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Reconnect: Summit Registration Opens for Virtual Experience May 12th-14th

Southern Vermont- Registration is now open for the Fourth Annual Southern Vermont Economy Summit at . This three-day virtual event will be held May 12th, 13th, and 14th.

The 2021 summit theme is “Reconnect”. It’s a chance to reconnect with one another, and with new ideas. The summit features workshops, networking, panel sessions, and special speakers focused on small business development, reimagining wealth-building for our communities, small scale changes to strengthen communities, and a 3-part New-to-Vermont lunch series. The Summit is anchored by “In Conversation With: Governor Scott and Lt. Governor Gray on Envisioning Vermont’s Future” followed by “The Future Talks Back,” a young professional town hall discussion on the future of our regional economy.

The 2021 Summit will feature two outstanding keynote speakers. We open with Tony Pipa, Senior Fellow of Global Economy and Development at the Center for Sustainable Development at the Brookings Institution. Pipa will discuss the new administration’s approach to federal rural programs and funding, and what this means for our region. Pipa was the Obama administration’s chief strategy officer at the U.S. Agency for International Development, Directed the NGO Leaders Forum at Harvard University, and helped launch Foundation for Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Pipa’s recent report “Reimagining rural policy: Organizing federal assistance to maximize rural prosperity” highlights shortcomings and shortfalls in America’s rural policy.

Majora Carter, a real estate developer, urban revitalization strategy consultant, MacArthur Fellow and Peabody Award winning broadcaster, will close out the Summit on Friday. Carter applies her corporate consulting practice focused on talent-retention to reducing Brain Drain in American low-status communities.  She has firsthand experience pioneering sustainable economic development in one of America’s most storied low-status communities: the South Bronx. She and her teams develop vision, strategies and the type of development that transforms low-status communities into thriving mixed-use local economies. Her approach harnesses capital flows resulting from American re-urbanization to help increase wealth building opportunities across demographics left out of all historic financial tide changes. Carter is quoted on the walls of the Smithsonian Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington D.C.; “Nobody should have to move out of their neighborhood to live in a better one”.

Summit Sponsors are The Bank of Bennington and Brattleboro Savings and Loan. The Economic Keynote sponsors are People’s United Bank and Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development. Community Keynote sponsor is MSK Engineering. Lunch Session sponsors are VELCO and Green Mountain Power. Base level sponsors are The Richards Group, Vermont Community Loan Fund, AARP VT, and VSAC. The Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, Bennington County Regional Commission, and Bennington County Industrial Corporation organize the Summit on behalf of the Southern Vermont Economic Development Zone. The Summit is part of the Southern Vermont Economy Project which helps build capacity, expertise and resources in the Zone with support from the USDA Rural Community Development Initiative.

About the Southern Vermont Economy Summit

The Southern Vermont Economy Summit is an initiative of Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation’s Southern Vermont Economy Project (SVEP) works to stabilize, improve and expand the rural economic and workforce development network in Southern Vermont. Its goal is to increase capacity and collaboration among partnering organizations and communities. SVEP is funded by the USDA Rural Community Development Initiative, as a program of BDCC & SeVEDS. The Summit is an annual event which grew out of the establishment of the Southern Vermont Economic Development Zone, a special region encompassing Windham and Bennington Counties (plus the Town of Weston), authorized by the Vermont Legislature in May 2015. A Study commissioned at that same time called for the creation of a Southern Vermont Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) which was completed this year and can also be found at SovermontZone.Com. For more information please visit:

About the Southern Vermont Economy Project

The Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation’s Southern Vermont Economy Project provides training and technical assistance to increase local capacity, skills, and resources in order to advance local projects critical to Southern Vermont achieving community, economic, and workforce development goals. In its second round of funding by the USDA Rural Community Development Initiative, SVEP 2.0 partners include; the Towns of Rockingham, Brattleboro and Bennington; the Windham Regional Commission; Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies; Bennington County Regional Commission; Bennington County Industrial Corporation; Readsboro Hometown Redevelopment Inc.; and Bellows Falls Area Development Corporation. For more information please visit:

About the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation

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, Winhall 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. BDCC activities are made possible in part by a grant from the State of Vermont through the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. For more information visit:

About Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies

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:

About the Bennington County Industrial Corporation

Bennington County Industrial Corporation (BCIC) is a non-profit economic development corporation. It is overseen by a board of business people and professionals from throughout Bennington County, Vermont. Its office is in Downtown Bennington. BCIC’s mission is to promote quality jobs in Bennington County. It provides services and information to businesses, runs an industrial incubator, does development projects, and advocates policies that support its mission. For more information visit:

About the Bennington County Regional Commission

The Bennington County Regional Commission created the Regional Economic Development Group (RED Group) in early 2017, in response to a directive from the Vermont General Assembly to establish a steering committee “to serve as the foundation for economic development work in the Bennington County region.” The RED Group meets monthly to review and discuss internal and external economic development issues that affect southwestern Vermont, consider the regional implications of local economic development issues, and pursue options for future initiatives across Southern Vermont.

About the Southern Vermont Economic Development Zone

The Southern Vermont Economic Development Zone was established by an act of the 2015 Vermont Legislature. The Zone convened a Committee which called on Bennington County and Windham County to develop  a region-wide CEDS. For more information please visit: