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Williston Tech Company’s Polly lays off 17 people in Vermont.Business | Seven days

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Travis Fitzgerald, DealerPolicy CEO - Courtesy of DEALERPOLICY

  • Courtesy of Dealer Policy
  • Travis Fitzgerald, DealerPolicy CEO

Williston-based Polly, a digital auto insurance marketplace for auto dealers, laid off 15% of its staff, including 17 employees in Vermont.

The company’s senior director of communications, Ben Jastad, said it was due to tough times in the auto industry and the economy as a whole.

“The coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt the auto industry, with inventory levels remaining much lower than before the pandemic,” Jastatt wrote in an email Monday. “More broadly, 2022 marks the beginning of a tougher new economic environment, with stubborn inflation and rising interest rates.”

Layoffs have swept many of the big tech companies in recent weeks, including Netflix, Amazon, Twitter and Meta. Business website Crunchbase News reported Friday that more than 88,000 workers in the tech sector have lost their jobs in mass cuts so far this year.

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Workers in Polly, Vermont, who lost their jobs last Thursday due to layoffs could find other job opportunities, especially if they are in Chittenden County.Vermont’s unemployment rate hovered around 2%. and tech companies are trying hard to find workers, said Jeff Couture, executive director of the Vermont Technology Alliance. According to Couture, a job board on the Tech Alliance website lists more than 300 of his job openings.

“The trend I see is more How do you secure the necessary human resources? “ Couture said of his 200 or so members: “We have not seen any apparent effort to cut jobs or initiate layoffs in the technology sector.”

Formerly known as DealerPolicy, Polly is one of Vermont’s success stories. The company, which provides mobile technology to help auto shoppers choose from multiple insurance quotes, was founded in 2016 by Travis Fitzgerald and Jeff Mongeon. The company has grown rapidly, acquired several other companies, and last year he landed a hefty venture capital investment, including $140 million. In the summer of 2021, company officials said Polly had 250 employees of his and plans to add another 100 that year, working either in Williston or remotely.

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Jastatt on Monday declined to say how many employees Polly currently has. “Our top priority has been to treat all those affected with dignity and respect and to support their transition in any way we can,” he said in an email. He added that the company is trying to help workers find new jobs and is allowing them to keep company laptops.

Couture said he was unaware of any other significant tech layoffs in Vermont, at least not recently, but GlobalFoundries, a semiconductor maker with a factory in Essex Junction, has a global business. He pointed out that the number of jobs increases and decreases with the cycle. The company warned employees of impending layoffs by the end of the year, reported.

“I haven’t seen what’s happening at a major tech company nationally affect a smaller or Vermont-based tech company,” said Couture. He thinks the impact of Polly’s layoff will be small.

“These are not huge numbers,” said Couture. “There are many employment opportunities for companies based in Vermont.”

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