AP News

Officials promising big jobs news for northern Vt.

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Officials plan to announce a series of development projects in northern Vermont on Thursday that Gov. Peter Shumlin said he never thought would have been possible.

Some reports say the projects could create 5,000 jobs.

Shumlin made the comments at his weekly news conference on Wednesday but he wouldn't provide specifics about Thursday's announcement at the Jay Peak ski resort, just south of the Canadian border.

"Come with us tomorrow. We're going to tell a story tomorrow about the Northeast Kingdom, which has suffered from some of the highest unemployment rates in Vermont for years that I never thought would be able to be told in my wildest dreams," Shumlin said.

Shumlin and Vermont's congressional delegation are planning to be in the region for the announcement. A series of other events across the region at Jay Peak, Burke Mountain Resort and the Newport State Airport will highlight different aspects of the project.

The money for the projects would come through a program that allows people from outside the United States to obtain U.S. residency in exchange for investments, said Jay Peak President Bill Stenger.

The venture will bring 5,000 "direct and indirect jobs" to the region, Stenger said.

The projects include a cold-weather Cessna flight school, Stenger confirmed to the Times Argus.

"All I can tell you is we have several economic development projects that are coming to fruition at this point now that the EB-5 extension has been enacted by Congress," he said.

The foreign investment program has helped the resort raise $250 million, Stenger said last year. Projects funded by foreign investors had created more than 2,000 jobs in the region since 2005, he has said.

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