,000 home visits in an area that

Southern Vermont Best Places to Work | Saturday, January 29, 2022

VNH offers a full continuum of care


Southern Vermont Best Places to Work Saturday, January 29, 2022 | The Bennington Banner | The Brattleboro Reformer 8

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 tightknit 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.


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

The family vibe, in large part, comes from the relationships between employees and managers, Nolan says. ”We encourage managers to develop strong relationships with employees,” he says.


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


Mack Molding employees know how to have fun. Apply for Mack Molding jobs online at

Benefits include paid time off and holidays, health, dental and life insurance, short and longterm 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.”

Be a part of something big BY VERMONT NEWS & MEDIA BENNINGTON — United Counsel-


“For me, it is a culture of teamwork, great mentorship, and support for continuing education,” says Beth Wallace, Family and Community Partnership manager with UCS Bennington County Head Start and Early Head Start.


“It warms my heart to see how the staff listen to residents, go


Head Start students are excited to work in their community garden, at United Counseling Service.


UCS’ Lori Vadakin recognizes employee Jaci Brillon for excellence in the workplace during a celebration recently.

UCS celebrates with a Family Fun Day.

above and beyond to do the big and little things that make each of them feel special and treat everyone with kindness,” said a family member of a resident of a UCS group home. “They are hardworking, loving, patient and amazing.” “I simply wanted to say that through the years UCS has offered me quality mental health services. It has been through their efforts and commitment that I have been able to thrive in my life and be a productive member of society and my community through volunteer

work,” said a client. “UCS also works to provide innovative programming for the community,” says Mattern. “Work for an agency that allows for teamwork and creativity to better serve our community. If you are looking for meaningful work that matters, UCS is the place.” Those interested in applying would visit the UCS Careers page on the agency website at https:// For general information, people may also call 802-442-5491, or write to


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ing Service of Bennington County prides itself on offering employees a chance “to be part of something bigger.” “It is the goal of United Counseling Service to provide supports and services to build a stronger community,” says Executive Director Lorna Mattern. “We stand by that goal by ensuring that we are both a great place to work and a great place to get care.” As a community-based mental health organization, which has roots dating to 1958, UCS offers a range of programs and services, operates 15 facilities across Bennington County and employs more than 300 staff members. Services include outpatient mental health, substance use, psychiatric and crisis services, developmental services, youth and family services, community rehabilitation and treatment and early childhood services. UCS has “about 45 positions across 17 different job titles that present a wide array of opportunities for people with various skills, educational backgrounds, and personal interests,” Mattern says. Positions include mental health clinician, case manager, administrative support, early childhood teacher assistant, bus driver, direct support professionals in various settings, managed care coordinator, and kitchen assistant, to name a few. “Careers in human services are rewarding, meaningful and fulfilling,” Mattern says. “You can make a difference in the lives of so many.”

Asked to describe her 40 years of working at UCS, Nadine Wisher, a direct-support professional, says, “In a word, growth. This has taken many forms, from the number of buildings we have, programs we operate, staff we employ and the number of clients we serve.” Many positions with UCS involve providing direct care in clinical, social, educational, nutrition or residential settings; or they involve staff who support those people and processes, such as customer service positions and administration. Exciting care environments include equine-assisted psychotherapy; Head Start and Early Head Start classrooms; virtual and traditional outpatient settings, among others, Mattern says. These offer variety, flexibility and the means for meeting the unique and special interests of our staff, she says. There are some starting perks, as well as traditional employee benefits and competitive pay. “Several positions have sign-on bonuses paid shortly after hire,” Mattern says, “and all new employees quickly recognize that the agency lives up to its values and commitment to being a caring, respectful and family-friendly environment.” Benefits include health, dental and vision insurance plan options through Cigna, paid leave, as well as a 403(b) retirement plan with 100 percent vesting upon participation and an employer match. Also included are short and long-term disability, life and ADD insurance; Worksite Wellness initiatives; professional license fee reimbursement, applicant referral incentives, and emergency loan and leave banks. Rates of pay vary based on the job, and range from hourly, semiskilled positions to salaried professional positions.

