Southern Vermont

Implementation Grant Awardee
Windham County Bennington County Town of Weston

Challenge Challenge

Southern Vermont has been designated an area with special economic need due to a history of low wages and demographic decline. There is an urgent need to recruit and retain a strong workforce, as an aging population and outmigration have led to a dramatic loss of labor force. The Working Communities team in Southern Vermont sees an opportunity to bolster the region’s communities by welcoming immigrant populations. The team seeks to create an immigration support system to provide families and individuals with education and employment opportunities, stable and affordable housing, and economic and social mobility.

Strategy Strategy

  • Address local technical and structural needs in housing, the law, transportation, cross-cultural education, and workforce development. This will enable communities to welcome and sustain population growth through immigration.
  • Work with external groups that assist individuals and families to promote communities as welcoming places for immigrants, including refugees and asylum seekers
  • Generate new solutions, including housing options beyond host families – such as partnerships with landlords and underutilized campuses
  • Identify and address state-level policy or program gaps and work with state legislators to undo regulations that harm immigrants, from financial regulation to driver’s licensing constraints

Vision Vision

Develop a “New Vermonter” community that promotes Southern Vermont as safe, welcoming, and supportive. The New Vermonter community model would create a network of public and private entities that offer an inclusive, sustainable system of support for immigrants, first- and second-generation Americans, asylum-seekers and foreign-born workers, students, and families.

The Team The Team

  • Bellows Falls Area Development Corporation
  • Bennington County Regional Commission
  • Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation
  • Community Asylum Seekers Project
  • School for International Training
  • Southeast Vermont Transit
  • United Way of Windham County
  • Windham Regional Commission