FiberMark Converts Manufacturing Operations at Vermont Headquarters to Run on 100% Used Vegetable Oil FiberMark, a leading producer of specialty papers and fiber-based materials for a variety of applications, today announced that it has converted the manufacturing operations at its Vermont headquarters to be able to run up to 100% used vegetable oil. With this conversion, FiberMark has become the first manufacturer in the state of Vermont and in the paper industry to generate part of its process energy from waste biofuel. The green steam produced by the vegetable oil not only powers FiberMark’s Brattleboro paper machine turbine and dries its papers, but also provides heat for the plant.Before the conversion, FiberMark consumed approximately two million gallons of number six fuel oil per year. Switching to used vegetable oil now allows the company to reduce its use of number six fuel oil and to significantly eliminate toxic sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, the leading causes of acid rain and common side effects of burning of fuel oil. The vegetable oil burns far cleaner than conventional fuel.Among the ancillary benefits of the conversion to vegetable oil has been the working environment for FiberMark plant employees. Since vegetable oil burns far cleaner than crude oil, atmospheric soot from the facility has been significantly reduced. Indicative of this change is the plants air opacity, which before varied from 5% to 7% and is now between 0.5% and 1.5%.The conversion to vegetable oil-fueled manufacturing is one of a number of environmental initiatives spearheaded by FiberMark. Others include:- FiberMark is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)- certified. This certification (certificate code SW-COC-003054) verifies the flow of FSC-certified forest products through FiberMarks supply chain and into its final products, assuring FiberMark customers that the papers they are choosing are made from trees harvested according to strict environmental standards and forest management practices.- All of the electricity consumed at FiberMarks Brattleboro headquarters is generated from fossil fuel-free sources (hydro- and nuclear power).- All FiberMark manufacturing uses aqueous (water-based) coatings.- FiberMark’s products are all elemental and process chlorine free, including the new Eviva paper line, which is made from 100-percent recycled fiber, including 30-percent post-consumer waste.- 100% of FiberMark’s Brattleboro waste water sludge is reused as landfill cover.”FiberMark is committed to executing environmentally sustainable practices wherever possible,” said Steve Pfistner, vice president of safety and environmental management at FiberMark. “Our manufacturing processes, our products, and our company culture are all designed to promote environmental responsibility. As the first in the paper industry to power manufacturing operations with vegetable oil to reduce our carbon footprint and conserve our natural resources, we will continue to pursue every opportunity to positively serve the environment.”About FiberMarkFiberMark offers distinctive covering materials that express brands, inspire designs, and make lasting impressions. With an extensive range of visual and tactile options, FiberMark materials provide an endless array of design possibilities for applications in the office products, publishing, luxury packaging, technical/industrial and graphic design markets. The company’s specialty fiber-based materials are enhanced with a variety of colors, finishes, and embossing techniques that create visual depth and invite touch. FiberMark’s design specialists work with creative teams to develop a look that captures a brand’s unique personality, differentiate it from competitors, and create impact. FiberMark crafts its materials in the U.S. and Europe, creating innovative solutions for world-leading brands.For additional information, contact:Laura Nelson or Kaycee RobertsSVM Public Relations(401) email@example.com(link sends e-mail)firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail)