Southern Vermont Best Places to Work | Saturday, January 29, 2022

United Counseling Service of Bennington County, building a stronger community


Southern Vermont Best Places to Work Saturday, January 29, 2022 | The Bennington Banner | The Brattleboro Reformer 10

Get hands on with meaningful work at Whitney Brothers BY VERMONT NEWS & MEDIA

KEENE, N.H. — Chances are, you’ve already had your hands on a piece of Whitney Brothers fine children’s furniture. The company’s products — play and school activity tables, cubby lockers, storage cabinets of all types, block sets, rocking chairs, reading furniture — can be found in local schools, homes, day care centers and Head Start programs, and also in churches, libraries and museums around the world. This proud New England company boasts more than 118 years of innovative craftsmanship with a singular noble purpose: To create products of the highest quality that delight and inspire children to learn. PRODUCTION WORKERS SOUGHT If you want to belong to an organization whose strong sense of purpose supports your desire for meaningful work that makes a difference, Whitney Brothers invites you to apply now to open positions on its production team. New employees will work in one of three essential areas comprising the company’s production process: CNC machine operators that mill wooden parts; technicians that op-


Milling Supervisor Dale Ward chats with a co-worker recently. He says: “We work as a team and everyone has a voice. When the company does well financially, they’re willing to share the bounty with bonuses.”

erate paint spraying or ultra-violet automated finishing equipment that applies finishes to parts; and product assemblers that assemble the parts into finished products. The company’s production employees together form the important teams that fashion the various subcomponents into award-winning children’s furniture, and they’re justifiably proud of their role in the process. Recent award-winning products include the Nature View Serenity Pod, an inventive take on a child’s activity table that collected three prestigious international design awards in 2021, and the Nature View Reading Haven, an inviting space for reading or quiet reflection that magically transports a child to the underside of a tree canopy. Every employee understands the products they make have a profound opportunity to positively influence a young child’s first experience in a learning environment, and they deliver on it. An employee of the company since 2014, Milling Supervisor Dale Ward says he appreciates working for a business that’s owned locally and promotes from within. It’s something you can feel, both in the quality of your Whitney Brothers teammates and in your paycheck. “We work as a team and everyone has a voice,” says Ward. “When the company does well financially, they’re willing to share the bounty with bonuses.” MADE RIGHT IN NEW ENGLAND Except for just a few products, “all products are made right here in our plant,” says Christine Swanson, Human Resources Manager for Whitney Brothers. Swanson says the company has five open slots, with a strong possibility for more openings in the near future. “Sales in 2021 reached the highest level in our 118-year history, and we expect 2022 to be even better,” Swanson says. Both experienced workers and newcomers are encouraged to apply to the growing manufacturer, which currently draws talent from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Vermont. Training is all on-the-job, with length of training determined by


Production is work underway at Whitney Brothers, makers of educational furniture for kids. varying tasks and employee needs. The shortest training period for a new employee might be two weeks, but another individual might need a month or two and company trainers are there to help lead the way. “It all depends on how the person grasps what they’re being taught,” says Swanson. “We have them with a trainer until we feel comfortable and they feel comfortable about doing the job on their own.” Sponsored opportunities also exist for employees to participate in advanced training at the locations of machinery manufacturers that provide equipment used by the company. ALWAYS NEW EXPERIENCES Stephanie Galford works in the Receiving Department for Whitney Brothers. She says she enjoys working for the company because it always offers new learning experiences and a chance to gain new skills. “The opportunities to grow within the company are endless,” says Galford. “I also enjoy the relationships I’ve made with my co-workers.” Wood is the predominant material used in its products, and the company takes great pride in its sustainable and low-waste practices. It’s called lean manufacturing, and all employees adhere to its practice. Employees also take pride in the company’s excellent safety record; only one reported injury has occurred in almost four years. “Safety is one of the top priorities in our organization and we’re proud of our safety record,” Swanson notes. “A committee meets regularly to oversee that all safety operations and protocols are followed by all departments. We care very much about the safety and well-being of our people.”

