Brattleboro, VT May 17, 2016 —The Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC) received notification today that it has been awarded a grant in the amount of $230,000 to develop economic development capacity in the Windham and Bennington County regions of Southern Vermont. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is awarding more than $4 million in grants to 23 organizations to support rural economic development projects. The awards and the request for applications are being provided through the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) program. RCDI helps community-based development organizations, federally recognized Indian tribes and other groups promote economic development in low-income, rural communities. “The latest Census data show that last year, rural America’s population grew at the fastest rate since 2010,” Vilsack said. “USDA stands ready to help rural communities create jobs and continue to be a place where people want to raise their families. We have seen time and again that our community investments are most successful when we partner with folks already embedded in the local fabric. These grants will help bring jobs to our rural small towns, with USDA providing funding and technical assistance to help launch business and development projects specifically tailored to the needs of each local and regional area.” RCDI grants are not provided directly to businesses or individuals. Instead, awards are provided to public or non-profit intermediaries that are locally-based and skilled in business development and job creation. Recipients must obtain matching funds, which doubles the impact of the grants. The BDCC Rural Development funds will be used to develop regional capacity to support economic development across Windham and Bennington counties, building on a successful collaboration formed as the region struggled to recover from the devastating effects of Tropical Storm Irene in 2 2011. In 2015 The Southern Vermont Economic Development Zone, which was established by an act of the Vermont legislature highlighting the need for regional cooperation. This effort will be by and between public and private sector partners concerning economic development initiatives such as workforce training, retention, recruitment, and sustainable business investment. The goal with the RCDI funding is to improve capacity within twelve Southern Vermont partner organizations serving some of the counties’ most challenged small towns, so that these organizations can better organize and serve local or regional economic development projects. The project specifically targets eleven communities with the highest need based on population, median household income, and poverty. Development of this program will allow the BDCC to increase the awareness of the SeVEDS led CEDS initiatives and strategies across Southern Vermont. BDCC executive director, Adam Grinold explains, “We look forward to working closely with the many organizations across Southern Vermont, helping align their efforts where appropriate, aiming to reduce redundancies and improve efficiency across the region. The BDCC looks forward to working with our colleagues across the SoVT Economic Development Zone to identify areas for integration, collaboration and partnership” shared Grinold.
Adam Grinold Executive Director Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation