January, 2021 Archive
$10 Million Transportation Bonding Plan ApprovedMONTPELIER – A special committee of the Vermont Legislature May 21 unanimously approved a $10 million transportation bonding plan that is the first phase of a five-year, $80 million transportation plan Governor Douglas presented in his economic stimulus package.The bonding approval not only adds $10 million in state funds to the Vermont Agency of Transportation’s fiscal year 2009 budget, but also allows the Agency to leverage an additional $4 million in federal dollars, raising the total amount of the transportation stimulus package to $14 million.The Agency plans to put $12 million to work immediately on paving and bridge projects that will take place this spring, summer and fall. The remaining $2 million will be used to expedite engineering so additional bridge repairs can happen as quickly as 2009.”No other part of state government has a more direct affect on job creation than transportation,” said Agency of Transportation Secretary Neale Lunderville. “For every $1 million spent constructing or rehabilitating a piece of transportation infrastructure, 47 jobs are created.”This year’s bonding package is the first of what is planned to be a five-year, $80 million stimulus initiative designed to focus more resources on improving Vermont’s aging transportation infrastructure.This year’s bonding package includes 24 miles of new paving as well as money to work on 26 bridges, including seven bridges owned by various Vermont cities and towns. Bridge work ranges from complete replacement or rehabilitation to various preventive maintenance activities like membrane and joint replacement or rehabilitation designed to extend a bridge’s life by 10-to-20 years.”Preventive maintenance is key to extending the lifespan of our bridges,” Lunderville said. “For every $1 we spend today to preserve or maintain a bridge, we save $10 down the road because we do not have to rehabilitate or replace it.”
Grafton Village Cheese Co. wins a world cheese award and named among world’s 100 great cheeseGrafton Cheese Wins its Second World Cheese Award andTwo of its Cheeses Named Wine Spectators 100 Great Cheeses in the WorldGrafton, Vt. Grafton Village Cheese Company, makers of handcrafted Vermont cheddar, has received international recognition in the past few weeks, including winning a World Cheese Award bronze medal and a nod from Wine Spectator Magazine for having two of its cheddars named among the 100 Great Cheeses in the World.World Cheese AwardGraftons Maple Smoked Cheddar won a bronze medal at the 2008 World Cheese Awards, the worlds largest international cheese competition. The competition was held in late September at the Royal Dublin Society Simonscourt in Ireland, which was judged by 80 cheese experts from around the world who evaluated more than 2,400 cheeses from the UK, Europe, South Africa, Australia and the U.S.Graftons Maple Smoked cheddar is naturally smoked with smoke from maple wood chips for up to six hours, resulting in a perfectly indigenous Vermont cheese. This is the second World Cheese Award for Grafton Village Cheese, having won a bronze in 2006 for its Four Star Cheddar.Wine Spectator MagazineWine Spectator Magazine, the most influential source of wine information in print, announced its picks for the 100 worlds great cheeses in its September 30 issue. Of the top 100, 32 are US cheeses, including 10 Vermont cheeses. And within the 10 Vermont cheeses, Graftons Clothbound Cheddar and Premium Cheddar made this prestigious list.Aged for approximately one year and sealed with red wax, Graftons Premium Cheddar delivers the full flavor of old-fashioned farmhouse cheddar.Graftons newest product Clothbound Cheddar is a traditional English-style cheddar with a natural rind and aged in caves. True to its roots, raw milk is used for this cheese, along with traditional animal rennet. For those looking to try Grafton Clothbound Cheddar will need to visit Vermont to do so, as it is still under development and refinement. Prototypes of this cheese have been produced in small quantities and it is currently available only in Graftons two retail stores in Grafton and Brattleboro, Vermont.Hungry visitors who are interested in tasting and / or purchasing Grafton Cheese can do so at both of its retail locations: Grafton Store Hours: Monday Friday 9 a.m. 5 p.m. and weekends 10 a.m. 5 p.m. Located at 533 Townshend Road in Grafton, Vt. Brattleboro Store Hours: Monday Saturday 9 a.m. 7 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. 6 p.m. Located at 400 Linden Street (Route 30) in Brattleboro, Vt.About Grafton Village CheeseThe Grafton Village Cheese Company, located in Grafton and Brattleboro, Vermont, handcrafts artisanal cheddar cheese. An on-site retail shop with daily cheese tasting and a cheese making viewing window offers visitors an authentic Vermont cheddar experience in both locations. The Brattleboro store is a full-service artisanal cheese shop with more than 80 types of Vermont cheeses, paired wines and beer, fresh bread and other Vermont products and gourmet foods.The Grafton Village Cheese Co. was founded in 1892 as the Grafton Cooperative Cheese Company, which converted surplus milk from local dairy farmers into cheese. Years later, a fire destroyed the original factory. When the Windham Foundation restored the company in the mid 1960s, a new era for the town was born. Today, quality and taste continue to serve as the hallmark of Grafton cheddar. As part of the nonprofit Windham Foundation, much of Grafton Cheeses annual earned income funds the Foundations charitable programs. More information on Grafton Village Cheese Company can be found online at graftonvillagecheese.com.-30-
