The honor was presented at an awards ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 27, during the IEDC Annual Conference, which was held Sept. 25-28, in Cleveland, OH.
“On behalf of the IEDC board of directors and Excellence in Economic Development Awards Advisory Committee, congratulations to both the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation and Southeastern Vermont Economic Development. The awards process is a thorough, non-biased and multi-layered process. These are extraordinary accomplishments for all winners, and an overall great effort by all participants.” – Barry Matherly, IEDC 2016 Board Chair
Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies (SeVEDS) began in 2007 when a group across a 27 town region began looking to improve broadband service. Ultimately, lack of connectivity was a symptom of a larger problem; a steady, 20 year economic decline. SeVEDS was established as an affiliate of the regional development organization Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC) and began to develop a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS).
In addition to existing economic malaise, the region faced an unknown timeline for the shutdown of the Vermont Yankee (VY) Nuclear Power Plant and loss of the 600 highest paying jobs in the region. The final CEDS submitted to the US Economic Development Agency included specific strategies for turning the economy around and mitigating the economic impact of the VY closure – announced just prior to the final CEDS was presented.
The July 2014 CEDS plan has attracted close to a million dollars in public funding and was the basis for a 10 million dollar economic development fund established by Entergy in its settlement with the State of Vermont. The CEDS will have attracted close to 11 million dollars by the close of 2016. Implementation of the CEDS is underway. Some of the implementation projects include:
- Workforce Center of Excellence
- Employer Hiring Inventory
- Young Professionals Program
- Internship Program
- Fast Tracks to Success Program
- Green Building & Services Cluster Analysis – “Ecovation Hub”
- Accelerator Feasibility Study
- Southern Vermont Economy Project
The Windham County Economic Development Program, guided by the CEDS priorities, is a financing mechanism that may inject capital into CEDS aligned economic development infrastructure projects and/or growing businesses. .
The IEDC Award comes on the heels of two Northeast Economic Developers Association awards for Project of the Year and Program of the Year. “The BDCC is pleased to accept these distinguished awards on behalf of the boards, committees, municipalities and community members who have worked over the last eight years to strengthen the Windham region’s economy”, shared BDCC executive director, Adam Grinold.
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.
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 http://brattleborodevelopment.
About the International Economic Development Council
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 4,700 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities, by creating, retaining and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, IEDC’s members are engaged in the full range of economic development experience. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in a wide variety of settings including local, state, provincial and federal governments, public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities and a variety of other institutions. IEDC’s members create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities and improve the quality of life in their regions. www.iedcONLINE.org.