The AIV Difference: Leadership
Leadership on Issues that Matter
AIV takes the lead on the key issues impacting the state's economy, engaging state leaders, mobilizing business leaders, organizing other associations in coalition efforts, and representing the broader business community on special commissions and committees.
Whether AIV acts alone or leads a coalition, our members know that we will always stand up for their interests.
The following are highlights of some key issues AIV has worked on in the past and continues to work on today. This information is updated periodically. For more recent updates or more information about these and other issues and initiatives,, don't hestiate to contact us at email@example.com.
Workforce Training, Education, and Development
Revitalizing interest in manufacturing as a career path and ensuring that Vermont has the infrastructure, resources, and networks to link qualified workers with employers is one of AIV's primary ongoing campaigns.
AIV has worked with national and state partners and stakeholders to promote and inspire the next generation of Vermont's manufacturing workforce, enhance the education and training of our existing workforce, and build the education and training infrastructure needed to preserve and grow this long-standing competitive advantage for Vermont manufacturing. AIV is currently working with stakeholders to connect manufacturers, students, parents, and educators, and we encourage anyone interested in this effort to contact us as above.
AIV is also working with the Manufacturing Institute and state agencies and institutions to promote and develop enhanced workforce training and education programs.
AIV consistently leads the rest of the business community on tax issues, often the only organization engaged and making a difference on specific issues.
AIV is currently actively engaged in efforts to build support for pro-manufacturing tax reform like "single sales factor" income tax apportionment reform (which would benefit exporters of goods and services to other states and countries), improving Vermont's sales tax exemption for machinery and equipment, and more.
We are also working to counter any new potential push this new legislative session to increase taxes on Vermont manufacturers and other businesses connected to multinational operations. AIV already defeated several attempts to pass related legislation in recent years.
Other tax issues AIV has successfully led on in recent years include the pass-through of the former federal domestic production deduction, R&D tax credits, net operating loss deductions, capital gains, and issues related to unitary combined reporting.
Human Resources and Workplace Issues
AIV has long led efforts against unduly restrictive or costly workplace mandates and other unreasonable pressures on labor costs.
AIV led employer engagement with the Administration and Legislature to address the impacts of COVID on Vermont's UI system, including removing 2020 losses from the calculation of future UI taxes – avoiding hundreds of millions of dollars in excessive and unneeded employer taxes. Indeed, AIV has long been the leader on UI issues, including the difficult but balanced and necessary UI reforms in 2010 to restore the solvency of a collapsed UI Trust Fund. AIV will now be working on significant issues ahead, including pushing back on arbitrary cost increases enacted in 2021 and expected proposals to increase benefit costs – and the taxes needed to support them – even further in the new legislative session.
In recent years, AIV coordinated efforts of allied business organizations to overhaul the statutes governing the classification of independent contractors and employees. Legal and regulatory decisions had made it increasingly difficult for Vermont employers to make use of independent contractors. Currently we are working to determine whether recent administrative and legal precedents have made a meaningful difference for employers seeking to utilize independent contractors, and to engage in a renewed examination of employee classification rules and enforcement.
AIV is also working to address growing concerns about drug use and its impact both on Vermonters trying to enter the workforce and on employers seeking to find qualified and reliable new hires and ensure a safe workplace. As marijuana legalization has progressed, AIV has worked to build a foundation of support for drug testing reform that we will be continuing to promote as related legislation might be considered in the new session.
AIV has long been the leading organization on addressing the cost of workers' compensation. AIV played a central role in the steps toward workers' compensation reform several years ago and led renewed coalition efforts for reform in the years since, setting the agenda for the continued fight for meaningful reform. During this time, we have also led several successful efforts against new proposals that would increase the cost of workers' compensation. AIV is currently working on addressing fraud and providing greater financial incentives and rewards for enhanced workplace safety programs.
AIV is the most active and effective business organization in Vermont representing commercial and industrial ratepayers on energy issues before the Legislature and the Public Utility Commission.
AIV secured enactment of new statutory provisions to help prioritize the affordability and reliability of electricity for manufacturers and other high value employers when the Commission and the Public Service Department implement energy policies and regulations. AIV also won the establishment of ongoing stakeholder engagement in which AIV is working with the Department of Public Service and Agency of Commerce to examine and develop proposals for new policies to address affordability issues, including examining the potential for special rate designs and a degree of retail choice for manufacturers, as well as alternative financing mechanisms for energy efficiency programs to reduce the financial burden of the current system.
Over the years, AIV has been the only organization consistently and actively involved in efforts to try to ensure that Vermont's energy efficiency programs are as cost effective as possible and to promote alternative funding mechanisms to reduce the burden of the Energy Efficiency Charge. AIV played the leading role in creating the Energy Savings Account option for employers to effectively keep more of their own money for their own projects and is currently working with the Department of Public Service and Agency of Commerce to make the program more beneficial and easier to use through a recently enacted pilot program to allow greater flexibility for companies retaining more of their own Energy Efficiency Charge dollars.
AIV has consistently led efforts to restrain additional renewable mandates on utilities and ratepayers and to instead encourage that renewable energy be promoted in Vermont through more cost effective, affordability-focused policies, including intelligent permit reform and tax incentives rather than mandates that distort markets and shift undue costs onto ratepayers.
AIV continues to support the long-term expansion of Vermont's natural gas infrastructure and the growth of third-party delivery services so that more Vermont manufacturers can access affordable and reliable natural gas to meet heating and processing needs.
Environmental and Product Regulation
AIV plays a key role in regulatory issues impacting production and operations as well as construction and infrastructure critical to manufacturers and others.
AIV continues to lead Vermont's manufacturing community and is partnered closely with national stakeholders in ongoing debates over state regulation of chemicals in products. We have been actively engaged in legislation and regulations addressing product testing and reporting, chemical bans and restrictions, and a range of liability issues. AIV will also work to coordinate engagement between manufacturers and the recently created Interagency Committee on Chemical Management to develop more rational and helpful reform of chemical regulations.
AIV is also leading efforts to address proposals to impose mandatory financial and administrative liabilities on manufacturers for recycling and reclaiming their products and packaging. At the same time, AIV has helped support and enact recycling programs that are developed by and supported by the industries involved. We are currently coordinating engagement by Vermont employers and national organizations with ANR and the Legislature as they review possible proposals for a wide range of products and materials.
Over recent years, AIV has worked directly on changes to solid waste, air toxics, stormwater, and groundwater rules, and remains engaged with ANR and the Natural Resources Board on ongoing rulemaking and related developments.
AIV worked closely in developing and passing Act 250 reforms in the past, directly influencing key provisions. We have worked to hold off subsequent changes that would worsen Vermont's permitting environment, and are actively engaged in the debate over new, expansive changes that might be discussed in the upcoming session in the Legislature.
Affordable, quality transportation options and infrastructure are fundamental to the movement of goods and supplies, the lifeblood of manufacturing.
We are currently working to coordinate engagement on proposed cap and trade programs and other versions of carbon taxes on fuels manufacturers depend on.
AIV has long led efforts to keep Vermont's weight and length limits on trucking reasonable and competitive with other states, and to oppose unwarranted or discriminatory fuel and vehicle class charges.
AIV also supports maximizing the potential for rail transportation in the state, as well as the value of air services.
With our transportation system caught in a needs and funding crunch, AIV remains vigilant against the return to rampant transfers of transportation funds to unrelated programs and supports a "back to basics" focus on repair and economically necessary construction.