On Nov. 12 and Nov. 15, representatives from Champlain College will host open house sessions to view plans for a welcome center, residence halls and other campus expansion proposals in conjunction with its master plan. The sessions are open for neighbors and community members.In March 2007, Champlain completed its master plan with the vision to support future growth as a flexible, desirable, and attractive institution. This vision was designed with the goal not to negatively impact the residential or historic character, or the high quality of life on The Hill.Attendees are welcome to stop by on either day for any duration during the hours of 6 pm and 8 pm on Nov. 12 and 9 am and noon on Nov. 15.Located on campus in the Hauke Family Center Conference Room, representatives will be available with information and designs of the overall master plan, as well as the individual proposals. Other topics covered will be traffic, sustainability and neighborhood preservation.This event is free and open to the public.
As part of its continuing network investment to support growing demand for advanced mobile devices and applications, AT&T* today announced the activation of new 3G cell sites in Barreand Montpelier that will enhance coverage for area residents and businesses. With 3G speeds, AT&T customers can surf the Web, download files faster, and enjoy the very latest interactive mobile applications.”Vermonters welcome AT&T’s introduction of 3G capabilities to the capital region of the state,” said Sen. Ann E. Cummingsof Montpelier, chair of the Senate Finance Committee. “It is critical that we offer them the latest technologies and services, and AT&T’s investment in a more robust wireless network here and in other areas of Vermont will help attract business and strengthen the state’s economy.”The new cell sites are part of AT&T’s ongoing efforts to drive innovation and extend its 3G wireless network the fastest in the nation, according to independent testing. In December 2009, AT&T launched its 3G network in a number of Vermontcities and towns, including Bennington, Brattleboro, Burlington, Rutland, St. Albans and White River Junction. These expansions are part of AT&T’s ongoing investment to build the broadband networks that will fuel economic growth and create jobs, and enable its customers to quickly access the content, applications and services that matter most to them. Additional 3G investments in Vermont will be announced later this year.”Our goal is pretty simple: we want you to have an extraordinary experience when you make a call, check e-mail, download a song or video, or surf the Internet on your AT&T device,” said Steve Krom, vice president and general manager, AT&T New England. “We’re always looking for new opportunities to provide enhanced coverage and our investment in the local wireless network is just one way to accomplish this.”AT&T recently completed a software upgrade at 3G cell sites nationwide that prepares the nation’s fastest 3G network for even faster speeds. The deployment of High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) 7.2 technology is the first of multiple initiatives in AT&T’s network enhancement strategy designed to provide customers with an enhanced mobile broadband experience, both today and well into the future. Faster 3G speeds are scheduled to become available in 2010 and 2011 on a market by market basis as AT&T combines the new technology with our second initiative to dramatically increase the number of high-speed backhaul connections to cell sites, primarily with fiber-optic connections, adding capacity from cell sites to the AT&T backbone network.AT&T’s 3G mobile broadband network is based on the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) family of technologies that includes GSM and UMTS, the most open and widely used wireless network platforms in the world. AT&T offers 3G data roaming in more than 115 countries, as well as voice calling in more than 220 countries.For updates on the AT&T wireless network, please visit www.att.com/networknews(link is external).