Editor of the Reformer: We were pleased to read Chris Mays’s recent article in the Reformer and the Banner on the Vermont Welcome Wagon’s Southern Vermont chapter ("Vermont Welcome Wagon improves local life for newcomers," March 29), and if people haven’t had the chance to read it we hope that they will. We’re writing today to make sure readers across the region are aware that the Southern Vermont chapter is truly a collaborative “Southern Vermont” initiative, including all of Bennington County. From day one we have been working with our colleagues at the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation to connect locals with new and returning Vermonters on our side of the mountain, helping to accelerate the time it takes to feel at home and plugged into the things that make life here so rewarding.
To date, we’ve been in touch with more than a dozen individuals who have relocated to towns from Pownal to Manchester (most with families) from all corners of the country: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Maine, New Jersey, New York, and Oregon. We’ve also received notice from another dozen and counting locals who have volunteered to welcome our newest Vermonters. Our next efforts will focus on connecting our employers with this valuable resource to help new recruits get acclimated year-round, and finalizing a partnership with Front Porch Forum to expand the Welcome Wagon’s reach. We welcome participants of all ages, and we encourage everyone interested to learn more about this initiative at vtwelcomewagon.org.