Week Ending February 7, 2009. There were 1,377 new regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance last week, an increase of 38 from the week before. Altogether 16,794 new and continuing claims were filed, 546 more than a week ago and 6,352 more than a year earlier. In addition, the Department processed 1,858 claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008, an increase of 42 from last week. The Unemployment Weekly Report can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/(link is external) Previously released Unemployment Weekly Reports and other UI reports can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/lmipub.htm#uc(link is external)
TotalNumberNumberMay-09Apr-09May-08AreaLabor ForceEmployedUnemployedRate (%)Rate (%)Rate (%) VERMONT LABOR FORCE AND UNEMPLOYMENTLABOR MARKET AREAS BY RESIDENCE (Not Seasonally Adjusted)May 2009 Estimates Private Industries241.3241.5254.8-0.2-13.5-0.1-5.3Construction13.518.104.22.168-2.22.3-14.0Manufacturing30.931.135.1-0.2-4.2-0.6-12.0Durable Goods21.721.825.5-0.1-3.8-0.5-14.9Non-Durable Goods22.214.171.124-0.1-0.4-1.1-4.2Trade, Transportation & Utilities56.956.559.40.4-2.50.7-4.2Retail Trade38.238.040.30.2-2.10.5-5.2Trans., Warehousing & Utilities126.96.36.199.1-0.21.2-2.3Financial Activities12.612.612.90.0-0.30.0-2.3Professional & Business Services21.120.823.20.3-2.11.4-9.1Professional., Scientific & Technical12.812.713.60.1-0.80.8-5.9Administrative Support & Waste188.8.131.52.4-1.25.2-12.9Education & Health Services60.160.258.8-0.11.3-0.22.2Private Ed. Services13.513.613.2-0.10.3-0.72.3Health Care & Social Assistance46.646.645.60.01.00.02.2Leisure & Hospitality30.831.232.9-0.4-2.1-1.3-6.4Arts, Entertainment & Recreation184.108.40.206-0.2-0.1-5.1-2.6Accommodation & Food Services27.127.329.1-0.2-2.0-0.7-6.9Other Services220.127.116.11.0-0.40.0-4.0Total Government54.253.954.00.30.20.60.4State Government17.517.618.2-0.1-0.7-0.6-3.8Local Government30.030.029.60.00.40.01.4 May -09Apr-09May-08Apr-09May-08Apr-09May-08Total – All Industries295.5295.4308.80.1-13.30.0-4.3 Changes From May 2009April2009May 2008April 2009May2008 Total Labor Force361,000361,000355,00006,000Employment334,500334,700339,000-200-4,500Unemployment26,50026,30016,00020010,500Rate (%)18.104.22.168.02.8Vermont s labor force, employment and unemployment statistics are produced from a combination of a Statewide survey of households and statistical modeling. The data are produced by the Local Area Unemployment Statistics Program (LAUS) a cooperative program with the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Vermont Department of Labor.Vermont Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment in ThousandsBY NAICSPrelim.RevisedRevisedChange From:% Change From: PRELIMREVISEDREVISEDCHANGES FROM% CHANGES FROMINDUSTRY BY NAICSMay-09Apr-09May-08Apr-09May-08Apr-09MAy-08TOTAL NONFARM295,650291,950308,4503,700-12,8001.3%-4.1%TOTAL PRIVATE239,250235,650252,2003,600-12,9501.5%-5.1%GOODS PRODUCING45,75043,95052,2001,800-6,4504.1%-12.4%MANUFACTURING30,85030,80035,10050-4,2500.2%-12.1%Durable Goods21,80021,75025,65050-3,8500.2%-15.0%Computer & Electrical Equipment Mfg.8,5008,5009,2500-7500.0%-8.1%Fabricated Metal Products Mfg.2,5002,5002,5500-500.0%-2.0%Non-Durable Goods9,0509,0509,4500-4000.0%-4.2%Food Mfg.3,8003,7503,90050-1001.3%-2.6%CONSTRUCTION14,05012,35016,2001,700-2,15013.8%-13.3%MINING & LOGGING85080090050-506.3%-5.6%SERVICE-PROVIDING249,900248,000256,2501,900-6,3500.8%-2.5%TRADE, TRANSPORTATION AND UTILITIES56,50055,45059,0501,050-2,5501.9%-4.3%Wholesale Trade9,9509,85010,300100-3501.0%-3.4%Retail Trade37,90037,15039,950750-2,0502.0%-5.1%Food & Beverage Stores10,0009,85010,100150-1001.5%-1.0%General Merchandise Store2,7002,7002,8000-1000.0%-3.6%Transportation, Warehousing and Utilities8,6508,4508,800200-1502.4%-1.7%Utilities1,7501,7501,750000.0%0.0%Transportation & Warehousing6,9006,7007,050200-1503.0%-2.1%INFORMATION5,5005,5005,7500-2500.0%-4.3%FINANCIAL ACTIVITIES12,65012,55012,950100-3000.8%-2.3%Finance & Insurance9,4009,3509,65050-2500.5%-2.6%Real Estate, Rental & Leasing3,2503,2003,30050-501.6%-1.5%PROFESSIONAL AND BUSINESS SERVICES21,25020,45023,400800-2,1503.9%-9.2%Professional, Scientific and Technical12,70012,70013,4500-7500.0%-5.6%Administrative, Support and Waste8,2507,4509,600800-1,35010.7%-14.1%EDUCATIONAL AND HEALTH SERVICES60,15060,20059,100-501,050-0.1%1.8%Educational Services13,55013,85013,400-300150-2.2%1.1%College, Universities and