A review of the New to Vermont Lunch Series: How New People Generate New Opportunities for Our Communities session at the Southern Vermont Economy Summit.
By Peter “Fish” Case, Fishhook Communications
For this year’s Southern Vermont Economic I had the pleasure of moderating a lunchtime series that had a robust conversation about the new people that moved to our communities during the height of the pandemic can generate new opportunities.
Having been on a few steering committees during the height of the COVID I watched as people bailed out of their Urban and Suburban setting for the more rural air of Vermont. Of course, with that brought some local trepidation. One of the things that surprised me the most from this particular lunchtime series was the common thread of recognizing the new people in our region as people who can be an excellent resource for new opportunities. Not to take away from anything we have been doing here for years, rather updating these ideas and bringing them into new light. Everyone seemed to be unified in the idea that we have a new population of residence that are bringing some new energy and thought processes on how to approach some things that we need to look at and consider.
A long-standing conversation within the borders of Vermont has been the lack of high-speed internet in all corners of our state. It’s not that current residents lack the knowledge of how to do it, yet it hasn’t been done. I view our new residents as people who may have new ways of bringing people to Vermont that in turn could also help us to retain or current talent.
I joke that change it good, right up until it happens. COVID happened and people moved from high-risk areas to be safe in Vermont. We can leverage this into a positive for our geographic footprint by being more welcoming and inviting them into the conversation and encouraging them to be involved in future conversations.
To watch the entire session visit: www.sovermontzone.com/recordings-and-materials/