OPEN TO WIDE VARIETY OF CANDIDATES The right candidates could be a newcomer to woodworking or have some level of relevant experience. Candidates might be still in school or right out of high school, and a degree is not required. “We don’t even ask for a GED or high school diploma,” says Swanson. “To operate most of our equipment, employees must be at least 18-years-old. But there are some jobs that even a 16-year-old could do.” The traits shared by all employees are dependability, a focus on quality, and the willingness and ability to learn in a hands-on, fastpaced team environment. All open positions are for first shift, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. “But that could change in the future, depending on how much we grow,” Swanson says. There is some overtime available, too. A FULL BENEFITS PACKAGE Benefits include medical, dental, flexible spending and health savings accounts, vacation time, short-term disability and voluntary life insurance. There’s a company 401(k). “A full benefits package,” notes Swanson. Salary ranges from $13 to $18 an hour, flexible based on the candidate and experience. There’s also a perk under development, Swanson says, which will offer a chance to earn extra vacation time. More on that soon, the HR Manager says.

To apply, send a resume to hr@, or go to and complete an online application. Applicants are also welcomed to submit an application at the company office located at 93 Railroad St. in Keene, NH.


ans’ Home, the nurses, aides and other staff tend to stay for the long haul.


Bobbie Joe Becker, a licensed nursing assistant at the Vermont Veterans’ Home in Bennington, helps U.S. Army veteran Frank Snow into a chair in his room in 2019.


Vermont Veterans’ Home in Bennington is celebrated for its clean, welcoming atmosphere and culture of respect among residents and staff.


Graduates of the Vermont Veterans’ Home licensed nursing assistant program stand with instructors and staff.

The Bennington Banner | The Brattleboro Reformer

The workplace culture is defined by a deep sense of camaraderie, driven by respect for veterans and their families — all accepted at the care home, with a total of 138 beds, eight of which are in independent living units. Its mission statement reads: “The Vermont Veterans’ Home provides 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.” “There really is a sense of community here, because everybody does share, maybe not the same past, but components of the same past,” says Melinda Crowl, Vets’ Home marketing and admissions coordinator. “There is a lot of respect for our veterans from our staff.” For nurses, nursing assistants, kitchen aides and custodians seeking a new, welcoming place of work, the Veterans’ Home at 325 North St. has varied opportunities available. There are now several openings for full-time registered nurses on evenings and nights, an opening for a nighttime nurse at 24 hours per week, and an opening for a daytime nurse for 32 hours per week. Starting pay is around $30 to $36 an hour. There are also several openings for licensed nursing assistants in the evenings and for licensed practical nurses during the day. Starting pay for these positions ranges from around $17 to over $22 an hour. “We encourage education and bettering yourself in your position, so there is a lot of opportunity to not only move up, but to improve yourself in the position you’re already in,” Crowl says. There are three open positions for institutional custodians and two positions for food service workers, all paying $14.45 an hour, and a position for a Veterans’