Professional7,1507,3507,150-2000-2.7%0.0%Health Care and Social Assistance46,60046,35045,7002509000.5%2.0%Ambulatory Health Care Services16,15016,20015,950-50200-0.3%1.3%Hospitals12,70012,65012,050506500.4%5.4%Nursing and Residential Care Facilities6,9506,9506,85001000.0%1.5%LEISURE AND HOSPITALITY28,00028,15029,900-150-1,900-0.5%-6.4%Arts, Entertainment and Recreation3,8003,2503,900550-10016.9%-2.6%Accommodation and Food Services24,20024,90026,000-700-1,800-2.8%-6.9%Accommodations7,7508,9008,100-1,150-350-12.9%-4.3%Hotels & Motels6,9008,2007,200-1,300-300-15.9%-4.2%Food Services and Drinking Places16,45016,00017,900450-1,4502.8%-8.1%OTHER SERVICES9,4509,4009,85050-4000.5%-4.1%GOVERNMENT56,40056,30056,2501001500.2%0.3%Federal Government6,5006,2506,2002503004.0%4.8%State Government Education8,1508,8508,350-700-200-7.9%-2.4%Local Government Education25,20024,85024,9003503001.4%1.2%Other State Government9,3509,2509,750100-4001.1%-4.1%Other Local Government7,2007,1007,0501001501.4%2.1%NOTE: DATA COMPLIED IN COOPERATION WITH THE U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS ESTIMATES ARE PRELIMINARY AND SUBJECT TO REVISION. SEE ANNUAL SUMMARY FOR DETAILSBeginning with the January 09 estimates CES has implemented a change to the Super Sector previously titled Natural Resources & Mining to Mining & Logging . It s merely a change of title to better reflect the true makeup of the Super Sector in CES. Statewide Total – All Industries estimate is seasonally adjusted independently.Note: Beginning January 2009 Vermont will publish a seasonally adjusted Total-All Industries estimate for the Burlington – S. Burlington MSA.Produced by the Vermont Department of Labor in cooperation with the U.S Bureau of Labor StatisticsVERMONT(not seasonally adjusted) Barre-Montpelier29,40027,4501,9506.67.64.3Bennington13,55012,4501,1008.29.33.9Bradford5,0004,6503507.28.94.5Brattleboro23,80022,1001,7007.27.64.8Burlington-South Burlington114,300107,3506,9506.16.53.7Hartford20,05019,2508004.04.92.6Manchester12,10011,0501,0008.59.64.7Middlebury18,50017,2501,2506.77.83.8Morristown-Stowe20,65019,0501,6007.79.14.8Newport14,35013,0501,3009.211.16.1Randolph8,8508,1507508.49.05.5Rutland25,80023,1502,70010.49.96.0Springfield12,25011,2501,0008.38.94.5St. Johnsbury15,30014,1501,2007.79.84.5Swanton-Enosburg14,30013,2001,1007.59.04.5Warren-Waitsfield3,7503,5002506.96.33.2Woodstock3,7003,4502005.86.53.1Vermont Total357,950332,50025,4007.17.94.3 Note: Rate is unemployed divided by total labor force, expressed as a percent.Source: Vermont Department of Labor in cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Burlington-S. Burlington MSA The Vermont Department of Labor announced today that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May 2009 was 7.3 percent, unchanged from the revised April rate and up 2.8 points from a year ago. While the job market remained stable and the unemployment rate was unchanged, monthly job growth remained sluggish. Unemployment rates for Vermont s 17 labor market areas ranged from 4.0 percent in Hartford to 10.4 percent in Rutland. Local labor market area unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted. For comparison, the May unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was 7.1 percent, down eight-tenths of a point from April 2009 and up 2.8 points from a year ago. The May unadjusted unemployment rate for Vermont was statistically different form the April rate. Job and employment levels remained stable in May, said Patricia Moulton Powden, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Labor. This is the second month in a row where job and employment losses have plateaued from the steep declines of 4th Quarter 2008 and early 2009. While we do not see any significant signs of job growth yet, the Vermont labor market is doing better than the US as a whole.Job GrowthIn May, we typically see seasonal job counts begin to rise after their 1st Quarter lows. Before seasonal adjustment, Total Non-Farm (TNF) jobs grew by 3,700 over the month, but remain down by 12,800 or -4.1% on an annual basis. This rate of annual loss is slower than what we saw in the revised April numbers (-5.3%). Construction, (+1,700 jobs or +13.8%) led the over the month growth. Retail Trade (+750 or +2.0%), Administrative Support & Waste, (+800 