*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.About AT&TAT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates, AT&T operating companies, are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. Among their offerings are the world’s most advanced IP-based business communications services, the nation’s fastest 3G network and the best wireless coverage worldwide, and the nation’s leading high speed Internet access and voice services. In domestic markets, AT&T is known for the directory publishing and advertising sales leadership of its Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations, and the AT&T brand is licensed to innovators in such fields as communications equipment. As part of their three-screen integration strategy, AT&T operating companies are expanding their TV entertainment offerings. In 2009, AT&T again ranked No. 1 in the telecommunications industry on FORTUNE® magazine’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com(link is external).© 2010 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the AT&T logo and all other marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies.Cautionary Language Concerning Forward-Looking StatementsInformation set forth in this press release contains financial estimates and other forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results might differ materially. A discussion of factors that may affect future results is contained in AT&T’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AT&T disclaims any obligation to update and revise statements contained in this news release based on new information or otherwise.SOURCE AT&T Inc. MONTPELIER, Vt., Feb. 9, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ —
John Mandeville of East Hardwick has been appointed Executive Director for the Lamoille Economic Development Corporation based in Morrisville. He replaces Art Sanborn who is retiring effective April 1, 2010. Mandeville moved to Vermont in 2000 having spent the previous 7 years as the Managing Director of the European subsidiary of an American company based in southern England. Since moving to Vermont he has worked for the New England Culinary Institute, has been an Area Business Advisor for the Vermont Small Business Development Center covering the Northeast Kingdom, Lamoille County and, briefly, Franklin County, and has most recently been the Director of the Incubator Without Walls program at Lyndon State College. The Incubator is a joint effort between the college and the VtSBDC. Mandeville is also a Peer Counselor for the Peer to Peer Collaborative, a part of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, and has served on the Boards of the Hardwick Electric Department and Northern Counties Health Care for many years. His wife, Joyce, is the Executive Director of the T.W. Wood Gallery and Art Center on the campus of the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier.The LEDC is one of 12 Regional Development Corporations covering all of Vermont. The RDCs are tasked with facilitating economic and business development as well as work force development within their assigned regions. Mandeville says, “I look forward to working with existing businesses, new businesses, stakeholders and government officials to continue the terrific work the LEDC has done through the years in maximizing development opportunities throughout all of Lamoille County. The challenging times through which we are all now living present opportunities which the LEDC Board and I intend to exploit to the fullest extent possible. “The LEDC may be reached at 888-5640 or email@example.com(link sends e-mail)
Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 162,000 in March, and the unemploymentrate held at 9.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.Temporary help services and health care continued to add jobs over the month.Employment in federal government also rose, reflecting the hiring of temporaryworkers for Census 2010. Employment continued to decline in financial activi-ties and in information.Household Survey DataIn March, the number of unemployed persons was little changed at 15.0 million,and the unemployment rate remained at 9.7 percent. (See table A-1.)Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (10.0 per-cent), adult women (8.0 percent), teenagers (26.1 percent), whites (8.8 per-cent), blacks (16.5 percent), and Hispanics (12.6 percent) showed little or nochange in March. The jobless rate for Asians was 7.5 percent, not seasonallyadjusted. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) in-creased by 414,000 over the month to 6.5 million. In March, 44.1 percent ofunemployed persons were jobless for 27 weeks or more. (See table A-12.)The civilian labor force participation rate (64.9 percent) and the employment-population ratio (58.6 percent) continued to edge up in March. (See table A-1.)The number of persons working part time for economic reasons (sometimes re-ferred to as involuntary part-time workers) increased to 9.1 million in March.These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut backor because they were unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)About 2.3 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force in March,compared with 2.1 million a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.)These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available forwork, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were notcounted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks pre-ceding the survey. (See table A-16.)Among the marginally attached, there were 1.0 million discouraged workers inMarch, up by 309,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.)Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they be-lieve no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.3 million persons margin-ally attached to the labor force had not searched for work in the 4 weeks pre-ceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibili-ties. (See table A-16.)Establishment Survey DataIn March, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 162,000. Job growth continued in tem-porary help services and in health care. Federal government employment increaseddue to the hiring of temporary workers for Census 2010. Job losses continued infinancial activities and in information. (See table B-1.)Temporary help services added 40,000 jobs in March. Since September 2009, tempor-ary help services employment has risen by 313,000.Employment in health care continued to increase in March (27,000), with the larg-est gains occurring in ambulatory health care services (16,000) and in nursing andresidential care facilities (9,000).In March, employment in mining increased by 8,000. Monthly job gains in mininghave averaged 6,000 over the past 5 months.Employment in federal government was up over the month, reflecting the hiring of48,000 temporary workers for the decennial census.Manufacturing employment continued to trend up in March (17,000); the industry hasadded 45,000 jobs in the first 3 months of 2010. Over the month, job gains wereconcentrated in fabricated metal products (9,000) and in machinery (6,000).Employment in construction held steady (15,000) in March. The industry had lost anaverage of 72,000 jobs per month in the prior 12 months.Over the month, employment changed little in transportation and warehousing,leisure and hospitality, retail trade, and wholesale trade.In March, financial activities shed 21,000 jobs, with the largest losses occur-ring in insurance carriers and related activities (-9,000). Employment in theinformation industry decreased by 12,000.The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was up by0.1 hour to 34.0 hours in March. The manufacturing workweek for all employeesincreased by 0.2 hour to 39.9 hours, and factory overtime was up by 0.1 hourover the month. In March, the average workweek for production and nonsuper-visory employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.2 hour to 33.3hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)In March, average hourly earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrollsfell by 2 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $22.47, following a 4-cent gain in February.Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 1.8 percent. InMarch, average hourly earnings of private production and nonsupervisory employ-ees fell by 2 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $18.90. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for January was revised from-26,000 to +14,000, and the change for February was revised from -36,000 to-14,000.Source: US Dept of Labor. 4.2.2010
asdf Twelve new Vermont jobs are on hold following an appeal in Maine of that state’s decision to change its lottery vendor to the same firm that handles Vermont. The Kennebec Journal is reporting today that Scientific Games of Gardiner, Me, has appealed the decision by the Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations to award the new contract to SG’s international competitor, Intralot. Intralot, based in Greece, won the Vermont contract in 2009. That decision by the Vermont Lottery to go with Intralot was also appealed by SG, which, as in Maine, was the previous contractor.The Kennebec Journal story said the Intralot decision was made in early October. It said that Intralot planned to transfer 12 positions to its Vermont data center in East Montpelier. The two companies handle the technical and management side of the lotteries. In Maine, SG also prints the lottery cards, but that contract expires next year.Meanwhile in Vermont, Intralot was chosen as the new contractor by the Vermont Lottery in 2009 based on largely on the fact that it would save the commission about $3 million over the length of the deal. Intralot was scheduled to take over the system on July 1, 2010, but SG filed an injunction in June to stop the transfer. The parties mutually agreed to dismiss the case in Washington County Superior Court on September 8. The two sides agreed not to sue each other and SG paid the state $2,000 to cover court costs.As for the new case in Maine, Vermont Lottery Executive Director Alan Yandow told Vermont Business Magazine that he had no comment. And as for the Vermont case, he referred to the court documents (SEE BELOW).The new Vermont contract with Intralot is scheduled to run six years with an option for two additional, two-year renewals. Intralot will manage the Vermont Lottery’s associated gaming products, retailer network and support services.In return, Vermont will receive an upgraded Lottery system and equipment. Intralot, in a statement announcing the deal, said its state-of-the-art telecommunications