Vermont Aerospace Becomes 100% Employee-Owned

News Story: 

cotascotas and bernie sanders

Vermont Aerospace Manufacturing, Inc., announced today that it has been sold to its employees through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Company owners Don and Sheryl Cota decided to create the ESOP as a way to reward employees for their years of service and to insure that the business would stay in the area.

The announcement was made at a celebration at the company’s headquarters in Lyndonville on November 9th. Guests included Senator Bernard Sanders and Don Jamison of the Vermont Employee Ownership Center.

“This year marks Vermont Aerospace’s 30th year in business, and this was accomplished because of the dedication and hard work of our employees,” says Don Cota, president of Vermont Aerospace. “Sheryl and I were looking for a way to provide our employees with stability, opportunity, and a vehicle that would allow sharing of company profits.”

The Cotas learned about ESOPs from the Vermont Employee Ownership Center (VEOC), a nonprofit organization that provides education and technical assistance to businesses that could benefit from selling some or all of the company to its employees. “After one meeting with the folks at the VEOC, we were convinced that an ESOP met our requirements,” Cota explains.

“It’s wonderful that Vermont Aerospace has been sold to the employees,” says Jon Crystal, Executive Director of the VEOC. “This new ownership structure will help keep Vermont Aerospace in the Northeast Kingdom, thereby securing hundreds of jobs in an area of the state that has seen more than its share of job losses.”

“The ESOP is a tremendous opportunity for all the employees that work at Vermont Aerospace,” says Jeremy Ely, the company’s general manager. “I hope that everyone at Vermont Aerospace will take advantage of this opportunity to make the organization and themselves more secure for years to come.”

The company joins a growing list of 100% employee-owned businesses in Vermont. They include such well-known companies as King Arthur Flour, Gardener’s Supply, Carris Reels, Pizzagalli Construction, and Resource Systems Group.

Vermont Aerospace is an ISO9001:2008 & AS9100 certified manufacturer for aerospace and defense companies. The company employs over 200 highly skilled machinists, engineers, fabrication, and support personnel in two facilities in the northeast region of Vermont. For more information, visit