Vermont Vermont

In Progress

The Working Communities Challenge advances local collaborative efforts that build strong, healthy economies and communities in Vermont’s rural towns, regions, and smaller cities.

Launched in 2019, the initiative supports diverse, local teams as they tackle complex challenges facing their communities. With a focus on economic opportunity for communities and residents with low incomes, this unique three-year grant competition is supported by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the State of Vermont, national and local philanthropy, and private sector employers.

What makes a community eligible?

Rural towns, regions, and smaller cities with high economic need and opportunity for systems change

Communities with populations under 6,000 must be part of a multi-town application to reach ≥ 6,000 residents

Implementation Grant Awardees

Eligible Communities

  • Barre City
  • Barton
  • Bennington County
  • Bethel
  • Bradford
  • Braintree
  • Brattleboro
  • Brookfield
  • Caledonia County
  • Castleton
  • Chelsea
  • Enosburgh
  • Essex County
  • Fair Haven
  • Franklin County
  • Grand Isle County
  • Granville
  • Hancock
  • Hinesburg
  • Johnson
  • Lyndon
  • Middlebury
  • Morristown
  • Newport City
  • Orleans County
  • Pittsfield
  • Pittsford
  • Poultney
  • Putney
  • Randolph
  • Rochester
  • Royalton
  • Rutland City
  • Sharon
  • Springfield
  • St. Albans City
  • St. Johnsbury
  • Stockbridge
  • Stowe
  • Strafford
  • Town of Weston
  • Tunbridge
  • Vergennes
  • Westminster
  • Windham County
  • Windsor
  • Winooski
Communities below 6,000 population must be part of the multi-town application that reaches at least 6,000 residents.

Steering Committee

  • Becca Balint, Vermont State Senate
  • Ben Doyle, USDA Rural Development
  • Beth Rusnock, National Life Group/National Life Group Foundation
  • Betsy Bishop, Vermont Chamber of Commerce
  • Ellen McCulloch-Lovell, EML Consulting
  • Emma Marvin, Butternut Mountain Farm
  • Hal Colston, Vermont State House of Representatives
  • Joan Straussman Brandon, Neighborworks America
  • Katrina Badger, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Rebecca Foster, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation
  • Lola Adedokun, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
  • Molly Lambert, Lambert Consulting and Mediation
  • Nicole Grant, Avangrid/Avangrid Foundation
  • Sarah Waring, Vermont Community Foundation
  • Steve Patterson, Northeastern Vermont Development Association (retired)
  • Ted Brady, Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development
  • Tom Donahue, BROC Community Action
  • Gary Holloway, Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development
  • Tim Tierney, Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development

Funders and Partners

  • Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • NeighborWorks America
  • Avangrid Foundation
  • State of Vermont
  • Northern Border Regional Commission
  • USDA/Northern Border Regional Commission
  • William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Foundation
  • National Life Foundation
  • Vermont Community Foundation
  • TD Charitable Foundation
  • Green Mountain Power
  • Efficiency Vermont
  • Pomerleau Real Estate
  • People's United Bank
  • Vermont Energy Investment Corporation
  • Vermont Electric Power Company, Inc.
  • Northfield Savings Bank
  • Vermont State Employees Credit Union (VSECU)
  • Housing Vermont
  • Windham Foundation