BENNINGTON -- Southern Vermont's Bennington and Windham Counties have been focused on regional collaboration and implementation of long term economic recovery initiatives through a grant awarded its two regional planning commissions. Windham County will complete its stand-alone regional CEDS this December and a number of towns in Bennington County have been undertaking their own economic development planning efforts, however the development of the statewide CEDS is important for determining economic priority and policy for Vermont as a whole.

This October, the Department of Economic Development invites citizens from around the state to participate in a series of workshops as part of the CEDS process. The goal: solicit strategies and tactics for helping Vermont's economy grow in a manner that improves wages and job opportunities, builds business, enhances our quality of life and preserves Vermont's brand, values and natural resources.

A CEDS workshop, hosted by Bennington County Industrial Corporation and Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation will be held at the Bennington Fire House, 130 River Street, from 9 a.m. to noon on Oct. 18, and the public is invited to participate.

Organized by the DED and regional development and planning groups, the sessions will be open to the public and will include a wide variety of stakeholders representing the interests of business, nonprofits, the community and citizens.


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In addition to the regional meetings, a CEDS Committee (representatives of the business, non-profits, education and communities) will be meeting regularly and will help determine and put together the final plan for the Governor's review. The final plan will be released in the summer of 2014.

Background on the process, FAQs, a full schedule of meetings and examples of regional CEDS plans that have already been developed are available at ThinkVermont.com (click on "strategic planning").

For those unable to attend, the department invites you to send your thoughts and comments to Lisa Gosselin, Commissioner at the Department of Economic Development, accd.ceds@state.vt.us.