system will connect its terminals in 700 locations throughout the state to its LOTOSTM O/S Central System, enabling secure and reliable transactions.Yandow stated at the time of the Intralot deal: “We look forward to a strong, mutually beneficial partnership with Intralot. In the coming years, change in the lottery industry will move very fast, and we anticipate our working relationship with Intralot will assist us in making those changes, and increase our contribution to the Vermont Education Fund.”Since the sale of the first ticket in February of 1978, the Vermont Lottery, according to its Web site, has produced over $1.6 billion in overall sales. From those sales, over $1 billion has been returned to players in the form of prizes, over $91 million has gone back to the local communities and been paid to local Lottery agents in the form of commissions, and over $430 million has gone to the State of Vermont (Education Fund since FY 1999).Vermont Lottery Agents receive a 5.75% sales commission on all Tri-State games (Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine) and instant ticket sales; they also receive a 6% sales commission on all Multi State Lottery Association ticket sales. Agents also receive a 1% bonus (capped at $30,000) for selling a winning Vermont Instant Scratch Ticket, Powerball, or Tri-State lottery ticket of $500 or more. The bonus commission is paid when the ticket is claimed.LEGAL DOCUMENTS:
Efficiency Vermont,Efficiency Vermont is working with contractors and community-based organizations to help residents and small businesses rebuild after Tropical Storm Irene.Free services from Efficiency Vermont for flood-damaged structures include:· Free flood repair assessments and air sealing by certified contractors, including moisture assessments, blower-door tests to identify areas of air leakage, air sealing, combustion safety testing to determine carbon monoxide levels and recommendations for rebuilding safely and energy efficiently;· Enhanced weatherization and appliances replacement for low-income Vermonters, in collaboration with local weatherization assistance programs;· Special custom ‘Button Up’ workshops scheduled around the state, to help Vermonters rebuild safely and energy efficiently, in partnership with the Central Vermont Community Action Council (CVCAC);· Incentives of up to $1,000 to help Vermonters replace and upgrade heating systems and hot water heaters, in cooperation with the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association; and· Customized incentives for businesses on equipment replacement as well as structural repairs. In addition, Efficiency Vermont continues to offer residential incentives of $25 – $100 to assist with the purchase of energy efficient refrigerators, clothes washers and dehumidifiers. ‘Vermonters have been doing a tremendous job recovering from Irene,’ said Jim Merriam, director of Efficiency Vermont. ‘Efficiency Vermont is here to help them do so in a way that helps meet immediate needs, while also strengthening our communities for the future.’To further help flood-damaged communities, Efficiency Vermont and CVCAC are offering a special version of the popular Button-Up Vermont do-it-yourself workshops in September and early October. These free workshops (dates and locations to be announced) will deal with drying walls and basements, addressing mold issues, and improving building and heating system efficiency.”VFDA members are busy fixing heating equipment that was damaged by the storm,” said Matt Cota, Executive Director of the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association. “In many instances, a new high efficiency system or hot water heater is a better choice than fixing what is currently in the basement. Thanks to these incentives, these systems will be a little easier to afford.”Efficiency Vermont assessments, air sealing and other measures are available for a limited time. Limited funding is available for the rebates that will be provided on a first-received basis. More information can be found by contacting Efficiency Vermont at 888-921-5990or www.efficiencyvermont.com/irene(link is external).Community leaders in flood-affected areas who want to schedule workshops are encouraged to contact Liz Schlegel of CVCAC at 802-477-5237 or firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail).For more information about all of Efficiency Vermont’s services to help Vermonters with Tropical Storm Irene recovery, visit www.efficiencyvermont.com/irene(link is external), or call toll-free 888-921-5990. Efficiency Vermont was created by the Vermont Legislature and the Vermont Public Service Board to help all Vermonters reduce energy costs, strengthen the economy, and protect Vermont’s environment. Efficiency Vermont is currently operated by Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC), an independent organization under appointment to the Vermont Public Service Board. VEIC is a Vermont-based nonprofit organization founded in 1986. For more information, contact Efficiency Vermont at 888-921-5990 or visit www.efficiencyvermont.com(link is external).
