Workforce Training Grant to Help Grow Vermont Maple Industry

21 March 2019

Workforce Training Grant to Help Grow Vermont Maple Industry

MONTPELIER, Vt. – Runamok Maple and Sogle Property LLC (d/b/a Thunder Basin Maple Works) have been granted a combined $95,779.90 in Vermont Training Program (VTP) funds.  Both companies are co-owned by Eric and Laura Sorkin and together tap 81,000 maple trees on 1,350 acres in Cambridge and Fairfield, Vermont.  Production across both companies has doubled in size over the last year.

Thunder Basin Maple Works manages the sugarbush, providing sap to Runamok Maple for their line of award-winning maple products.  The VTP grant will help Thunder Basin provide extensive training for new leadership in forestry skills, Game of Logging woods safety certification, and organic training certifications. Training will support the current workforce as well as new hires.

At Runamok Maple, the VTP grant will be used to provide additional training for new and existing employees on stringent food manufacturing guidelines and regulations; manufacturing software implementation; newly purchased equipment; and various other manufacturing programs.

With the maple industry’s continued growth and consumer trends increasing demand for natural sweeteners over synthetic counterparts, Runamok plans to expand offerings in the years ahead.

“At Runamok Maple and Thunder Basin training is at the core of our business strategy.  Investments in our employees are directly correlated to our future success and VTP funding has provided us with additional capacity to make these investments,” said co-owner Eric Sorkin. “The Vermont Department of Economic Development has been very supportive and went above and beyond to help us.  In short, they are a great partner.”

“Vermont maple syrup is both nationally acclaimed and deeply rooted in our culture here at home,” said Joan Goldstein, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Economic Development, which oversees the Vermont Training Program.  “It is a growth industry that is expanding the state’s workforce and heightening our reputation for producing high quality products.  We are pleased to be able to support a growing Vermont company looking to the future.”

In 2018, Vermont produced nearly two million gallons of maple syrup making the state the largest producer in the country.

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About the Vermont Training Program

The Vermont Training Program is administered by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, Department of Economic Development. It is a workforce development program to enhance the skills of the Vermont workforce and increase productivity of Vermont employers; grants may cover up to 50 percent of the training cost which can either be on-site or through a training provider/vendor.  For more information on VTP, visit http://accd.vermont.gov/economic-development/funding-incentives/vtp.

About the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development

The Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development’s (ACCD) mission is to help Vermonters improve their quality of life and build strong communities. ACCD accomplishes this mission by providing grants, technical assistance, and advocacy through three divisions: The Department of Economic Development, the Department of Tourism and Marketing, and the Department of Housing and Community Development. For more information on ACCD please visit: https://accd.vermont.gov/.

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