The Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC) & Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies (SeVEDS) Boards of Trustees, Members, and Staff hosted this year’s annual meeting at the Vermont Jazz Center at the Cotton Mill in Brattleboro. BDCC President Craig Miskovich and Executive Director Adam Grinold spoke to Members and invited guests about the accomplishments of the past year, and the many partnerships that make this work possible. Three awards were given out during the evening program.
2017 Annual Report for BDCC & SeVEDS Highlights Partnerships
Building a Vibrant Regional Economy
BRATTLEBORO, VT – The Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC) & Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies (SeVEDS) have published their 2017 Annual Report, the first combined Annual Report from BDCC & SeVEDS. The report documents the programs and projects, planning and partnerships that characterize the work of the region’s multifaceted regional development corporation which has expanded its work to better meet the region’s economic development needs.
The BDCC & SeVEDS 2017 Annual Report was previewed by board members and stakeholders at the organizations’ Annual Meeting on October 25th. The report describes programs and projects encompassing work with major employers and startups, workforce and students, as well as work with the 27 towns served in the Windham Region. In 2017 the organization leveraged $158,000 in direct state funding to produce over $42 Million in projects and programs, including $39M in real estate projects.
BDCC began over 60 years ago with a focus on supporting industry and manufacturing. Today’s rural regional economic development demands a more complex approach. SeVEDS strategic planning efforts grew out of a need to increase broadband, to stop a 20 year decline in the regional economy, and to address the economic impacts from the anticipated closure of the Vermont Yankee (VY) Nuclear Power Plant in Vernon. The strategic planning effort was further fueled by disaster recovery efforts, and the date certain closure announcement for VY. In 2011 the Windham Region published the award-winning regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS), the region’s first strategic economic plan.
BDCC & SeVEDS work together to grow the regional economy: SeVEDS leads with strategy and insight, BDCC builds projects and programs. This first joint Annual Report outlines activities in four major areas: Business growth, attraction and retention; Workforce training and recruitment; Startups and entrepreneurial support; and Strategic planning and project expertise.
In partnership with Windham region municipalities, BDCC & SeVEDS invests in the future workforce through its Workforce Center of Excellence. Along with supervisory districts, workforce organizations and employers the Center helped put on the first annual Sophomore Summit this year. 200 high schoolers spent a day meeting local professionals representing over 30 firms, learning about opportunities in Southern Vermont and the education and training pathways available to access these jobs. Through the FY ’17 Fast Tracks program 180 teens visited 15 businesses and the Vermont state house and Agency of Commerce and Community Development. In FY’17, 23 college students were placed with Windham employers through the paid internship program. These BDCC & SeVEDS programs and others connected 403 high school and college students with employers and career pathways in FY’17.
BDCC & SeVEDS work with businesses of all size and sectors. 280 businesses representing every sector, size and stage of growth benefited from at least one program, from business visits, to financing, trainings, internships, and our incubator and tenant expansions. BDCC’s Exit One, Cotton Mill and BookPress are home to 75 businesses and 333 employees.
The organization’s efforts to connect employers and small businesses with state and federal funding and in FY’17 helped bring in $400K in Vermont Training Program funds for 785 Windham workers to improve their skills, and their ability to earn and access new career opportunities. BDCC also launched RMAP a new $400K revolving loan and technical assistance program using USDA funds to help small businesses. In FY’17 the INSTIG8 startup program helped 122 entrepreneurs with business counseling, funding, classes such as Digital Marketing Bootcamps, and pitch preparation.
Real estate highlights from FY’17 include over $39M in projects, with two major expansions for local manufacturers. Using the federal New Market Tax Credits Program, BDCC helped Chroma Technology Corp, an employee owned optical manufacturer in Bellows Falls, initiate an expansion that will add 25 new positions. Earlier this fall Govern Scott visited Brattleboro for the ribbon-cutting on another New Market Tax Credits project at G.S. Precision where their production expansion is adding 100 new jobs.
The work of BDCC & SeVEDS is guided by the Windham CEDS, the region’s 5 year strategic economic plan for growing the regional economy. CEDS goals include replacing over 600 high-paying jobs being lost through the closure of Vermont Yankee. With the help of the WCEDP (the Windham County Economic Development Program funded through the VY closure agreement), BDCC & SeVEDS are supporting businesses that are creating 773 jobs with WCEDP projects and which are expected to create $38M in overall impact in the next several years.
The combination of planning, goal-setting, and successful implementation earned BDCC & SeVEDS two national awards in FY’17 for implementation of the region’s strategic economic plan. The BDCC & SeVEDS 2017 Annual Report can be viewed or downloaded from www.brattleborodevelopment.com. Hard copies are available at 76 Cotton Mill Hill, or by calling to request one be sent by mail.
About BDCC and SeVEDS:
The Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation is a private, nonprofit economic development organization that serves as a catalyst for industrial and commercial growth throughout Southeastern Vermont, including Windham County and the towns of Readsboro, Searsburg, and Weston. BDCC serves as the State of Vermont’s certified Regional Development Corporation (RDC) for the greater Windham County area. BDCC is one of 12 RDCs throughout Vermont.
For more information visit: https://brattleborodevelopment.com/
Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies (SeVEDS) is an affiliate of BDCC that grew from a 2008 grassroots effort, initiated by BDCC, to reverse the economic decline of the Windham Region and plan for the economic impacts from the closure of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. In 2014, after multiple years of regional input, education and data gathering, SeVEDS submitted the Windham Region’s federally recognized S.M.A.R.T. Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for federal approval. For more information visit: www.seveds.com