Joined by legislative leaders and the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, Gov. Peter Shumlin today announced a plan of action to enable towns to abate education taxes for property owners hard-hit by Tropical Storm Irene and spring flooding. The plan will authorize the Tax Department to set up procedures to reimburse towns for such extraordinary abatements. The plan will require legislative approval when lawmakers return to Montpelier in January. Recognizing that taxpayers who have lost use of their property may petition their local boards of abatement for tax relief even before then, however, Gov. Shumlin and legislators have agreed on a plan that will guide localities as they consider these requests. ‘Clearly many Vermont homeowners have been severely impacted by Tropical Storm Irene, and will be turning to their local towns to abate their taxes given the damage done to their properties,’ Gov. Shumlin said. ‘Our plan will allow towns to pass along that assistance to property taxpayers, whose loss was extraordinary, without having to take a significant financial hit themselves.’ Governor Shumlin was joined by legislative leaders who have worked collaboratively with the administration on the plan and pledged to pass the relevant legislation in the upcoming session. ‘The legislature stands committed to helping those affected by natural disasters this year,’ said Speaker Shap Smith. ‘This bill will take a heavy burden off those hardest hit by the storms of this spring and summer. I anticipate its swift passage when the legislature reconvenes in January.’ “This is one step in our attempt to minimize the loss sustained by individuals and towns,” added Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell. Municipal officials in communities hit by the storm have been voicing concern about the number of abatement requests either received or anticipated, and worries those abatements might force towns to reduce services or take other harmful steps to live within their annual budgets. The Vermont League of Cities and Towns worked with the Administration and lawmakers to develop the bill. Executive Director Steve Jeffrey stated, ‘While abatements remain a local decision, we have a statewide property tax. This measure will spread some of the cost of abatements across the state, giving towns the tools to grant relief to the hardest hit property owners.’ Mary Peterson, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Taxes, immediately announced the procedures that the Department will adopt in order to provide clarity and consistency for taxpayers and localities. Reimbursement of abated education taxes will be approved when the local Boards of Abatements make four findings:· The property damage was due to a 2011 federal declared disaster;· Municipal and educations taxes are proportionately reduced;· The primary structure on the property suffered at least a 50 percent value loss; and· The property owner lost use of the primary structure for at least 90 days The reimbursement will only cover the taxes for the portion of the year during which the use of the property was lost. The state anticipates the reimbursed abatements will total about $2 – 4 million, money that will come from the Education Fund. The Tax Department will provide information and forms to local communities who might want to participate.
US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan today awarded $3,569,374 to renew funding to 22 homeless programs operating in Vermont. The funding announced today will ensure these housing and service programs remain operating in 2012 and are a critical part of the Obama Administration’s strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness. View a complete list of all the state and local homeless assistance programs awarded funding.HUD is renewing funding through its Continuum of Care programs to existing local programs as quickly as possible to prevent any interruption in federal assistance and will award funds to new projects in early 2012.‘The grants we’re awarding today will literally keep the doors of our shelters open and will help those on the front lines of ending homelessness do what they do best,’ said Donovan. ‘It’s incredible that as we work to recover from the greatest economic decline since the Great Depression, the total number of homeless Americans is declining, in large part because of these funds.’Last week, HUD announced its 2011 ‘point in time’ estimate of the number of homeless persons in America. Approximately 3,000 cities and counties reported 636,000 homeless persons on a single night in January of 2011, a 2.1 percent decline from the year before. This documented reduction in homelessness was noticed among all population groups including individuals, families, and those experiencing long-term or chronic homeless. In addition, HUD’s estimate reveals a 12 percent reduction in homelessness among veterans.HUD’s Continuum of Care grants announced today provide permanent and transitional housing to homeless persons as well as services including job training, health care, mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment and child care. Continuum of Care grants are awarded competitively to local programs to meet the needs of their homeless clients. These grants fund a wide variety of programs from street outreach and assessment programs to transitional and permanent housing for homeless persons and families.Last year, President Obama and 19 federal agencies and offices that form the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) launched the nation’s first comprehensive strategy to prevent and end homelessness. Opening Doors: Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness puts the country on a path to end veterans and chronic homelessness by 2015 and to ending homelessness among children, family, and youth by 2020.In addition to HUD’s annual grant awards, HUD allocated $1.5 billion through its Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing (HPRP) Program. Made possible through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, HPRP is intended to prevent persons from falling into homelessness or to rapidly re-house them if they do. To date, more than one million persons have been assisted through HPRP. 12.20.2011