or 10.7%) also grew unadjusted jobs over the month. However, only Healthcare (+900 or 2.0%), Government, (+150 or +0.3%) and Education, (+150 or 1.1%) showed any annual improvement.When seasonally adjusted, May job levels were essentially flat, (+100 jobs) from April, but still remain down by 13,300 or -4.3% from May of 2008. The Construction sector grew by 300 seasonally adjusted jobs or 2.3% over the month. Administrative Support and Waste grew by 400 jobs or 5.2% driven by landscaping and temporary services. The Retail Trade sector grew by 200 seasonally adjusted jobs or 0.5% over April. Leisure and Hospitality and Manufacturing were the largest job losers, shedding 400 and 300 jobs respectively.Employment GrowthVermont s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged in May at 7.3 percent as a result of almost no change in either the number of employed, (334,500) or unemployed, (26,500) Vermonters. Vermont s observed May seasonally adjusted employment, unemployment levels and unemployment rate were not statistically significant from April. For comparison purposes, the US seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for May was 9.4 percent, up five-tenths of a point from the revised April rate of 8.9 percent.The preliminary estimates of nonfarm jobs for May, and the revisions to the estimates for November 2008 through April 2009, incorporate substantive changes made in the Current Employment Survey estimation procedures. These new procedures are designed to bring the aggregate monthly change in jobs for individual states into closer alignment with the change in national job counts reflected in the estimates produced and published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As a result of these changes, the November 2008 and forward estimates may not be totally comparable to previous months’ data. The impact of these changes in methodology will be better understood when we are able to make comparisons to Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages. We expect to make these comparisons beginning in May of 2009. For details of these changes, please contact Andy Condon at the Vermont Department of Labor at 802-828-4153 or email@example.com(link sends e-mail).Vermont Labor Force Statistics (Seasonally Adjusted) Total – All Industries109.4109.2114.40.2-5.00.2-4.4
Representative Peter Welch on Wednesday called on the Food and Drug Administration to investigate a new syrup product that appears to violate FDA labeling rules.The ‘All Natural Syrup’ marketed by Log Cabin Syrup, a division of Pinnacle Foods LLC, appears to include ingredients the FDA does not allow in products labeled as ‘natural.’‘Vermont’s hardworking maple sugar makers are known far and wide for producing the highest quality maple syrup available. Any artificial syrup product masquerading as ‘natural’ confuses consumers and dilutes the value of one of Vermont’s finest products,’ Welch said. ‘I am asking the FDA to take swift action to enforce its regulations and preserve honesty in labeling.’The House Committee on Energy and Commerce, of which Welch is a member, has jurisdiction over the FDA.Welch joins Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Roger Allbee in urging regulators to determine whether Log Cabin Syrup has violated FDA standards.‘Pure Vermont maple syrup is a signature product of our state, and any product that is mislabeled and tries to imitate it must be dealt with,’ Allbee said. ‘Congressman Welch’s letter to the FDA is greatly appreciated.’Welch’s letter is copied below:September 8, 2010Margaret Hamburg, M.D.CommissionerFood and Drug Administration10903 New Hampshire Ave.Silver Spring, MD 20993Dear Dr. Hamburg,Log Cabin Syrup, a division of Pinnacle Foods LLC, recently began marketing what it is calling a new, ‘All Natural Syrup.’ According to FDA guidelines, a product labeled ‘natural’ may not contain added colors, flavors or artificial substances.This so-called ‘natural’ product includes the following ingredients: syrup (brown rice, sugar, maple [4 percent]), water, natural flavor, xanthan gum (natural thickener), caramel color, citric acid. Log Cabin’s product appears to violate the FDA regulations.While most Vermonters have a discerning eye ‘ and palate ‘ for real maple syrup, the countless consumers outside of our state who have come to expect quality from natural Vermont products may be fooled by this misleading labeling. Therefore, I ask your agency to immediately investigate this product and determine whether it is in violation of FDA policies.I look forward to hearing back from your agency on the progress of your investigation.Sincerely, PETER WELCHMember of Congress
Today, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $1,430,000.00 to the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, a grantee of HIV-AIDS housing programs in Vermont. This supportive housing grant will offer critically needed housing and support services to extremely low-income persons living with HIV/AIDs. During each of the next three years, this HUD funding will help provide permanent supportive housing so they can manage their illnesses while receiving critically needed support services.The funding announced today is offered through HUD’s Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Program (HOPWA) and will renew HUD’s support of these previously funded projects in Vermont (see project description below).‘These grants are a vital source of support to the local programs that are on the ground working to keep families healthy,’ said New England Regional Administrator Barbara G. Fields. ‘Knowing that you have a place to call home can make all the difference to the wellbeing of families living with HIV/AIDS, many of whom have been on the brink of homelessness.’ GRANTEE NAMECITYAWARDVermont Housing and Conservation BoardMontpelier$1,430,000TOTAL$1,430,000 These projects have estimated that about 40 percent of the households to be assisted will involve persons who have been homeless. The grants announced today also support the Obama Administration’s new strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness, an unprecedented initiative announced last June at the White House. In February 2011, HUD released its plan to guide the agency’s actions under the National HIV/AIDS Strategy. As the nation’s housing agency, HUD will contribute a variety of housing resources to promote better integration of housing interventions into comprehensive HIV care systems. Housing assistance and related services funded by HOPWA are an essential part of the comprehensive system of care for low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS. A stable home environment is also vital for these households in allowing them to access consistent medical care and maintain their health. Furthermore, secure housing can be a platform for improved quality of life. Ninety percent of HOPWA funds are distributed by formula to cities and states based on the number of AIDS cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HUD’s formula grants are managed by 124 local and state jurisdictions, which coordinate AIDS housing efforts with other HUD and community resources. HUD is making available a record $334 million in HOPWA funds this year to help communities provide housing for this special needs population. Overall, these resources assist 60,669 households annually to promote stable housing and reduced risks of homelessness for those living with HIV and other challenges. HOPWA FY2011 Permanent Supportive Housing Renewal Grant SummariesVermont The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB) is awarded a HOPWA permanent supportive housing renewal grant for $1,430,000 to continue a statewide HIV/AIDS housing and supportive services program. This innovative program provides long-term rental assistance, short-term emergency housing assistance, and the provision of supportive services and case management through regional AIDS service organizations. The program integrates housing, health care, and a range of supportive services, into a single statewide delivery system. This project will support 30 individuals annually with tenant-based rental assistance and 108 households with short-term rent, mortgage and utility assistance. Additionally, 251 individuals will receive supportive services annually. This collaborative partnership includes the following organizations: Vermont Committee for AIDS Resources, Education and Services, AIDS Project of Southern Vermont, Vermont State Housing Authority, and HIV/HCV Resource Center.
Gifford Healthcare,Gifford Medical Center’s sixth annual Last Mile Ride held on Saturday, Aug. 20, attracted a record 219 motorcyclists, 23 cyclists and raised $48,000 for end-of-life care.The charity motorcycle ride was the Randolph hospital’s sixth annual. Since it’s start in 2006, rider numbers and money raised have climbed significantly. That first year just 74 riders turned out and $7,000 was raised.The leap in participation is due to word of mouth and support for the cause, according to hospital organizers. Gifford offers special care in a garden-side suite for patients at the end-of-life. The ride supports extra services for these patients and their families and also helps patients in advanced illness or choosing to die at home with special needs and last wishes.The steady climb in dollars raised for the cause is due to the support of sponsors, including many area businesses, and riders’ fund raising efforts. Riders who raise the most win prizes.This year rider Larry Richburg of Randolph took the top prize of a $300 gift card to Wilkins Harley-Davidson in South Barre after he collected more than $2,000 for the cause.‘I’m in the Rotary Club. I hit up everybody at Rotary. I think just about everybody in Rotary donated something. I also put a little something in the church bulletin at Bethany Church. I got a lot from people at the church. I sent an e-mail to my wife’s contact list for family and friends,’ says Richburg of how he was able to raise so much.There were also people who sought out Richburg. ‘I can’t believe the number of people who just call and say ‘I have a check for you.’ It kind of goes to show what kind of fund-raiser and project this is. You don’t find that very often.’Coming in second was Frank Drown of Northfield, who raised more than $1,700, and won a leather motorcycle jacket from Frank’s Motorcycle Sales and Service in Essex Junction.Drown’s daughter Naomi spent her final days in the Garden Room at Gifford before dying at home in 2008 at the age of 25. She had a rare cancer.Since, the tight-knit Drown family has made the Last Mile Ride an annual event. This year Frank rode with daughter Alicia, daughter Olivia drove a second bike and wife Sandra rode with a friend.For Sandra, the ride is a time of reflection and healing. ‘I just love it,’ she says.For Frank, who strives to be the first one registered for the ride each year and is relentless in his fund raising efforts, the ride, in part, is a chance to help other families as his was helped.‘The benefits received by the patients and families by this fund are not replaceable by words,’ he says, using his own experience as an example. ‘We have our memories. We have our conversations. But watching the CD of the photos set to music (the family received following their stay in the Garden Room), there’s nothing that can replace that. We have that forever. Not only that, but the people involved in the Garden Room, it’s a genuine care that this fund-raiser puts forth to the families and to the patients. It’s just overwhelming.‘My personal experiences with what this program gave me drive me. I could do this every year and never replace what I got out of it.’Ride founder Lynda McDermott of Randolph, a Gifford inpatient nurse, was also once again a top fund-raiser.‘I just feel a personal responsibility,’ McDermott says. ‘When a family goes through the death of a loved one, that creates a long-term memory. These memories never go away. It’s a memory that I want to be as positive as possible. Even though it’s a sad moment, there can be a joy in this. I’m trying to help these families cherish these last times with their loved ones.’Not all participants have had an experience with the Garden Room, of course. Participants this year came from as far away as Colorado, Connecticut and Maine. For the ride, the motorcyclists traveled 112 miles around central Vermont, assisted by a group of combat veterans, who served as road guards, and Orange County Sheriff Bill Bohnyak, who led the ride.Cyclists were also a part of this year’s ride. Last year, Gifford nurse Marci White did a 38.4 mile loop from Gifford to Northfield and back. This year, other cyclists were invited to join her on the same route and Green Mountain Bike Patrol helped cyclists along the route.The ride also included a Harley raffle again this year and the winner of the 2011 Iron 883 was Rochester’s Jay McGill-O’Rourke. A long-time motorcycle enthusiast, McGill-O’Rourke was clearly thrilled to win the new Harley.‘It’s the first thing I’ve won since I was in Cub Scouts, so that was 48 years ago,’ he said.McGill-O’Rourke has been riding since he was 15 and is into collectibles. The bike he rode in Saturday’s ride was a 1974 BMW. His newest bike is 1983 Honda. ‘This will put me back in the main stream,’ he says of the new Harley he’ll soon collect from Wilkins.A quilt made by Gifford staff went to Janet Whitacker of Stockbridge, who couldn’t ride this year but stopped Saturday to make a donation and buy raffle tickets.Organizers marveled at the outpouring of support from participants and non-participants alike.‘It always amazes me the amount of support we receive for our event. To know that so many people contribute their time, resources and energy to help others who they will probably never even meet is a humbling experience,’ said Ashley Lincoln, director of development, marketing and public relations at Gifford.Photo by Robin Palmer: Motorcyclists leave Gifford Medical Center in Randolph on Saturday for the start of the Last Mile Ride.Gifford Medical Center in Randolph, Vt., is a community hospital with family health centers in Bethel, Chelsea, Rochester and Sharon and specialty services throughout central Vermont. Gifford is a full-service hospital with a 24-hour emergency department, inpatient and rehabilitation units, a day care, an adult day care and a 30-bed nursing home, the Menig Extended Care Facility, which opened in 1998 on the main campus. The Birthing Center, established in 1977, was the first in Vermont to offer an alternative to the traditional hospital-based deliveries and continues to be a leader in midwifery and family-centered care.The hospital’s mission is to improve individuals’ and community health by providing and assuring access to affordable and high-quality health care in Gifford’s service area.Next year’s ride will be held on Aug. 18.