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.

Vermont Working Communities Challenge Steering Committee

  • Katrina Badger, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Rumeli Banik, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
  • Ted Brady, Vermont League of Cities and Towns
  • Kevin Chu, Vermont Futures Project
  • Tom Donahue, BROC Community Action
  • Ben Doyle, Preservation Trust of Vermont
  • Rebecca Foster, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation
  • Gary Holloway, Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development
  • Molly Lambert, Lambert Consulting and Mediation
  • Vikas Mangipudi, Cooperative Fund of the Northeast
  • Emma Marvin, Butternut Mountain Farm
  • Ellen McCulloch-Lovell, EML Consulting
  • Beth Rusnock, National Life Group/National Life Group Foundation
  • Dan Smith, Vermont Community Foundation
  • Joan Straussman Brandon, Neighborworks America
  • Sarah Waring, USDA Rural Development

We thank past members of the Steering Committee:

  • Lola Adedokun, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
  • Becca Balint, US Congress
  • Betsy Bishop, Vermont Chamber of Commerce
  • Hal Colston, Vermont State House of Representatives
  • Nicole Grant, Avangrid/Avangrid Foundation
  • Steve Patterson, Northeastern Vermont Development Association
  • 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