FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Adam Grinold, Executive Director
Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation
(Image above from the inaugural Southern Vermont Economic Development Summit, 2017)
BRATTLEBORO, VT– The 2nd Annual Southern Vermont Economic Development Summit will take place at the Grand Summit Resort at Mount Snow in Dover, Vermont on May 30th. The Summit is hosted by the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies, Bennington County Industrial Corporation, and Bennington’s Regional Economic Development Group. The daylong event will highlight projects with innovative and unique partnerships, strategies for growing the regional economy, and insight into how other regions are working to improve the economic outlook of their communities. Featured speakers included the Acting Director Tim Martin of the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration Region 1; Mayor Alex Morse of Holyoke, MA, and Mariko Silver, President of Bennington College.
The Summit is an annual event which grew out of the establishment of the Southern Vermont Economic Development Zone, a special geographic region authorized by the Vermont Legislature in May 2015. A prioritization study commissioned at that same time called for the creation of a Comprehensive Economic Development Zone Strategy (CEDS) covering Bennington and Windham Counties plus the Town of Weston. Planning and development organizations in the zone have recently announced a federal partnership and commitment of local and regional resources to begin that effort. Adam Grinold, BDCC’s Executive Director described the value of the counties working together: “As small, rural counties in a small, rural state, Bennington and Windham Counties face similar challenges in today’s dynamic economy. Success from past and future partnerships across the two counties has increased our understanding of how important it is to act regionally.”
The Summit opens with the 2017-2018 Windham Region Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Vital Projects Announcement and features a public kick-off event for the new Southern Vermont CEDS under development. “By bringing together municipal leaders, business owners, community leaders and economic development practitioners to learn about best practices and regional opportunities, new collaborations and initiatives are certain to arise,” said Bill Colvin, Executive Director of Bennington County Industrial Corporation. “I look forward to seeing where they take us!”
Speakers and presenters include over 25 representatives from the private sector, municipal initiatives, regional organizations, as well as state and federal agencies. Commissioner Lindsay Kurrle and Director of Workforce Policy Sarah Buxton from the Vermont Department of Labor will speak to Governor Phil Scott’s recruitment priorities. “This is a critical opportunity to ensure people understand the data, what strategies are working, and what else is needed as we begin developing the new CEDS five-year plan together,” said Laura Sibilia, BDCC’s Director of Regional Economic Development Strategies. “We need everyone who wants be part of the discussion and contribute to the region’s future to participate in the Summit.” The day concludes with a recognition event for Southern Vermont’s Emerging Leaders, highlighting young leaders in workplaces and communities, followed by a networking event.
The 2018 Summit is sponsored by Mount Snow and Green Mountain Power. Individual event sponsors include The Richards Group, Efficiency Vermont, Vermont Student Assistance Corporation, Brattleboro Savings & Loan, Bank of Bennington, Edward Jones, Heritage Family Credit Union, and Bennington Potters. Additional support for the Summit comes from Peckham Industries, Inc., Abacus Automation, Inc., WW Building Supply, Southern Vermont College and Marlboro College. Media sponsors are the Bennington Banner and Brattleboro Reformer.
The SoVermont 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. Our partners are Bellows Falls Area Development Corporation, Rockingham Arts and Museum Project, Great Falls Regional Chamber of Commerce, Windham Regional Commission, Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategy, Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce, Strolling of the Heifers, Readsboro Hometown Redevelopment Inc., Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce, Bennington County Regional Commission, Bennington County Industrial Corporation, Town of Bennington, and the Bennington Downtown Alliance. For more information please visit: https://brattleborodevelopment.com/svep/
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
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: www.bcic.org
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.
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: https://brattleborodevelopment.com/update-southern-vermont-economic-development-zone/
A Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, or CEDS, is a strategy-driven plan for regional economic development. The CEDS development process is designed to bring together public and private sectors in the creation of an economic roadmap to diversify and strengthen the regional economy. The CEDS development process analyzes the regional economy and serves as a guide for establishing regional goals and objectives, developing and implementing a regional plan of action, and identifying investment priorities and funding sources. The Windham Region’s federally approved CEDS was completed in 2015 by SeVEDS and is being implemented by BDCC. The 5-year update will include Bennington County and all Towns within the Southern Vermont Economic Development Zone. For more information please visit: https://brattleborodevelopment.com/ceds-overview/