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Green Mtn Traffic Control staffers receive accreditation

BELLOWS FALLS >> In November, two of Green Mountain Traffic Control's staff members completed their ATSSA Traffic Control Technician trainings: Wes Wright, operations chief, and Morgan Wright, senior supervisor. For more information, contact Deb Wright at 802-463-4380.

Local Tae Kwon Do instructor reaches 4th degree

WILMINGTON >> Vermont Valley Tae Kwon Do recently announced the promotion to 4th Degree Master of Karina Morehead of Wilmington.

Morehead has been training and teaching Tae Kwon Do since 1989, and showed her potential at the age of 11, winning both Gold and Silver medals at the 1990 AAU Vermont State Championships. Her continuing training includes Combat Hapkido, Kum Do (Korean Sword), The Cane Masters System, and she is experienced in Koho Shiatsu massage. During the week Master Morehead can be found at Hairaphernalia in West Dover.

Vermont Valley Tae Kwon Do's founder, Master Jeanette Toro Linnehan, awarded the Master's rank in a testing on Jan. 29 at the studio. Also serving on the board were Master Mike Linnehan, and Master George Adair. With the promotion of Master Morehead, Vermont Valley becomes one of the few Martial Arts studios with four Master Instructors on staff.

Marlboro College hosts board program

MARLBORO >> The Center for New Leadership at Marlboro College has announced the 2016 Get On Board Fellows Program, designed to give Windham County residents, age 22 to 44 the opportunity to build leadership skills and their personal and professional networks while serving the community.

Fellows attend all Board Leadership Institute workshops and personal leadership development sessions for $100 to 200 sliding scale which is less than half the full cost. Through these events, Fellows will build relationships with each other, and with members of local nonprofit boards. Fellows will also receive extra recognition during the Board Matching Event, which will help them make connections with nonprofit boards that match their interests and passions.

"In a place like Vermont where the population tends to skew to the older end of things and especially with regard to board service, it can be difficult for excited and well-qualified young folks to break in to an organization's board. It serves the organizations, youth of the community, and the boards themselves to have new perspectives and people on the board. I would not have served on a board without this program. Both myself and my organization are better for it," said a 2013 GOB participant.

Learn more online at www.marlboro.edu/cnl.

Hospice welcomes Rueter as coordinator of Taking Steps Brattleboro

BRATTLEBORO >> Brattleboro Area Hospice is pleased to announce the recent partnership with Joanna Rueter, LICSW, to coordinate Taking Steps Brattleboro, a new initiative focused to increase the numbers of people throughout the region who have completed the advance care planning process.

Rueter, the owner and founder of Sustainable Aging, LLP, since 2011 leads workshops, community presentations, and facilitates advance care planning. She has created and maintains the website and blog, www.SustainableAging.com. In 2014 Rueter completed the facilitator and instructor certification in advance care planning, at Respecting Choices an internationally acclaimed ACP program in La Crosse, Wisc.

Taking Steps Brattleboro is a collaborative, community-based initiative intended to achieve a significant increase in the numbers of people in the Brattleboro area who have completed the advance care planning process. This is accomplished by collaborating to educate the community about advance care planning and by offering trained volunteer facilitators to work with individuals to negotiate the process and to register the completed forms.

To schedule a presentation, or to talk about your individual questions about advance care planning call Joanna Rueter at 802-257-0775, ext. 101, or by e-mail at joanna.rueter@brattleborohospice.org.

Taking Steps Brattleboro is a project of Brattleboro Area Hospice, an independent, community-based, non-profit organization that provides grass-roots, volunteer-staffed programs to supplement and provide alternatives to the professional services utilized by dying and grieving community members.

Brattleboro Area Hospice, including Taking Steps Brattleboro is locally funded and provides all services free of charge. Its office is located at 191 Canal St. Services and programs are also offered in the Bellows Falls community.

For more information about Brattleboro Area Hospice or Taking Steps Brattleboro, visit www.brattleborohospice.org.

River Valley CU promotes Collins

BRATTLEBORO >> River Valley Credit Union announced the recent promotion of Crystal Collins, who began at River Valley Credit Union in September 2012 and worked as a teller in the Brattleboro, Putney and Townshend offices. Collins transferred from the Townshend branch to the Operations Center in August 2015 beginning her position as a receptionist. Most recently, in November 2015 Collins was promoted to Operations Analyst II. River Valley members can note that many of the familiar faces they see in our lobbies are promoted from within.

Green Economy Industry Cluster launches action teams

BRATTLEBORO >> Southeastern Vermont Economic Development Strategies and Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation recently conducted the first meeting of interested stakeholders in the Green Economy Industry Cluster Initiative with the Tri State Region Leadership Team. Three "action teams" are now charged with defining niche market business opportunities that can be acted upon to benefit the region.

The Cluster Initiative is being undertaken as a high priority project from the Windham Region S.M.A.R.T. Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy completed in 2014. A CEDS is a federally approved process and plan for growing a regional economy. The Green Building and Services Sector, Technology Driven Precision Manufacturing and Healthcare were identified as the highest priority sectors for replacing the high skill high wage jobs being lost by the closure of Entergy's Vermont Nuclear Power Plant. This first Cluster Initiative, funded by BDCC and SeVEDS, The Windham County Economic Development Program and the US. Department of Commerce Economic Development Authority, is due to be completed by November 2016.

The action teams resulting from Wednesday's meeting, consist of 68 local business and knowledge leaders across the four-county area of Franklin, Cheshire, Windham, and Bennington, who will develop market opportunities identified to-date by lead consultant ViTAL Economy and local partners, BuildingGreen and the Resilient Design Institute, into veritable business cases that will support new job growth.

Participants in Wednesday's meeting were presented with economic and market research that highlighted the region's specific challenges, as well as growth markets that the region is well positioned to tap into. For example, population in all four counties studied was lower in 2014 than it was in 2010, compounding the challenge for existing businesses to find qualified workforce and leading some companies to go out of business.

Alex Wilson, chair of the cluster explained the region can become "a place where specialized career training takes place to build a skilled workforce in specialized areas. Ultimately increasing the size of the workforce." Wilson explained that "if we succeed with this project, the region will not only weather the loss of jobs from the closure of Vermont Yankee, but actually grow the workforce in jobs supporting the emerging green economy."

The 2,200 jobs that currently exist in the green goods and services sector within the region—totaling $238 million in GDP — represent unique assets that can be leveraged to attract more people and companies to the area, according to ViTAL Economy. The national market for green goods and services is estimated to double in the next three years, and given the local concentration of these jobs, as well as the area's strong culture of green ethics, there is tremendous opportunity for the region to match that growth.

"This is a national and global opportunity to take the real strengths of the region and transform this place," said Frank Knott of ViTAL Economy. "There is very significant breadth and depth of knowledge about sustainability and resilience here."

Members of the community action teams will be exploring business cases for the following opportunity areas in pursuing a green economy: creating a Knowledge Center to attract talent, investment, businesses and visitors; developing innovative finance, insurance, and appraisal tools that can be applied nationally; and researching, prototyping, or developing new services for the green construction or resilient design markets. Progress will be reported at the next stakeholder event scheduled for the first week of May.

For more information on the Cluster Initiative, visit www.brattleborodevelopment.com/economic-development/projects/greeneconomy.


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