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By the way for Nov. 24

The Addison County jobless rate in October was 1.4%, representing a drop from the 1.8% registered in September, according to the Vermont Department of Labor. Meanwhile, Vermont’s unemployment rate remained at 2.8% in October, according to the DOL. The comparable United States rate in October was 4.6 percent, which was a decrease of two-tenths of a percent from the revised September estimate, according to state officials. The October jobless rates for the state’s 17 labor market areas ranged from 1.2% in White River Junction to 2.6% in Bennington. According to the DOL, Addison County has a civilian labor force of 17,847, of which 17,595 were employed in October. That left 252 people still looking for jobs. Addison County’s jobless rate for October of 2020 was 2.7%, according to the DOL.

 The Brendon P. Cousino Med47 Foundation and the Otter Swim Team have joined forces to create an online Silent Auction featuring a bunch of neat products and services to bid on, with proceeds used to support swimmers and provide equipment and scholarships for firefighters, EMTs and their families. The auction runs from Nov. 25 through Dec. 2, ending at 8 p.m. Successful bidders will be able to pick up their items starting Dec. 4 at the Med47 Holiday Shoppe & Craft Fair, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Monkton Fire Department. This will be an opportunity to buy holiday gifts, including toys, jewelry, gift certificates, gift baskets, local artisan items, great products from local businesses, perfume and cozy/comfort baskets. Items will be added daily, so check in often at Facebook.com/Med47foundation. The Med47 Foundation’s stated mission: “Helping our local heroes by providing funds and equipment to area rescue squads and building our future by providing scholarships for students to attend trade schools.” Foundation officials have been grateful for recent support, including $6,200 raised through the organization’s annual Halloween Haunted Forest in Bristol. For more info about the silent auction and the Dec. 4 craft fair in Monkton, email cmcousino@ gmavt.net or call 802-233-8334

Two Addison County nonprofits will share in a total of $30,000 in grants the New Jersey-based Turrell Fund is awarding this year to 13 “agencies doing exemplary work on behalf of young children in Vermont.” The local recipients of the fund’s S. Whitney Landon Awards are the Addison County Parent Child Center of Middlebury and the Vergennes-based Early Care and Learning Partnership. Established in 1935, the Turrell Fund is a private foundation committed to improving child well-being in Vermont and designated areas in New Jersey. For the past 12 years, Turrell has made significant investments in early childhood programming in Vermont, strategically partnering with the nonprofit “Let’s Grow Kids” and the Henderson Foundation.

Two signature community holiday events are returning after a one-year COVID hiatus. One of them is the town of Salisbury’s Annual Holiday Tree Lighting, to be held Saturday, Dec. 4, from 5-8 p.m. at the Veteran’s Memorial Park, across from Maple Meadow Farm. There will be a bonfire, and Santa will arrive on a very noisy fire truck. A giant tree will be lit to the countdown of the crowd, and there will be a hayride. Also, the town librarian will present this year’s holiday book inscribed with the names of all the babies born in Salisbury this year. Masks required for the hayride. Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases, there will be no indoor event in the library, but Santa will be giving cookies along with the hot cocoa. Children young and old are invited to greet him and get a cookie or two, courtesy of the Salisbury Library Board of Trustees.

Also making a comeback is Bristol’s Annual Chocolate Walk, set for Friday, Dec. 3, from 2-8 p.m. Spend your afternoon and evening browsing Bristol stores, nibbling on a delicious chocolate treat (or two or three), and getting your holiday shopping on. Participating businesses will be offering their treats to go, so you can enjoy all the chocolaty goodness out on the sidewalk or bring it home.

Two Addison County businesses will share a $35,000 in state grant money to further solidify their operations. The Addison County Economic Development Corporation secured the funds through the Building Communities Grant Program. Bristol Bakery & Café Wholesale LLC will receive $20,000 to purchase equipment — specifically an automatic salt depositor/topper and an automatic cracker-cutting device/rotary cutter. Meanwhile, Monkton’s Wooden Hammer LLC will receive $15,000 to add an energy efficient heating system to its building expansion project. The ACEDC applied for, was awarded, and will administer the grants. The Building Communities program requires that the funds “be essential to the project’s success,” and that the projects be “shovel ready.” Recipients must also demonstrate job creation or retention potential while providing a dollar-for-dollar match. Depending on appropriations by the Vermont General Assembly, the Building Communities program annually awards $900,000 in matching grants statewide to municipalities and nonprofit organizations for capital costs associated with the major maintenance, renovation, and development of facilities in the following categories: human services, health care and education, recreation, and economic development. Organizations in Addison County were awarded a total of $68,669 in all categories for the fiscal year 2022 funding round.

The nonprofit organization Age Well is in critical need of Meals on Wheels volunteers in Middlebury, Vergennes and Bridport. Remember, happiness knocks when you volunteer to deliver a meal. Meals on Wheels provides much more than a nutritious meal. The moment you knock on that door, you make a connection. It might be a quick “hello” or a conversation, but the impact lasts — not just for those receiving the meal, but for the volunteer as well. A volunteer’s time commitment is based on their availability — it can be one day a week to two days a month (weekdays only). Delivery is typically from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. For more information, please contact Age Well at volunteer@agewellvt.org or 802-662-5249, or visit agewellvt.org/giving-back.

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