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Vt. brain drain? State says 'yes', employers say 'no'

Is Vermonts brain drain real or imagined? State officials worry that young people are leaving Vermont in search of cool careers with big paychecks. But the state is full of innovative companies. Vermonts high-tech employers claim they have more interesting, good-paying jobs than local candidates to fill them. The mutual interests of job seekers and employers inspired Vermont 3.0 Creative/Tech Career Jama one-day showcase of Vermont businesses on the cutting edge of software development, green technology, graphic design and new media marketing. Organized by a consortium of business and education partners, the event aims to attract high school and college students and career changers interested in creative technology career opportunities, along with Vermont companies seeking skilled employees for their growing businesses. Vermont 3.0 Creative/Tech Career Jam will take place on Saturday, Jan. 26, at Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Underwriters include EpikOne, Vermont Software Developers Alliance, Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce, Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation, Community & Economic Development Office and the Vermont Department of Economic Development. Additional sponsors are pending. Vermont 3.0 wont be a typical job expo. Exhibitors from business and higher education will ensure that prospective students and employees get a true picture of the varied world of creative/tech jobs and careers available right here in Vermont: Dealer.com, Polhemus, NRG Systems, Earth Turbines and Burlington Telecom have all signed on. Talks by successful leaders in their fields are also on the agenda. Scheduled private-sector speakers include Bill Schubart of Resolution; JDK Designs Nate Herzog: Julie Lerman of The Data Farm, Dori Wolfe from Grosolar, Concept IIs Peter Dreissigacker and Dave Contois of Contois Music. Contois interactive Guitar Heroes III video game for Playstation will be one of several products to be demonstrated throughout the day. Vermont institutions of higher learning have played a crucial role envisioning Vermont 3.0. Champlain College, St. Michaels College, University of Vermont, and Norwich University will use the conference to present programs that prepare students for the creative and technology career paths of today and the future. Speakers from the academic sector include Josh Bongard, Computer Science professor at the University of Vermont and Ann DeMarle, Director of Emergent Media Center at Champlain College. The partners planning the conference are Vermont Software Developers Alliance, Vermont Student Assistance Corporation, Community & Economic Development Office, Seven Days, University of Vermont, St. Michaels College and Champlain College.

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