Home cook, at $16.62 an hour. There are also temporary positions open for people who might be looking to work, but not full-time. For updates and to apply for any of these roles, visit humanresources. and search for positions in Bennington. Crowl says some former employees enjoyed working there so much that they return as a temp, post-retirement. “There are a lot of long-timers here,” she says. In addition to the sense of community, another great part of working at the Veterans’ Home is a sense of history. The building, formerly called the Soldiers’ Home, dates back to the 19th century, with much documentation of its storied past. According to the home’s website, the original estate was constructed in 1860, and in 1884, the state General Assembly appointed trustees and authorized $10,000 for care of Civil War-era veterans. The first of 25 residents were admitted on May 18, 1887. In 1971, the Soldiers’ Home was renamed the Vermont Veterans’ Home. “A lot of us, we feel like we are part of the history,” Crowl says. She recently celebrated her 20year anniversary of being employed at the Veterans’ Home. The home boasts spacious hallways and rooms, with a fresh and clean feel. “If you walk around the halls here, you just can hear the laughter, and the aides joking with the people and the veterans joking back,” Crowl says. “Somebody said to me one time that we may not have chandeliers and fancy furniture, but what we don’t have, we make up for in our camaraderie and our community. That laughter and freeness and easiness in the air makes up for all that.” More information about the Vermont Veterans’ Home can be found on its website, vvh.vermont. gov, with job listings and information on benefits at

Southern Vermont Best Places to Work | Saturday, January 29, 2022

Vermont Veterans’ Home provides sense of community


Southern Vermont Best Places to Work Saturday, January 29, 2022 | The Bennington Banner | The Brattleboro Reformer 12

VNA & Hospice of the Southwest Region looking for region’s top caregivers, medical providers BY VERMONT NEWS & MEDIA

VNA & Hospice of the Southwest Region is looking for qualified individuals to join their respected team of nurses and health care providers in the Greater Bennington area. Their home health and hospice teams deliver the highest quality, specialized and individualized care to patients throughout Rutland and Bennington counties, offering excellent opportunities for energetic, dedicated clinicians and well-rounded support staff to contribute to preserving the independence, dignity and wellness of clients who need these essential, care-based services. VNA & Hospice nurses and staff cover two areas of nursing expertise: in-home care and hospice services. The former consists of in-home visits and treating illness or injury, while also helping patients regain their independence and become as self-sufficient as possible. These dedicated workers offer a wide variety of services to meet the community’s needs, from helping with prenatal care to aiding great-grandparents. Services include skilled nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language pathology, home health, telehealth monitoring and pediatric rehabilitation. Hospice care is a specialized option for people with life-limiting illnesses. It neither hastens nor postpones death. It is a family-centered, team approach that includes a doctor, nurse, social worker, counselor, chaplain, home health aide and trained volunteers. The team works together, focusing on the person’s physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs. They address the issues most important to the person’s wishes at


Richard Marantz, a registered nurse at VNA & Hospice of Southwest Region, works with a VNA client.

the end of life and improve the individual’s quality of life. “Hospice and home health nurses provide a compassionate environment for those dealing with the most challenging time of their lives. If your desire is to help the community, one-onone, with the type of high-quality care that we provide, VNA & Hospice of the Southwest Region is the place for you,” says human resources director Jessica Fredette. “Our hospice not only helps those who are at the final stages of their life but also helps those family members cope through that process, and patients regain some of the independence they so desire.” VNA & Hospice of the Southwest Region supports and encour-

ages ongoing training. It has an internal program that pays for college classes and certifications, as well as a generous tuition reimbursement and development program. Some of the open positions, of which there are about 15, are hospice and home care clinicians, registered nurses, licensed nursing assistants, personal care associates, data analyst and fund manager positions. VNA & Hospice offers a competitive salary, and for eligible employees, a benefits package including medical, dental, life and short-term and long-term disability insurance and a 401(k) plan with matching contributions. VNA & Hospice is also offering a limited-time $4,000 signing bonus to qualified candidates who

remain with the company for a specified period, as well as retention programs. Because VNA & Hospice of the Southwest Region is a non-profit organization, some student loan forgiveness over time through the federal government is available. VNA & Hospice of the Southwest Region’s goal is to be the best and most rewarding place to work with achievable advancement opportunities. Join the team! All applicants must complete an employment application, and resumes and cover letters can be uploaded and attached to the application. Visit vermontvisitingnurses. org/home-health-care-careers. Emailed resumes can be sent to