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FY 2015 Defense Spending By State report now available for download.



Regional Background

In 2013, Vermont defense companies provided $400 million in goods and services to the defense sector. Almost all of these purchases were for manufactured goods supporting approximately 3,000 Vermont workers. These purchases represent more than 4 percent of the manufacturing sector in the state and a similar percentage of the manufacturing workforce. Vermont has been reliant on defense spending, and has struggled to find and pursue new opportunities that can continue to enhance and cultivate its regional economy. Yet, with defense spending decreasing in the state, there have been widespread plant closures and layoffs and now timing is critical.

Project Overview

In October 2015, DoD’s Office of Economic Adjustment issued a Defense Industry Adjustment grant to the Vermont Agency of Commerce & Community Development to support new opportunities for companies throughout the state that rely on DoD contracts. The funds from this grant will be used to enhance the capacity of Vermont, and its businesses, workers, industries, and communities to respond to defense related downsizing activities.

  • Assess the impact of the defense industry in Vermont, which will help to determine where to deploy resources for new initiatives, identify at-risk companies and also bring other economic development partners into the strategy.
  • Understand assets and workforce development needs by developing an analysis of the state workforce and a plan for identifying skills development and training needs. This includes developing training plans for companies looking to expand offerings to new industries.
  • Enhance business-to-business and export opportunities for defense, by leveraging Vermont’s geographic proximity to Quebec and the unique opportunities this offers for increased cross-border trade and export initiatives.

Projected Outcomes

As a result of this grant, the Vermont Agency of Commerce & Community Development aims to:

  • Engage defense companies to participate in statewide efforts for developing new market opportunities;
  • Enhance employment through this initiative by 5-10 percent;
  • Increase sales created or retained for participating companies by 5 percent.