Whether it’s the boom in residential real estate markets or surging school enrollments, stories about new Vermonters proliferate in the news and in community and economic development circles. With population attraction and retention at the heart of the region’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC) is eagerly spearheading the effort to welcome these newcomers.
BDCC has long been a conduit for prospective, new, and returning Vermonters to make community and professional connections. As a founding participant in the State of Vermont’s Stay-to-Stay program, BDCC brought visitors together with community members and employer partners in an effort to convert tourists to full-time residents. BDCC’s Southern Vermont Young Professionals program welcomes, engages and supports the young leaders and entrepreneurs that will drive Vermont’s economic future.
An old school idea with a digital twist, BDCC’s new initiative—the SoVT Welcome Wagon Project—combines that same personal touch but greatly expands the ability to help people connect. Newcomers who opt in are matched with enthusiastic local “Hosts” who help their new neighbors plug into volunteer opportunities, find the best hiking, or just have someone local to grab a socially distanced coffee with.
It is more important than ever to find ways to connect that are both safe and meaningful. In this way, BDCC hopes that the Southern Vermont Welcome Wagon Project will serve to strengthen the ties that bind our communities together.
The newly-launched Southern Vermont chapter of the Vermont Welcome Wagon Project (VWWP) is a collaboration between Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, its Southern Vermont Young Professionals program, Bennington County Regional Commission, Bennington County Industrial Corporation, Southwestern Vermont Chamber of Commerce and its Shires Young Professionals group. It wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of VWWP’s leadership team, a group of young Vermont professionals who launched the program as volunteers in an effort to create the kind of opportunities and communities that will enable them to thrive here.
Click here to learn more about hosting a new Vermonter. Are you yourself a new Vermonter? Click here to sign up as a participant! For more information about getting involved or BDCC’s wider recruitment and retention efforts, reach out to Casey Haynes at firstname.lastname@example.org.