Vermont has made some small steps toward a solution in regards to the housing problem, Douglas said. The state has accumulated parcels of land at a fairly low cost and has in turn asked developers to visualize housing plans that would reflect the low price needed to acquire the lands.
As far as employment is concerned, Douglas said it is important for Vermont to pick a selling point.
Where are the hot jobs and what can we do here to attract businesses and companies? he asked. We do need to decide which sector we want to encourage. Environmental engineering, for example, that is a sector that we can really grow upon.
Other topics touched upon during Douglas speech included Chinas role in global environmental conservation, an issue that Douglas has faced head-on during his own visits to China.
I was privileged in June to go to China, said Douglas. It was a good experience...to take the environmental engineering sector and make a difference in a country that needs some improvement.
Douglas said Chinas government has vowed to shutdown all industrial factories 30 days prior to the 2010 Olympics, which will be hosted by Beijing. Furthermore, China has promised to make environmental conservation a focus at the 2010 World Fair in Shanghai. Douglas had the opportunity to meet personally with the citys mayor.
The mayor of Shanghai told me, Vermont has such a tremendous reputation in terms of its environmental stewardship, he said.
Douglas wrapped up his appearance with several comments on the recent Eat Local campaign that he and members of his cabinet participated in.
I think I gained five pounds because I ate a lot of local ice cream, he said.