Scott cited Schirling’s innovation and leadership experience in hiring him to run an agency that will be under particular pressure to produce results. Scott campaigned on a promise of generating economic growth.
Schirling will replace Lucy Leriche, who has been commerce secretary only since September, when Pat Moulton left to head Vermont Technical College.
Kurrle has been serving as a volunteer adviser to Scott’s transition team. The Middlesex resident is co-owner of Kurrle Fuels & Kurrle Transport, and manages daily operations for the Montpelier-based fuel hauling and convenience store business. She has a background in marketing and accounting.
Courtesy of Vermont Lottery
Kurrle will replace Annie Noonan, who served as labor commissioner for outgoing Gov. Peter Shumlin during his entire six years in office.
As labor commissioner, Kurrle will be Scott’s point person in the ongoing debate over the classification of independent contractors. Legislators and the Shumlin administration reached a stalemate over the issue this year. Labor-rights activists and business owners have conflicting opinions over what type of work makes a person an employee versus an independent contractor for purposes of workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance.
The department also oversees workforce training programs, a point Scott highlighted in his announcement.